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A Deaf Child’s Paper Piano
August 2, 2010   Rwanda
In the HIV+ children summer camp there is one kid, P, who is deaf. P participates in all the activities. He doesn’t sing or talk, but he dances and improvises with the sticks, and he drums and plays almost all the games. The other kids help him when needed and show him with their body language what to do when we give the instructions. P has a charming smile. When I play the guitar, P likes to rest his hand on the guitar body and feel the vibrations. Today, after lunch, P pointed to my notebook and showed me that he wanted to draw something. This is what he wrote down:
The C / Do major scale that P, a deaf HIV+ child, wrote in my notebook
Then he placed his fingers on the words that he wrote and moved them from left to right like this: thumb, index, middle, thumb, index, middle, ring, pinky. To those of you who do not play the piano, P had just played for me the Do or C major scale. I looked up at him; P returned a smile, shrugged and walked away to join his friends, and I was left with a shiver that ran up my spine, and a very special piano made from paper.
Topics: Rwanda