Stephanie, Poland

School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Laksi

Michal’s 21st Birthday

Yesterday it was Michal’s (one of our students) 21st birthday! He speaks English very very well, and we have great conversations with him, he’s a blast to chat with! The other day he asked if Lissy (my fellow volunteer from Melbourne) and I would like to go for a walk with him on his birthday, and keen as we are to engage fully into our experience and existence here at the school, we said we would. We were meant to set up a time to meet on Friday, but unfortunately we never crossed paths to do so. So Lissy and I decided we would go in search of him yesterday at the boys’ dorm, but were told that he had left about 15 minutes before. We thought we would return later in the evening to try and catch him. As we were walking down the avenue back towards our cottage, in the distance we see this boy running towards towards us, obviously blind as he was zig-zagging across the path, (yet amazingly knowing when he hit the edges with the terrain change) and as we looked more closely, we realised it was Michal running towards us! He had been called on his phone to say that we were looking for him and he made haste to get back to the the down as fast as he could. So we called out to him, and at that moment the smile on his face would’ve lit up the whole sky! When we met on the path we were so excited for him because it was his birthday and wished him a big happy birthday. We then proceeded to go for a walk. We chatted and walked for over an hour, he is truly one of the most amazing people! He never fails to put a smile on my face. He is so incredibly sincere and just so lovely. I wish you could all meet him! And it wasn’t until later on that evening when I was sitting pondering the day passed, that it hit me…Michal was running, RUNNING, to find us because he was so excited. The smile on his face when he realised we were on the track was one of the most memorable things and I won’t ever forget it. To watch a blind person run, unguided, along a path that has roots bumbing up the tar seal on the pathway, and needing to judge where other people are on the way, was mind blowing.

So there you have it, I wanted to share that with you because it’s a reminder of what can be achieved when you put your mind to it. It truly moved me and will remain a reminder of the lives you can touch when volunteering, and also how your life can be touched just as equally.