Tuesday 30/04/91 – Writing to Vanessa while on Holiday

Diary Notes – 23 years ago today I wrote in my hearing impaired son’s diary. I was writing up Hughan’s ‘Diary’ so Vanessa, at The Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town, knew what we were doing at home, in Gaborone, so she could track Hughan’s progress.

Dear Vanessa

We are having a great time in England. My sister and family have left to go back to their home in Devon.

Hughan has become very independence. He won’t let me hold his hand when we go on walks or hold the reins on his harness. He insists that Willem helps him if he needs help. It is giving me a great break from always helping him and allowing Willem and Hughan to spend time together.

Willem is enjoying spending time with his boys. We have bought Vil a kite which Willem and him love flying. The walks that we go on are beautiful as the spring flowers are all just blooming.

On our walks Hughan is not having any support from us. Willem hold the reins on his harness in such a way that if he goes to fall he gives him support before he lands on his hands.


Hughan is responding to sound better now but often has too many distractions. We have also got him a ball bouncer with the two handles that he can hold onto and bounce. He also roles onto it with his tummy.

With us walking in the country lanes and into the village, and we also get to use the playground facilities. Hughan has improved a lot with his balance. He has also started to run everywhere. We have a lot of steps that he likes going up and down by himself, but he still holds the rail for support.

Hughan is saying more and more all the time. He loves watching the ships – he calls them “ips”. We call the boats – “boats” and yachts – “yachts” and Hughan responds to the different names.


We have been on a train and also in the taxi.

The boys are loving their holiday. We have not spent much time shopping which has been great. We have almost forgotten what they are!!

My Step Aunt has spent a lot of time with Hughan. Hughan brings her a newspaper and the page through it to find the cars. Hughan love watching her draw faces in the cars to look like people sitting inside. He says “rou an rou” for the wheels turning “round and round”.

The boys have loved being with Granny and Grampa. Hughan calls Grampa  - “Papa” and Granny – “Nana”.

When the boys have a bubble bath at night time, and we let the water out, we go and watch the water going outside in the sea. First we show Hughan the water in the bath, we run outside, watching the water when my Step Mum lets the water out. We watched the bubbles go out into the sea and foam on the water. Then when we go back inside the house we go and see the water has gone. Both the boys love this game.

We have had a lovely time with the folks and we have enjoyed each day (usually doing house chores and going on walks). We have had a lot of sunny days although the wind has been very cold.

I feel Hughan has benefited well from all of the walking, climbing, swinging, bouncing etc.

It was very sad as usual to say goodbye to everyone. We had a very good trip home. Hughan was a bit sick on the flight soon after we took off, but soon settles and slept all the way. Vil also slept well. Hughan slept across two seats and Vil slept on the floor.

On our return to Harare, we stopped over for two nights and then drove back to Gaborone.

We left at four o’clock in the morning and we were home by six thirty in the evening. A long day, but we stopped quite a few times on our way. Hughan did not sleep at all in the car.

When we got home the boys were on their bikes playing in the garden. Very pleased to be home!!

We collected the dogs from kennels on the 12th. We explained to Hughan where we were going and he knew exactly what we were saying. He remembered the road and there was great excitement when we saw the dogs. When we got back home we hardly saw the dogs or Vil and Hughan.

(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you :) )

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