30 years ago...In January 1990 we had just got back home to Gaborone from appointments with Hughan in England. At this stage it seemed like England and South Africa had a similar approach to deafness, both signing, so there was no need for us to move there.
On our return home, we heard about a family living in Gaborone who's daughter was profoundly deaf. I made plans to visit them to find out about their experience. They had followed a speech only program at The Carel du Toit Centre, in Cape Town, to teach their daughter her lip-reading and communication skills. They highly recommended we making plans to visit the Centre with Hughan.
After a phone call to the Carel du Toit Centre, a date was set for Monday 27th February for us to travel to Cape Town, where accommodation was available for us to stay during our visit, on the grounds of Tygerberg Hospital.
Up until now we had been introducing sign language to Hughan. We were excited to find out about a new approach to teaching Hughan to communicate. At this stage he was 17 months old and totally unaware we were talking to him.
There was no Deaf Community in Gaborone. We had found out that sign language varied from city to city and country to country and wasn't a universal language. This was a challenge for us, as we would have to teach everyone who came into contact with Hughan his sign language, so the idea of teaching him to use his voice was very appealing.
We were all looking forward to our trip to Cape Town.