Monday, April 2, 2012

My Hearing Loss Support Group Reaches Out

Indian food at Khyber Pass Restaurant, Oak Park

Last Saturday, my hearing loss support group met for lunch at an Indian restaurant. It was the first time several of us, including me, had tried this cuisine. The restaurant offered a generous buffet with many dishes to choose among including beef, chicken, lamb, and many vegetarian options.

Buffet table at Khyber Pass Restaurant, Oak Park
My friend Ann who enjoys cooking Indian food.

My friend Ann came with me. She knows how to cook Indian food and she explained to us what each dish was. At the table we were served nan, which is an Indian flat bread. At the buffet table, we had three choices of dips. I tried two of them, a sweet and sour dip and a yogurt dip. Together with the nan, they helped cool off the spicier dishes. But none of them were very hot, thank goodness. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the food.

The restaurant was quiet and we had our own long table (actually 3 tables pushed together) and good lighting. Conversation and signing flowed freely among us. After we had all finished eating, we posed for this group photo taken by one of our members.

ALDA Chicago members who came out for Indian food.

Then we went over to Oak Park Public Library to view the documentary film Discovering Shuktara: Star of Happiness. This social event was my idea because I wanted to introduce our group to the wonderful work being done internationally by Discovering Deaf Worlds, the organization I traveled to Costa Rica with last year.

The film tells the true story of Shuktara, a group home for developmentally disabled and deaf children who have been abandoned by their families and overlooked by other charitable organizations. Shuktara was started in 1999 by David Earp. You can read more about him and how he came to found Shuktara here. Discovering Deaf Worlds made this captioned film and has established a lifetime commitment to the support of this organization.

After watching the film, our group took up a free will offering for Discovering Deaf Worlds to give to Shuktara. I was so proud that my friends wanted to join me in giving. Together we raised $144.
This event was important to me because I hoped the group could identify with what David Earp has done - creating a new, loving family for young people in need. I know my ALDA Chicago support group has become a new family for me. I've found acceptance, support, and friendship among others who like me have difficulty communicating with the rest of the world. It feels like family when I'm with them. I'm glad to know they were touched by the film the same way I am every time I see it. If you would like to view the film, you can watch it here on DDW's website.


Nesmuth said...

Nice you had some good and tasty food at the Khyber Pass Restaurant at Oak Park.

As colorful and culturally rich as it is, Khyber Pass is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Its basically the home of the worlds largest gun market.

Liz said...

Its great seeing more about your hoh group. Like you I now feel at home with my group at Nottingham I attend too. Our recent trip was at a Hearing Dogs centre in Yorksire. We went for a meal at a pub before that, which we all enjoyed.

Unknown said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your experience at Khyber Pass. John, Virginia and I went there a few times and I liked it a lot. It was a totally different dining experience than any other I'd had at that point!

Have a happy Easter.