EBU(Senior group) Fine Work
“From the darkness to the light”
Romania Marin Sandu (60/Female)

I was born in 1951, in a poor family, in a village with a little literate people. Since my birth, my parents remarked I can’t see, but they didn’t have money for a doctor in Craiova.In fact, they would have brought to the doctor in vain, because at that time,nobody would have given me any hope I would be able to see at least the light. That is why, I was in the dark, in a murky, but I was aware regarding it later.
I was thinking I was the same with other sighted children I played together all day.
I was climbing the trees, I ran like them, without any fear I would fall down or I would hurt myself. I didn’t find any difference between us. I was living in a completely ignorance. My thought was just at fooling. I was pugging the clay drenched by the rains, and I worked up human faces animals, birds and other objects as I imagined with my mind of a child. But by and by I realized I couldn’t see as other children. When they left to the school, I remained to pug and work up the clay, straying the streets al day. My neighbours looked me with mercy and sadness, advising my parents to let me to go to the school for blind people from Cluj.
My parents didn’t believe a blind child could learn. The children showed me the letters they were learning at school and they shaped them from wire as I could feel them. Into the darkness of my mind sprouted the idea of learning. The teacher of the village accepted me at school for a period of time, alongside of other children, being curious to see if I am able to assimilate. When he convinced himself i can learn, he persuaded my parents to let me to go to school and he concerned oneself in elaborating the file. In September next year I went to to Cluj. It was the first time I traveled by train and I was very impressed. In Cluj I observed that people were speaking in a different way as in our village and I could hardly understand some of them. In the classroom the teacher gave us little cubes with punctures and she said us this the manner we would learn.We will learn the Braille Alphabet which was invented by a Frenchman, Louis Braille, a sightless person like us. Then, I didn’t know I would get off with his alphabet forever. The teacher gave us to feel a sheet of paper full of punctures that we couldn’t distinguish between them. I started tearing. I didn’t believe i would ever learn this alphabet. I was gloomy, disappointed and i would have left home, but i couldn’t do it alone. The letters that the children had shown me could have been differentiated. Hereby, a looked like a house top, b like the spectacle, t like a hammer, etc. In the Braille Alphabet all the punctures were the same and they didn’t resemble with anything. Even from the second day, our teacher started to teach calmly and patiently, therefore till the winter holiday i was reading rightishly. I had made a new friend from the Braille Alphabet and i wished to figure out all its mysteries. It had become to change my life.
When I left in the summer holiday, my relatives, friends and neighbours were watching me attentively, being curious to know what i had learnt at the school from Cluj. I had been rewarded with a book of stories by Grimm Brothers and they asked for me to read them, but they couldn’t believe i was able to read with my fingers, sightless as i was.One encircled with the pencil a certain word and after that he asked for me to read it again in order to see if i would read it in the same way. They were prideful of me, i had ceased to be that barefooted child who pugged and worked up the mellow clay. I had become one of them, i had arisen from the ash, getting through the obscurity to the light of a literate person. Every holiday the boys and the girls came to me and asked about my life at Cluj and we commented upon the books we read. Everybody greeted and treated me as a normal, literate individual. All of these i owed to the Braille Alphabet which represented a turning point in my life. Due to it i have been writing articles for the Magazine Our letter, [The Magazine of blind association from Romania], i published a volume of epigrams, poems and short fiction. It helped me to know the world, to make friends in all the country and abroad. If it hadn’t existed, i wouldn’t have had a job and i would have remained at the relatives and neighbours mercy.
It totally changed my life, setting me against a new path, alongside my seeing fellows.Learning in the school for blinds, i arose myself, and the Braille Alphabet was my best friend which helped me unconditionally all my life. The relatives, friends and neighbours tell they saw me at TV, they listened me to the radio or read what i have writen in different publications. My heart beats faster full of joy!
Braille itself made to ring the awakening bell for a normal life.

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