The Lord Protects His Missionaries

My mission story was published on “Don’t Stop, Sargeant” – a site for early return missionaries.

How often I hear members say, “The Lord protects His missionaries.” And it’s true. He does watch out for us. Significantly less 18 to 26-year-old young adults die on a mission
than if living as “regular” young adults.

And yet, why do some missionaries have to come home early? Why are some missionaries not “healed” during their missions? These questions pulled on my heart for a long time after my return from the mission.

In 2009, I was called to the Hungary Budapest Mission. I was absolutely ecstatic. My parents had both served missions and I grew up listening to their stories of preaching the gospel, walking ’til their calves ached, and the time a little boy peed on my mom’s head from the second story of a home. I was thrilled and could not wait to have a growing experience like theirs for the next year and a half!

As I neared the end of my MTC stay, for the first time in my life, my health acted up. I had some kind of seizure and went home to see if we could find some answers. When the results came back clean and I was obviously doing fine after some recoup time at home, I waited eagerly to see where I would be re-called. I do not think I have ever been so happy as the day I found out I was assigned to the Hungary mission again! They told me I would fly back to the MTC the next day – I had never really unpacked, so packing was a cinch!

When I arrived in Budapest, I was given the most incredible trainer and assigned to the city of Pest. The first weeks were absolutely incredible.

Read the rest of the article on “Don’t Stop, Sargeant!” >>

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How Many Spoons Do I Have Left? What I Wish Everyone Understood About Seizures

Some of you know I have a type of seizure disorder. It affects my life more some days than other days. Until the last two years I’ve tried to pretend it doesn’t exist and avoided telling people about it. Thankfully, I am in a good place – living in “prevention mode” by reading my body constantly and avoiding pushing myself too far so that I can do more in the long run. It’s taken years to “perfect” (and sometimes I still misread my body’s signals), but I’m at the point where I can prevent a lot and live my dreams!

Picture of Christine holding a large spoon

Courtesy of Christine Miserandino >                         Click Here to Read Article

After six years of trying to figure out how to live with a chronic disorder, I came across an article today by Christine Miserandino that provided the PERFECT way to explain to others how this works. Although she is speaking about lupus, I feel that her “Spoon Theory” explains my situation perfectly!

Christine explains that having a chronic illness is like waking up in the morning with a handful of spoons. You may have 12 for one day or 6 the next, but everything you do in the day, from getting up in the morning to making breakfast to riding the train for your commute, costs 1 spoon.

“…when you are healthy, you expect to have a never-ending supply of spoons. But when you now have to plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some spoons along the way, but it helps to know where you are starting.”

Unplanned things like working an hour overtime, missing a meal or “just” dropping by the store to grab some milk all cost spoons. You are “forced to make choices and think about things differently,” she says. “When your spoons are gone, they are gone.”

“I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”

Honestly, I could not believe this article could so accurately explain where I’ve been in the past and where I am sometimes when my health flares up. Yes, right now I’m doing good. I have a job that I can do from home, I get to work in the temple, and I have a calling in my ward. But I am ALWAYS counting spoons, checking to see how much of my limited energy I have left for today.

That’s why I so often am unable to be involved in ward activities or rarely hang out with friends late in the day – evenings are generally a little tough for me. Sure, I can come to an important meeting Thursday evening, but I have to use as few spoons during the day as possible to “save up” as evening events often “cost” double or triple the number of spoons; and I will often have less spoons the next day as a result. The reason I have to be so careful is if I hit zero spoons, it doesn’t just mean I’m out for the day – it means I’ll have a seizure which seriously limits the spoons I have for the next day, week or month.

“The hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand that everything everyone else does comes so easy — but for me, it’s 100 little jobs in one…I miss never having to count the spoons.”

It’s like Christine took a section out of my journal: “The hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down and not do everything.” I went from being the person who slept 3-6 hours per night, taking a full load of classes, working full time, and attending all my church meetings, to a person who has had to simplify life down to the things that REALLY matter to me.

“Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday?”

Picture of spoon with the words "Don't waste your spoons" engraved on it.

Image from www.ineedmorespoons.com

That’s the thing – having to count my spoons has helped me focus my life on what matters most to me. I have been so blessed to be able to travel the world, be a relief society president, hold a wonderful job at the Church, and even do trail runs. These are miracles and a result of “saving up” untold number of spoons during the months prior.

Do I live life fully? YES.

Do I pack my life full? No.

And, you know, it’s finally working for me. 🙂

I just wish all of my friends, co-workers, potential boyfriends, and fellow church members, could understand that this is why I missed your birthday party or why I can’t come to FHE or why I was able to go on a jog yesterday but I’m at home today in my PJs. And, just know that sometimes, no matter how much I “save up” my spoons, I wake up to a 2-spoon-day and I have to cancel all of my plans. And I’m sad that that means I can’t be with you today.

Like I said, I live in prevention mode now. I am constantly saving up my spoons so I never run out. As a result, I very rarely have seizures now! (Yippee!!) Honestly, I don’t know if this disorder will eventually disappear (my vote!) or stick around for a while more – but I can LIVE my life now, so I don’t really mind. 🙂

This lifestyle that seemed like an impossible way to live six years ago, enables me to live life to the fullest and do things many people never have the opportunity to do. And when it flares up and things get bumpy again, I just hope that whoever may be thinking, “but she doesn’t look sick” or “why didn’t she come to my party?” might read this and understand.

So, yeah, I sacrifice going to a mission reunion so that I can (hopefully) make it to a meeting for my calling the next day. I sacrifice partying late with friends so that I can use my spoons on a hike the next morning to reach my exercise goals.

But know that when I DO spend time with you, you’re WORTH EVERY SPOON.

I’m so grateful to Christina for finding the perfect way to describe this! Feel free to comment below or share your experiences with the Spoon Theory.

Destiny

Oh, and I found this great  meme that shows what I looked like when I read her article this morning… 🙂

Read Christina’s Full Article Here >>

Picture of Disney's Tangled princess looking towards us in awe with the words written above, "When you first read the spoon theory."

Image from @chronicillnessmemes on Pinterest

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WALK for Deaf College Students on July 11th!‏

It’s our 2nd annual Virtual 5k for Deaf Dreamers! 

Deaf Virtual 5k for The Deaf Dream

[I sent out this Deaf Dream newsletter this morning:]
Choose a spot near your home where you can walk on JULY 11th to support deaf college students in developing nations.

DEGREES = DREAMS

$5 – 10 pays for a week of college for our deaf students. We have two deaf dreamers from Zimbabwe and Ghana waiting for their chance to go to university and become leaders in their communities. Please consider donating.

GOAL: $500 in donations = One college semester

I totally understand that not all of you are able to sponsor financially, but please walk on July 11th and take a photo / video to show your support. Invite your family and friends to join you. Post it on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram with the hashtag#deaf to spread the word!

GOAL: Help #deaf to trend on social media!

We need your help to make this event a success. Reply to this email to let us know where you’re located!

Thank you for all you do and your continued donations.

Destiny
Founder, The Deaf Dream

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Miracles are Happening in Turkey!

In the summer of 2013, I had the amazing opportunity to live in Istanbul for a few months.

Destiny Yarbro living in Istanbul, Turkey. Holding Ramazan bread for Ramadan.

Holding the delicious bread for Ramazan.

The LDS branch [congregation] was made up of converted orthodox Christians, Muslims, and others which brought such a unique and sweet spirit to our little group!

Each Sunday the branch president would stand up and say “We’re going to build a temple in Turkey!” and then discuss ways we can reach that goal. The Church is very young in Turkey – only since 2011 – and I loved the enthusiasm of their goal! There were only four missionaries while I was there – and they could not proselyte but could only teach member referrals – but I hear the number of missionaries has grown since I’ve been there.

Elder Christofferson with Branch President Cakir in Istanbul, Turkey. LDS Church Growth in Turkey. Destiny Yarbro experience in Turkey. New mission in Istanbul.

Elder Christofferson and our branch president during the Apostle’s visit to Istanbul.

I found out the greatest news last week: the Church announced the creation of the Central Eurasian Missionwith headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey! I am flipping out – SO excited especially because I can only imagine the immense joy the Saints there must have had to hear about this huge step forward in the growth of the Church. This new mission will also include members in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. How awesome is that!?!

New LDS mission in Istanbul, Turkey as well as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Deaf World Travel.

While in Istanbul, I spent the majority of my time living with Mine, the Relief Society president. She was an incredibly strong member of the Church who welcomed me with open arms. Her spirit changed my life and I cannot wait to see her again! We made so many memories together, including a ferry trip up the Bosphorus my last day in the country. I love the people there with my whole heart and the amazing missionaries who were so strong in their desires to bring the gospel (and who let me tag along for some of the most amazing missionary lessons of my life).

I am sure that they are thrilled over this news. It signifies a change in the building of Zion in Turkey. Miracles are happening in Turkey! And I know that one day, sooner or later, there WILL be a temple in Istanbul!

LDS Church in Istanbul. Destiny Yarbro. VIKTYO. Scott Gemmell Blog.

There are about 400 members in Turkey and four congregations. The gospel was first taught in Turkey in 1850 and a mission was established in 1884 but in the early 20th century, the mission was closed. More Information Here >>

VIKTYO - work in Istanbul Turkey. LDS employment opportunities. Destiny Yarbro.

If you have any desire to live in Istanbul and serve in the branch – I worked with VIKTYO – a small company that finds international employment opportunities for people wanting to move abroad. Email my good friend Scott, at scottgemmell@viktyo.com, for more information about moving to Turkey.

Read about my time in Turkey here >>

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19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts

Hermione: "Feels strange to be going home, doesn't it?"

Harry: "I'm not going home. Not really."

Harry Potter in the Deaf World; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

1. Just like the world of magic exists alongside the ignorant muggle world,

the Deaf world exists alongside the hearing world.

 Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

 …Often escaping notice until moments like DPN and Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

2. Harry felt alone and misunderstood in his muggle home;

many Deaf feel isolated until the day they find the Deaf world.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

And oh what a glorious moment that is!

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

3. Ron and Malfoy came from wizarding families;

some members of the Deaf community come from generations of Deaf family members and pass down the culture.

 Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

4. Harry and Hermione are raised by muggle families;

many Deaf come from hearing families who know nothing about the Deaf world.

 Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 Check out my HUGE list of Deaf Culture Books >>

5. Wizards have their own lingo, like “muggle,” “snitch,” “apperate” and “expecto patronum;

the Deaf world has its own languages – sign languages – and its own words too, like “CODA” and “deafies”.

 Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

6. Like wands, butterbeer, remembralls, and other uniquely wizard things,

Deaf have flashing doorbells, TTYs and vibrating bed alarm clocks.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

MAGIC!  😉

 

7. Gilderoy Lockhart, Harry, and Viktor Krum are wizard celebrities,

so are Curtis Pride, Marlee Matlin, Matt Hamill, Ashley Fiolek, Braam Jordaan, and Sean Berdy in the Deaf world.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

8. Just like the anticipation of waiting for the letter from Hogwarts,

many Deaf students eagerly wait for their acceptance letter to Gallaudet.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

9. Some say that similar to the battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort,

the debate continues between the Deaf community and audism.*

 
Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

10. Just like Hogwarts, where witches and wizards come to learn magic,

Deaf institutes are where Deaf come to learn their language and culture.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

[And can I just say how much some of the deaf schools look like Hogwarts??] 

 

11. Like divination, potions and charms are studied at Hogwarts,

Deaf students can study the Deaf President Now movement, Deaf poetry, and sign languages from around the world.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

5 BEST Movies About the Deaf World >>

12. Like Harry is eager [unlike most] for school to begin so he can be with people who understand him,

many Deaf students are eager for school to begin so they can be with their Deaf friends.

 Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

13. Hogwarts has dormitories and houses;

most Deaf students reside at the institutes for a majority of the school year.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

[And often cause a bit of trouble while there. 😉 ]

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

14. Just like Harry and his classmates are very passionate about Quidditch,

you ain’t seen Deaf pride until you’ve gone to a Gallaudet football game.

 Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes 

5 BEST books about Deaf Culture >>

15. Like Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Lupin become mentors for the students,

Deaf students often find Deaf role models in their professors…

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

…and many become like family.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

16. Just like at Hogwarts,

drama, excitement, adventures abound at Deaf schools…

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

…and so do rivalries.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

Want to do an online ASL internship for The Deaf Dream? >>

17. Hogwarts was a place of refuge from the harsh world outside,

Deaf institutes can be refuges for many students from the often misunderstanding hearing world around them.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

18. Just like Ron and Hermione,

many Deaf institute students later marry.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

19. But most especially like Hogwarts,

deep and long-lasting friendships are made.

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

 

Did I miss one of the ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts?

Comment below!

Harry Potter in the Deaf World GIFS; 19 Ways the Deaf World is Hogwarts; Deaf World Travel; Destiny Yarbro; Hogwarts = Deaf Institutes

*CHANGE: In the first version I wrote “oralism” but meant audism. My mistake! Audism is the assumption that speaking/lip-reading is better than sign language.

 

ALSO: Check out my post “The Life Cycle of an ASL Student:”

Lady standing in window with poster saying "Angry"

 

Other Viral Posts

10 Deaf Friendly Ways to Travel the World Cheaply >>

8 Reasons to Go on Semester at Sea Study Abroad Program >>

33 Best Books on Deaf Culture >>

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I got the letter that I’ve been waiting on for 2 1/2 years!

Hello Everyone!

I arrived home last night and opened up a letter from the IRS:

VIDEO

Deaf Dream Tax Exempt Facebook Video

Click to Play Video

“Dear Applicant: We’re pleased to tell you we determined you’re exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3. Donors can deduct contributions they make to you…”

After years of waiting, we are now an OFFICIAL non-profit organization! This means that companies and individuals can now donate to The Deaf Dream for tax-exemptions and we can apply for grants. This is a huge step forward for our little organization!

I am so full of gratitude. The Deaf Dream is really taking off right now with our international team growing and meeting monthly, our non-profit status, and many different Deaf Dreamers bringing projects happening in countries from Turkey to the USA to Malaysia. Miracles are happening!

I am so excited, I might burst. This letter was the best Christmas gift ever!

The letter we received from the IRS saying that we have been given 501(c)3 status!

Thank you for your support everyone – watch out world, The Deaf Dream is coming!

Destiny

P.S. If you want updates, sign up for our newsletter – lots of things are happening!

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Update on The Deaf Dream: Challenges and Miracles

We just sent out the latest newsletter from The Deaf Dream. It’s a newsy email so I thought I’d share it here on the blog as well. So many good things happening!

Sign up to get the newsletter yourself. It’s probably a bit easier to read. 🙂

First third of the Dec 2014 Deaf Dream Newsletter Newsletter Dec 2014 - Challenges and Miracles2 Newsletter Dec 2014 - Challenges and Miracles3

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10 Reasons Why Semester at Sea is Worth the Cost

I remember the first time I saw Semester at Sea online. I was absolutely giddy at the thought of living on a ship for months, traveling to 15+ countries, and making global-minded friends.

Then I saw the cost, had a heart-attack, and died – right there in front of my computer.

Okay, so I didn’t die, but the closest thing to it. The average student probably pays somewhere between $25,000 to $30,000 because of the insane tuition costs from the sponsoring university and the individual trips we take in each country.

So, yeah, I closed the website and tried for forget over the next few years that I had ever seen Semester at Sea. When that didn’t work, (surprise, surprise) I looked online again at the program and found the massive amounts of loans, grants and scholarships available to SAS students. I had reached heaven. With divine help, financial aid, and penny pinching, I was able to go on Semester at Sea and meet Deaf worldwide.

Destiny Yarbro meeting an Elderly Woman With Christian Jewelry; Semester at Sea is Worth the Cost

Meeting an Elderly Woman in India

Even with the help, though, I’m still paying off student loans acquired from Semester at Sea. So, the question that comes up time and time again though from friends wanting to do SAS is the following: Is Semester at Sea worth the insane cost?

The answer is absolutely-positively-smackeroni-blowyourmind-ee YES!!!

 

Here are my 10 reasons why Semester at Sea is worth the cost:

1. You can see every mile of your journey.

Most travelers sit on a plane, watching a tiny screen with an airplane flying over a map. With SAS, you get to see EVERY. SINGLE. MILE. (Well, okay, so if you didn’t have to sleep, you could see every single mile.) The point is, anytime, day or night, you can walk out onto a deck and just watch the sea pass. This was a selling point for me – traveling on a plane is too convenient, too time efficient, and too anti-climatic. Nothing beats sailing at sea for days at a time before finally pulling into a port at sunrise, knowing that the next few days will be the best in your life. Nothing.

Semester at Sea's ship, the MV Explorer, docked in Dominia

Docked in Dominica

2. SAS is not just about touring world wonders.

If you only want to see the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall of China, you’d be better off going with a cheap tourist agency. Semester at Sea is not about touring, it’s about traveling. Each country has trips to see world wonders, but they also offer humanitarian trips with a variety of organizations, hikes to natural sites, visits to music and art venues, and the opportunity to meet with each country’s political leaders.

Destiny Yarbro painting at a Ghanaian SOS Children's Village for former child slaves.

Painting at a Ghanaian SOS Children’s Village for former child slaves.

3. You are find yourself in a new location every day.

It’s the craziest feeling to wake up each morning in a completely different part of the world than when you went to sleep. Change is constant. When I got back, it took everything in me to not get bored of being in the same place everyday. I missed seeing the longitude and latitude coordinates change on my cabin TV each minute and seeing what country we were currently passing by.

Pulling out of Mauritius dock; it's rainy and cloudy. The Mauritius flag hanging on a pole from the ship with mountains in the distance.

Leaving the dock at Mauritius

4. “Anything goes” is a prevailing theme.

Where else will you not get a second glance when you 1) shave your head on Neptune day, 2) wake up 60 seconds before class and attend lecture in your pajamas, 3) pay back a debt with rupees, dong, and yen, 4) use the phrase “when we were in Tibet” during a dinner discussion, and 5) wear pants from India, a shirt from Vietnam, bracelets from Ghana, and shoes from Brazil…all at once.

Wearing pants, shirt, bracelet, hat from Vietnam, Cambodia, India, and other places

Exibit A of “Anything Goes”

5. You get to disconnect from technology.

I mean really disconnect – not just freeze your Facebook account for a couple of weeks. Yes, you have computers and such for homework, but what would possess you to spend hours at a computer when you have the sea outside your window, amazingly diverse friends around you, and professors who know tons about everything? It’s worth the cost to find out what it was like to live before the internet age and truly get to know people. When was the last time you had a five hour dinner with friends where not one person had a phone with them?

Many students sitting at a dinner table, signing and chatting with each other. The sea is visible through the ship's windows behind them.

Long, uninterrupted conversations on the ship.

6. Everything seems possible when you live on a ship.

Some of the best memories I have of Semester at Sea are of us sharing with each other our dreams to make a difference in the world. This was a common topic on board. There is something about living on a ship, traveling the circumference of the world, that opens our minds to the possibility of global change. Nothing is shot down, every idea is applauded, because every person on board that ship has already reached an “impossible” dream by being on that ship. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime environment.

Destiny Yarbro sitting in front of the Taj Mahal at dusk wearing an Indian shawl.

Dream Come True: At the Taj at Sunset

7. Semester at Sea is how I saw Tibet.

SAS gives you the opportunity to see and experience things that are hard (or impossible) with other travel options. Tibet is nearly impossible to go to right now with the political turmoil and human rights violations by China, but I was able to go and learn what “Freedom of Speech” really means…or rather, what it means when a people does NOT have it. SAS also gives students the opportunity to go up the Amazon River and through the Panama Canal. They have amazing connections with humanitarian organizations to help students “give back” and they also provide unique trip opportunities like my South Africa elephant-back safaris and rafting a river on the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica.

Destiny Yarbro in front of Patola Palace in Tibet.

Patola Palace, Tibet

7. Everyone needs a safe place when traveling the world.

I’ve said it before, but most people say “How fun!” when I tell them I travel the world. Visiting so many countries at once is not fun sometimes. There is so much pain and suffering in the world that you have to process. There were hard days when returning to the ship was the happiest part of the day. There I was able to cry with my SAS family and process through all that you’ve seen throughout your trip. I can’t imagine traveling from country to country and not having time inbetween to settle my soul before taking on the next set of challenges to my once overly-protected American perspective. Semester at Sea is worth the cost because it gives you time needed to change from the inside out.

Picture of a street in India swarming with people on bikes, rickshaws, and on foot.

A picture I took from the bus as we passed through a poor section of New Delhi: A Sea of Heads

8. You never, ever stop traveling afterwards.

Semester at Sea makes you undeniably addicted to travel. So, if you think about all the money you’ll spend on traveling over a life time, $30,000 doesn’t sound like a lot of money…at least, that’s how I like to look at it. Though, since my Semester at Sea experience, I’ve found dirt cheap ways to travel. But here’s the deal: SAS was the foundation to my traveling career. It gave me a global perspective that is simply not achieved by living in one country or backpacking westernized Europe.

Destiny Yarbro standing on a street in Azores

Standing on a street in Azores. One of the 13 countries I have seen since Semester at Sea.

9. Semester at Sea doesn’t end when you reach your last destination.

Ask the thousands of alumni who have done SAS, the experience changes the course of your entire life. SAS alumni have become world leaders in every area of study. Why? Because SAS is the beginning of a life outside of yourself. There is something about going out and seeing the world as a single entity that makes world change seem feasible. So funding SAS is not just a single semester abroad, but funding your life’s dreams to make a difference.

Discussing Deaf rights with Deaf South Africans.

Discussing Deaf rights with Deaf South Africans.

10. You will gain a new family.

Some of the closest friends…or should I say family…you’ll ever have in your life were on that 590-foot long floating home. Something happens when a group of people are put together in close quarters without viable internet or phones for several months. You see each other in the best of times and the worst of times. You cry together, laugh together, discuss hard topics together, and share in each others’ learning experiences. There is nothing better – this amazing family alone makes Semester at Sea worth the cost.

Group of friends standing in formal clothes on the ship all signing "I Love You"

Some of my SAS Family at the end of the semester.

 

Feel free to check out my posts from each country:

Bahamas                                                   Mauritius                                          Hong Kong

Dominica                                                   India                                                  China

Brazil                                                         Singapore                                          Tibet

Ghana                                                       Vietnam                                             Japan

South Africa                                             Cambodia

 

You might also appreciate my other post: 8 Recommendations for Semester at Sea

Or Buzzfeed’s post: 47 Telltale Signs You Went on Semester at Sea

Support Deaf Around the World

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How to Make a Switched at Birth Episode

Whelp, Switched at Birth is back as of last night.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great having a TV show with Deaf people, culture, and language, but sometimes I feel like I’m wading through swamp of drama…drama…………..DRAMA.

For those of you new (or old) to Switched at Birth, here are all episodes in a nutshell.

Start off with an suspenseful intro hinting that things could go cataclysmically wrong…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Go directly to the opener.

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Opener

Start at one of the myriad of Daphne male interests…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Add a dreamy shot of Emmett just to make the audience sigh happily…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Stick in something ‘Deafy’…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Make sure Bay or Daphne get in a fight with someone…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Don’t forget some oozing drama between the adults…

Switched at Birth Regina Angelo Baby Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

(Between Regina and Angelo, of course.)

Include a moment with Bay and the boy she can’t forget…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Throw in some Bay/Emmett scenes for a “twist”…..that everyone knows is coming.

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Stick in the hint of a fling between married people…

Switched at Birth Kathryn and Lawyer Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Obviously you need a sibling tiff between Daphne and Bay…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode

Add some more Bay/Emmett drama, just in case your audience has forgotten in the last ten seconds that they are “madly in love”.

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Drama

Include Daphne or Bay flipping out about something…

Switched at Birth Daphne Jace Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Drama

Teach the audience a cool sign or two…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Drama

“Magic”

Stick in a slightly controversial Deaf topic…

Switched at Birth Daphne and Emmett Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Drama

Oh, and don’t forget some random dramatic twist that has NOTHING to do with the storyline… (really, guys?)

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Drama

Crack a Deaf/hearing joke…

Switched at Birth Deaf vs. Hearing Joke Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Drama

[Clinks the glass.] “Someone told me this works on you hearies.”

Close with another “Awwwww” moment between Bay and Emmett…

Switched at Birth GIFS Deaf Drama June 2014 Katie Leclerc Vanessa Marano Sean Berdy Lucas Grabeel Marlee Matlin Ryan Lane Constance Marie Lea Thompson How to Make a SAB Episode Drama

And VOILA, you have a Switched at Birth episode!

ASL Online Internships 

The Life of ASL Student                                                       8 Best Deaf Movies

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8 Best Movies about Deaf World

Although not at all a comprehensive list, here are some of the classics that you have to start with when you delve into the Deaf World! For ASL students, this is a good Deaf movie list to start with. They are linked to Amazon so that you can buy or watch online!

10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films 10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films 10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through Deaf Eyes                          In the Land of the Deaf       Children of a Lesser God (Highly Recommend!)                     (French Documentary)         (I’ve only seen edited.)

 

10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films 10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films 10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Nothing in my Ear                              The Hammer                   Sound and Fury

One of my fav. chickflicks 🙂                                                            Intense – don’t watch first! 😉

 

See What I'm Saying, 10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films Heart of Deaf Culture, 10 Best Deaf Movies, 10 Best Movies about Deaf World, Deaf Films, ASL Films

 

 

 

 

 

 

See What I’m Saying:        The HeART of Deaf Culture

Deaf Entertainers              [Links to Dawn Sign Press.]

 

Then if you have enough money to afford Gallaudet Press videos (good luck!), here is a list of more Deaf movies. (Most you can’t buy on Amazon.)

HOW TO MAKE A SWITCHED AT BIRTH EPISODE

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