Semester at Sea in GIFs

Three years ago I started the journey of a lifetime. And here’s for all of you fellow SAS-ers out there. ūüôā

Barefoot Whispers

Finding the words to describe a four-month around-the-world-on-a-floating-university experience is often hard. And also, expressing things in GIFs is so much fun, so here you go.

How you feel when the ship sets sail for the very first time:

(You’re going to have that song stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.)

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DEAF and ASL Online Internships

The day our interns started their internships for The Deaf Dream last year, I cried…a lot.

Since May 2012, I had been running as hard as possible to start a small non-profit organization. Amazing people have helped along the way–Elizabeth, Carol, John, Matt, Tory, Austin and my incredible family . But I never seemed to be able to do enough; never seemed to have enough energy to support the dreams of the amazing Deaf Dreamers I’ve met worldwide.

So when I sat down to my computer on the first day, opened up the TeamWorkPM program, and saw all the work that had been completed by the interns while I had been out, I cried and said gratitude prayers to my Heavenly Father. What an overwhelming feeling to realize we had finally reached the point where I could pass the baton to other dreamers like me!

The Deaf Dream is growing like crazy, built by the volunteer efforts of so many!

The Deaf Dream has online volunteer ASL internships for Deaf and hearing. As of January 2014, there are approximately 45 interns raising awareness and funds for Deaf Dreamers around the globe.

And we get more applications nearly everyday.                                APPLY HERE

The Deaf Dream Internships Deaf and Hearing ASL Student Interns Volunteer Online Internships

What many don’t realize is that these internships can be done by anyone! We have many high school students who have committed to just 1 hour/week. We have older interns who have extra time at home now that their kids are grown. Some are fluent in ASL, some are ASL students. We have interns from the Netherlands, Australia and Canada. They write blog posts, create YouTube videos, find Deaf Dreamers worldwide and raise funds. The most incredible part is that these interns are volunteers–taking time out of their busy schedules to go outside their own little worlds¬†and make a difference. I am stunned by the goodness of people in this world! [Learn more about Deaf Dream Internships HERE.]

The Deaf Dream


Trouble With ASL, Student, Class, Deaf Culture Problems, Spying on People GIFFrench architecture in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

Sibel, Hanife, Me, and Iskender together on a street at Taksim.


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How do European Locals Travel Cheaply?

YOUR DREAM: Travel Europe with Nothing but a Backpack

However, like most travelers, your pocket book is tight. How can the locals afford to travel Europe?

At the start of my summer in Europe, I planned on using planes and trains, just like every other backpacker. However, I asked locals how they travel without paying a fortune and this is what I learned:

Trains are over-rated.

Sure, it sounds nice to get a¬†Eurail¬†pass and hop around from country to country but it costs a fortune, especially if you‚Äôre in Europe in the summer time. If you plan ahead a bit…


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Outside My Own Little World

[By Matthew West]


In my own little world it hardly ever rains

I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe

I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet

In my own little world: population = me.


I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church

I throw a twenty in the plate but I never give ’til it hurts

And I turn off the news when I don’t like what I see

It’s easy to do when its population = me.


What if there’s a bigger picture?

What if I’m missing out?

What if there’s a greater purpose?

I could be living right now

Outside my own little world.


Stopped till the red light, looked out my window

I saw a cardboard sign said, “Help this homeless widow”

And just above that sign was the face of a human

I thought to myself, “God, what have I been doing?”


So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye

Oh, how many times have I just passed her by?

I gave her some money then I drove on through

And my own little world reached population = two.


What if there’s a bigger picture?

What if I’m missing out?

What if there’s a greater purpose?

I could be living right now

Outside my own little world.


Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours

Give me open hands and open doors

Put Your light in my eyes and let me see

That my own little world is not about me.


What if there’s a bigger picture?

What if I’m missing out?

What if there’s a greater purpose?

That I could be living right now.


I don’t wanna miss what matters

I wanna be reaching out

Show me the greater purpose

So I can start living right now

Outside my own little world.

My Own Little World Music Video

I don’t often use other’s words to express my feelings, but this song touched me deeply. This life is about so much more than staying in our “own little worlds”. It’s about going out, making a difference, and pushing for others’ dreams more than our own.

How grateful I am to have examples all around me of people putting aside the cares of this world for the hopes of the next. How grateful I am to meet wonderful people that grow the population of “my own little world” to more than just me. How grateful I am for the opportunity to grow The Deaf Dream, a project that I know is being guided and helped along by the divine.¬†

Want to make a difference?

Become an Intern at The Deaf Dream

Pay for 1 Week of College for $5

Take Part in The Deaf Dream

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The Interpreter was Fake? Hallelujah!

I hate to admit it, but I am kind of grateful to Thamsanqa Jantjie. Call me crazy, but he has done something for (to?) the Deaf community that seemed unattainable last week: He unconsciously brought Deaf rights to the world stage.

When else have the eyes of the world, hearing eyes most especially, been on the global Deaf community? Sure, sometimes deafness pops up in the news here and there with a publicized murder or Switched at Birth or Miss America Heather Whitestone, but this is surely one of the first times (second only to DPN) that the ENTIRE world has seen Deaf for who they are: human beings deserving the basic right of communication.

“Communication apartheid”, as stated by Braam Jordaan, was made evident at the Mandela Memorial this week. Cathy Heffernan¬†pointed out that “poor quality sign language interpreting is a common problem.”¬†The divide between hearing and Deaf worlds has been disclosed. How exciting is that?!?

I am saddened by the fact that Nelson Mandela’s memorial was tainted by this so called interpreter. However, I have a feeling that Mandela wouldn’t mind that his funeral marked the advent of social change for Deaf. What do you think?

Same Old Oppression             Thank You Mr. Mandela!          Life Cycle of an ASL Student

Just for fun, a friend of mine posted this and I thought it was hilarious. ūüôā

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Thank You Mr. Mandela

In my rush to write about the fake interpreter yesterday, I failed to express my gratitude for a great man. He truly was a symbol to the world that oppression will not last.

I think of Nelson Mandela as more than a name, as more than a South African. I’ve been to South Africa and saw Robbin Island from the coast. I read his account and saw him as an imperfect man with big dreams stuck in a tiny cell. He made social change step-by-step with no fancy connections and no trust fund. He’s not some YouTube sensation that became popular because enough he got a lot of views. He’s not a celebrity that helps orphans with a small percentage of his income. For most of his life he was a nobody, a criminal.¬†He spent a lifetime making a difference in the smallest of ways. I doubt he ever thought millions of people would watch his memorial when he sat, stuck in his 8X7 ft prison cell.

So, thank you Mr. Mandela. Thank you for showing the world that oppression is limited, that evil has an expiration date. And, yes, thank you for even letting your memorial be the source of social change for Deaf worldwide.


This is a beautiful poem by a Deaf South African in South African Sign Language:

Mandela’s Memorial: Same Old Oppression

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Mandela Memorial Interpreter: The Same Old Oppression

I figure I should make my opinion known while the earth’s eyes are open to the Deaf world for a moment. A fake interpreter reveals a deeper, darker problem in the world at large: Deaf are still oppressed.

The Deaf Dream

Destiny Yarbro

Founder & CEO

In the tumult of this week’s news, many may wonder why a fake interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was such a big deal. After all, the memorial wasn’t for Deaf people, it was for Mandela. Right?


Why did millions, perhaps even billions, tune in to watch the memorial this week? Nelson Mandela wasn’t just a good South African. He was a symbol to the world. He represented FREEDOM. Freedom from OPPRESSION.

How ironic, then, that a fake interpreter would attend.


The thing is, Deaf are very familiar with oppression. We have been fighting an apartheid of our own.¬†Braam Jordaan from the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section, was the one to ask for an ‚Äúend [to] communication Apartheid‚ÄĚ. [Read more here.]


So when a fake interpreter stood before a worldwide audience and made up gestures, he was saying…

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