The usual bustle in the kitchen any restaurant The world is reduced in the Vietnamese place "Bread of Life" (Bread of life) to the orphan bustling of the "wok" amid the remarkable silence of its deaf-mute cooks.
The 19 stove masters are deaf-mute and gesticulate relentlessly to communicate while sautéing vegetables, frying meat, kneading dough, or making sauces.
When they arrive, many of them are very shy, they are not used to talking to people and it is the first time that they work, says Hô Thi Phuong Thao, a lame Vietnamese young woman who has been in charge of the store since it opened in 2005.But after a year they gain confidence and they are very happy. Even couples have formed, adds the girl with a mischievous smile.
Cook Nguyen Thi Li NaThe 26-year-old blushes when Thao asks her in sign language about her boyfriend, a deaf-mute cook whom she fell in love with two years ago and with whom she plans to marry in the coming months.
The fiancée replies that one of the aspects she most appreciates about her current job is the contact with clients, mostly tourists or foreign residents, since the restaurant It specializes in western dishes, such as hamburgers and pizza.
When we have time we show tourists some signs. They like it a lot and we do too. Before working here I hardly had any contact with anyone except my family. It was challenging to meet different people and make new friends, says the woman.
Waiters and managers, almost all of them with normal hearing, have had to learn sign language in order to communicate with cooks.
It took me barely a month to understand myself in a basic way with them. Too easy. I try to learn more by pointing to the new signs every day, says Thao.
Cook Na did have a grasp of sign language before starting work on the restaurantBut other colleagues of his had to learn it on site with the help of a teacher.
Now it is the veterans who teach the language to the new ones, says Thao.
American Kathleen Huff and her husband Bob founded this project in Danang city.
We wanted to help them, but also to show the Vietnamese what deaf people are capable of. They are intelligent and can learn many trades, but very few have a employment in Vietnam, Kathleen says.
The Huff couple has also launched professional training courses and English classes for DisabledBecause restaurant it can only accommodate a small part of the region's deaf-mutes.
According to Kathleen, 80 percent of deaf Vietnamese are illiterate, and many of them don't even know about sign language, especially those who live in rural areas.
Although there are 85 schools for the deaf and dumb in Vietnam, the American believes that it is insufficient and stresses that many families have not even heard of these specialized centers.
Many go a few years to mainstream school, but drop out soon because they can't keep up. It normally takes them two years to pass the course, so at 18 they would be in fifth grade, Kahtleen explains. The objective of 'Bread of life' is to make deaf and dumb masters their destiny, adds the woman.
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