Life Stories

Earlier this year I was invited to be trained as a positive role model with a hearing impairment.

I was quite chuffed!
It turned out to be one of the deepest learning experiences I have ever undertaken. I heard stories from 7 other individuals, from all walks of life, with various types of deafness or hearing impairment. We listened to each other’s stories over the weekend during training.
I was reminded how much my hearing impairment makes me who I am. And I must stress this is not a bad thing.

  • Things I love about being deaf:
  • Silence. Anywhere, anytime!
  • The intensity of my relationships and friendships. When communication takes effort, it is valued and spent wisely. If I consider you a friend, you will know because I make the effort to connect far beyond the level of acquaintances.
  • Not hearing lectures well at uni forced me to learn from textbooks. I’m currently knee deep in knowledge on tropical gardening, off grid living and solar power setups. I actually read textbooks for fun. This is incredibly useful at times.
  • I think having a disability has opened my eyes to uniqueness as a beautiful thing.
These are just some of the things…
Hearing tests have become mandatory for newborns in Australia. As a result, many parents are learning much earlier that their child has a hearing impairment. Our group of role models are available for such parents (and the children) for support and questions.
I was not diagnosed with my hearing loss (moderate/profound) until I was 9 years old! It was quite a shock. I will leave the details for a later post, but suffice to say, I would have really benefited from such a support service had there been one at the time.
Because we are leaving Brisbane (the program is QLD funded) obviously I won’t be available for direct contact. But I’m going to start posting in the context of a hearing impaired person for the benefit of any parents who may be reading. I’ll be posting stories of my early experiences surrounding my hearing loss and how I managed it to become the man I am today.

Looking Forward

I’m looking forward to:

  • Lying in a hammock after eating 2 coconuts, contentment.
  • Feeling that exhausted satisfaction that can only come from a good days hard work.
  • Looking out over a healthy rice field that I have helped to create.
  • Feeding myself and my family with a meal that we have grown completely.
  • Showing Myles how to feed the chickens.
  • Building a Home with Julian.
  • Waking up with the sun and the roosters.
  • Taking food that I have grown to Nanay, Kuya and his family.
  • Putting a duckling in Myles’ lap.
  • Selling our food at the local markets.


Been doing a lot of reading lately. Mostly on sustainable agriculture.

What would happen if all the smart uni graduates became farmers?
From what I understand, the majority of farmers follow a monoculture (one giant crop) method of farming. This situation rarely happens in nature. Usually you have all sorts of different species, flora and fauna living together in any given space. As a result a lot of effort is required to keep a monoculture healthy and yielding.
The idea of permaculture is to put things together that require each other. Instead of seeing chickens and corn for example, you need to examine all the different interactions between the chickens and the corn plant.

  • The chicken pecking at insects (good)
  • The chicken digging up small corn plants (bad)
  • The chicken manure fertilizing the corn crop (good) as well as many others
By viewing a system in terms of partnerships and interactions between elements, the system requires less external input and work, existing primarily on the energy of the sun. It would be super exciting to create a mini ecosystem that provided for us and required no additional inputs other than maintenance. It would be like a perpetual motion machine driven by solar power!
One of my colleagues at work was remarked that they could not do what I was doing because they would get bored from not using their brain enough.
I wonder if I will be able to keep myself busy enough to stay stimulated?