Seeing in the New Year in Belize among the Deaf community

Posted on February 16, 2012 by VMMissions Staff

On December 31, all of Orange Walk, a tiny village in northern Belize, was preparing for welcoming in the New Year. Lots of people were shopping for food and drinks. The intermittent showers made us wonder if there really would be fireworks put off at midnight.

At 8 p.m., Nancy Marshall’s house became “the place to be” to celebrate the arrival of 2012. Young people arrived and enjoyed the food that Nancy had prepared-fresh tortilla chips with cheese dip, vegetables and pizza. Then the fun began with a game of charades. Deaf people dramatize very well, and soon all were entertained by various antics. Each charade was the name of a movie and there were lots of laughs as it became evident which movie was being described in actions.

Close to midnight, the group went downtown to the center of Orange Walk and the countdown began: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1—Happy New Year! All around fireworks exploded on the ground and in the air! There wasn’t a central location for the fireworks show; everyone put off fireworks as they wanted.

Nancy was concerned that perhaps all the late festivities could keep persons from Jesus’ Deaf Church on Sunday morning. Thankfully, a strong group of Deaf attended the worship service and praised God together for the New Year.



At the New Year’s Eve party with the Jesus’ Deaf Church, Sulmi dramatizes a movie title while Nancy Marshall and Mario observe closely. Photo courtesy of Galen Lehman

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