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The Magic of Learning

The magic of learning becomes more tangible when students relate an experience to their learning life. During their Sophomore Religion class Service Retreat Raquel Camacho and Yasmine Dudum did just that!

The girls had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at the St. Anthony's Senior Center in San Francisco. Their chance meeting with "Beatriz" presented them a unique moment to connect with one of the seniors. The bonus for them came when their communication unfolded in Spanish, a language both girls are learning here at Mercy! Talk about bringing their verbs and vocabulary to life!

"We met a nice lady named Beatriz who had had a stroke earlier in her life. Because of this she had great difficulty speaking," said Raquel. The girls were told that Beatriz's native language is Spanish. "And we were interested in knowing where she was from, but she couldn't tell us," added Yasmine. Naturally the girls moved easily into conversation in Spanish. Beatriz lit up with a smile at hearing these young girls reaching out in her native language. Every effort to speak failed her, so our girls found a solution – give Beatriz paper and pencil, and so they asked her to write her country...and naturally, they asked in Spanish!. Raquel remembered learning somewhere that the right hand is dominant, but noticed that Beatriz was mostly paralyzed due to her stroke. Beatriz continued trying to write, but to no avail. Suddenly, while looking into their inspiring eyes, she finally managed her verbal thought, blurting, GUATEMALA! Raquel and Yasmine hugged her in recognition of her efforts and her success. Truly they witnessed the power of caring and the power of language!

Photo: Yasmine Dudum and Raque Camacho l retelling the story to Kristen Dudum