Tackling the stutter barrier in Bogotá, Colombia
Wednesday, April the 4th seemed to be a normal day for most people in the world, but it wasn’t for three of those people, not for three courageous ones, not for three of many people who stutter. It was a cold afternoon in Bogota, the clocked marked 7 PM, a sea of thoughts burst in the head of these three new students. A new stage in their life was about to start.
Three new students (two with an overt stutter and one with a covert stutter) with ages from 19 to 34 years, all men, two of them travelled from afar (Chile and Ecuador) to start the war against their eternal adversary, their stutter. Likewise, 4 graduates came back to strengthen their techniques and also to be a support in the process of the new students.
The first day started with an introductory talk into the programme from the course instructor and it ended with the testimony of each one of the new students, there were calls and readings out loud, everything that usually terrifies us. It was one of the first actions of courage from each new student.
The second day, was pretty profitable and exhausting at the same time to everyone in the room, nevertheless, at the end of the day the new students managed to master the given weapons and they acquired their first tools to take control of their stutter.
On the night of the third day, the new students did their first phone calls to McGuire graduates from Latin America and to their family members, feelings of joy and pride filled the room in that moment, they finally managed to control what once controlled them, their stutter.
The fourth day we had several family members from the new students and from graduates, this was the fastest and most entertaining day, the new students mastered more and more their techniques, little by little they felt more confident about themselves and their abilities, they managed to tame very well their stutter and that could only mean one thing: it was time to face the real world. They accepted the challenge and completed their task in the best way, Bogota was witness of the public speeches and the new beginning of these three warriors.
The family and friends session was very emotional, everyone who once saw us cry due to this difficulty was present. The closing ceremony was even more moving, they decided to belong in a community that fights together for the same ideal. The course ended in that moment, in the beginning of their new road towards freedom.
Congratulations to all the new graduates! I wish a lot of perseverance and courage to you, there’s still a long way to go.
Victor Manuel Macias