Brno, Czech Republic
Anna practices for a dramatic monolog she will deliver at the Brno Deaf church later this evening.
While people gather and greet one another at the small, storefront church, Laura, 4, center, sits in Andre's lap and signs the storyline from a comic book. Andre is her mother's fiance. He and Linka (see Jan. 20 post) will marry this summer. It will be her second marriage.
Both Jana, left, and Anna, right, broke a wrist while slipping on the ice this week. The weather is bitter and the sidewalks treacherous — and not just from ice — the church is on the ragged edge of Brno in an area known for pickpockets, thugs and prostitutes.
Anna's presentation is well received. She holds the audience's rap attention ...
... generating questions and spirited discussion. Some among the congregation are Roma (Gypsy). They are marginalized for more than just being Deaf. Gypsys are not recognized as citizens of the Czech Republic. They are unable to hold passports, forced to live in substandard housing, their children relegated to inferior schools, even though their families have lived here for generations.
Photographs taken with a Canon 5D Mark II