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I found pictures of me in the last issue of the Slovak Heritage Live and I was happily surprised. I am cooperating with Mr. Linder for several years-videotaping the festivals for him. We met at a folklore festival in Cerenany in 1996 and since then I am receiving and reading every issue of SHL newsletter. The greatest paradox is that from SHL I am finding for the first time about many cultural happenings and historic sights in my own country.

Thanks to our cooperation I got to know Slovak Folklore Life, and felled in love with songs and traditions of many regions of Slovakia, visited places, wooden churches, gothic churches, their altars and frescoes, ruins of castles, manor houses, historic sites and towns, museums, skanzens... I have been to places that are unknown to most of my friends. I began to look at the world with sensitive eyes. To see beauty in nature, history, traditions and human faces. 

For everything that I mentioned and the time spent with you, I thank you, Vladimir.

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My profession is upbringing and education of persons requiring special personal care. I worked at institutions with mentally and physically challenged children. At the present time I am a teacher at Special Care Individual school in Novaky near Prievidza, where I was born. I am teaching and upbringing mentally handicapped and socially retarded children. These children have heavy and hard life destiny. Many times their own parents prepare it. The little girl on the picture with me is very nice, affectionate, modest, and grateful for every hug. She was born to a single mother and her older brother was helping her during the delivery. He is also a student in our school.

I love my work very much. I will never forget one immobile boy, who when I was leaving for a half a year for another assignment to drug dependent children as therapist who told me: "Why is it you that have to go?"

I agree with saying that to care for handicapped children is not a job it is a mission.

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I have no idea how you in North America approach the education and upbringing of handicapped children. I would be happy to exchange my experiences, eventually I could also work for some time at one of your institutions to gain experience or just to read about experiences of people that take care of mentally handicapped child.

Yours Truly,

Mgr. Iveta Vanova



Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 7, No. 4, Winter 1999
Copyright Vladimir Linder 1999 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.