Window curtains of a bus in South Korea.

Leroy is one of many incredible students I’ve been able to keep in touch with though social media sites like Facebook. He attended Open Doors, Guyana’s national vocational training center for persons with disabilities, while I was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer there.

Leroy impressed me from the moment we met. His confidence, good looks, personality and sense of humor definitely distract from his inability to see. Leroy is blind. But, that didn’t stop him from being one of the best performers in class. And that doesn't stop him from experiencing amazing opportunities such as traveling to the United States from South America.

Like several of his former classmates, Leroy is a role model for his peers. He’s an advocate and supporter, and has helped push for laws that will ensure equal rights for persons living with disabilities in Guyana. He’s even worked at Guyana’s National Communications Network (NCN), and loves to play cricket too.

Leroy often checks in and wants to chat with me. I wish I had more time to reply to all his messages, questions and requests. I try my best. I know he understands.

Today he asked, “What are you currently seeing out the windows of that bus? Would be great to know.”

I had the blinds closed, so I couldn’t see anything at that moment. But, I told him about the trees, the mountains, and the rice paddies I was sure were passing by. After awhile it hit me. I take so many things for granted. I constantly close the blinds on the beauty of life passing by.

Leroy may not be able to see, but he’s opened my eyes with his positive outlook on life. He constantly makes me think. Even while I’m traveling across South Korea on a bus, he pushes me to perceive things differently.

Open your eyes to see the beauty surrounding you. Don’t close the blinds, but look out the window. Sometimes it takes someone who seemingly can't see to get us to notice what’s been there all along. I’m so thankful for Leroy, and his presence in my life.