Being a teenager is tough enough, without being the only deaf teenager in the school, unable to join in class discussions or raise your hand and ask a question, missing at least fifty percent of what the teacher is saying, having only one specially trained teacher dropping in once every week or two and being expected to catch up to a adequate level.
The Miskito people of Honduras's legendary Mosquito Coast aren't being endangered by any infectious outbreak. They are being killed and left paralysed in their thousands because of the demand for affordable luxury in the US and Europe. Ever since multinational seafood suppliers started exporting Caribbean spiny lobster on an industrial scale, lobsters disappeared from the shallows. The divers now plunge as deep as 150ft, 12-15 times in day, scrambling on the sea bed for their catch with basic and often faulty equipment. With no air or depth gauge, they have no way of knowing how far they are diving, and can only tell if their tank is running low when it becomes difficult to breathe.
The frantic call from the lookout comes at 6am: a few hundred members of the security forces and the dreaded shabiha militia, dressed in black, wielding guns and clubs, are marching towards the safe house in which we are hiding. They are raiding homes, looking for defected soldiers, opposition activists and anyone who's been at a protest. That means nearly half the town of Madaya. And we happen to be with three of the most wanted men in Syria.