When I made plans to come here to the Live Different Academy, I didn’t have any idea what it would be like. So far, it has been one surprise after another. The things I know that have proven useful are not what I expected to use. At Oasis, an after-school program for kids, I have been able to embrace my love of art and share it with the children. One of the teachers there invited me to do art lessons with the kids and I jumped at the chance. Art is something I love so much because it is a great way to express yourself and it can never be wrong. Art is an interpretation of who the artist is. Above all else, my hope is that the children will take that lesson with them.

Oasis was also looking for someone to do some artwork for the walls. Again, I readily volunteered. The sketches are in progress and I am determined to get them painted and up on the walls before my time here comes to a close.

Then, there is New Beginnings. This is a place I knew I wanted to be a part of the first time we visited. It was described as a women’s shelter to us, but it’s easy to see Dorothy really goes above and beyond to make it a home for the women who live there. Dorothy’s created such a welcoming environment. I have been lucky enough to be able to teach some of the women how to knit, which I enjoy very much. To me, it was just a hobby I was taught when I was eight years old because I was bored. To these women, however, it could be a life skill, a new way to make clothing and other necessities for them and their children. It is very cool to be able to pass that on. 

To be past the half-way point of this trip is unbelievable. I cannot even begin to imagine what will come next, but I know I am looking forward to it!

 

–Written by Melissa Cunning

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