showing off the new tattoos (angry birds bandaids)The shots were over before I knew it, and so was the pouring rain outside. The only part that dragged was the traffic on the Interstate. But even the traffic turned into a fortunate accident. When I left to take an alternate route home and got lost, I found an art supply store. Knowing that my girlfriend is in Africa, opening a school that could use more supplies, I asked the store owner for help. She helpfully offered plenty of stickers, cards, and other goodies that might eventually make their way into eager kids' hands. It's what I think of as searching for a meaning behind a messy situation :) Only once I was leaving did I remember to ask for directions! Other than that, I also took up a spontaneous offer to volunteer at a small, annual gathering of families. I messed around with a bunch of kids under 5-the highlight may have been fulfilling a few wishes in getting them to slam dunk a tiny basketball with a little lift. I also spoke to an East African family about my work in South Africa. One of them impacted me significantly when he told me that, as an immigrant from East Africa, he would go back to his home country and not bat an eye at a kid without shoes on the street--that used to BE him. But when a child of his extended family went to the country and saw the same thing, she was moved to give the person the running shoes off of her feet; as a teenager, her dream is to return and help those kids. He said that this girl spoke at a fundraising party for those kids, and brought home to him the poor conditions that he had became used to.
Speaking of fundraising parties--I wonder what I will say to my friends and everyone who will be at my fundraising and farewell dinner. I will definitely show them a video! Today begins the video messaging I am doing directly with students. They sent me a message today and I have to respond to it, a very awesome icebreaker to have!
Tricia and Elaine say Hi!I have a lot of reasons to want to be doing this work, but perhaps the decisive reason that I am so excited about Imagine Scholar are the videos, pictures and even blog posts where I can get to know the students I'll be working with. These are personal, and they are real. Without knowing what exactly I am getting into, the students' energy and potential seeps across the computer screen. That is what motivates me to make a difference in the world in this way.