In parts two and three, I talked about my impressions of China as well as the Chinese village I stayed at. My goals were to provide excellent art projects and a mural. And yes, there was a friend called Adversity that I met. This friend was responsible for giving me challenges, such as learning to squat in the bathroom, driving on the back of a scooter with one of my volunteers every morning to the local town bathhouse to take a hot shower. Eating a lot of unique Chinese food. Most were good, some not as much. But what really turned my world was the fact I got sick again. My voice became a whisper and I was coughing heavily. I felt cursed in a way, I needed my voice to help communicate and instruct for the projects.
However, the volunteers really helped me out. Brought some food and helped with my lessons. When you’re sick, it’s hard not to feel so miserable, but I also reminded myself to keep my chin up and make the best of the situation. It was also so cold most of my time there, I mean like a Russian coldspell. I don’t do so well in the cold, and it made my health worse. But my saving grace was to do a mural. I can let my mind and spirit embrace the the art instead of my health.
I came up with the basic design and concept. I wanted to bring the village to the world, have the children represented well and highlight the landscape. During my stay, I had many different ideas and each passing day brought some more clarity what I wanted my mural to look like. I wanted the students to participate too. And so they did, along with the volunteers. It was important that everyone wanted to get involved. This mural was on a part of the school wall too, and I wanted to use the red edges as “bookends” to a great story of a mural.
The mural turned out great, better than I expected. The kids and staff had a great time doing this. Makes me feel good that I could help do something like this in a remote part of the world where the arts barely exists. I just wanted to do something great for a community of people I’ve grown to enjoy and appreciate very much.