close-up of Tutulicious Animalz Painting
By Katie Hanczaryk
On Saturday night during the opening ceremony to the 2nd annual 48-hour painting marathon, I found myself so proud I was holding back tears. As a predecessor, I have invested countless hours into the project and have been totally and utterly invested for the past year and a half of my life. So much so, that I have been known to refer to the project as ‘our baby’. Sticking with that analogy, I was thinking about how the whole process has felt somewhat like a birth to me. During the gestation phase, we planned & raised money, threw parties, and raised awareness of the issue. We went to Cambodia, which felt like the pinnacle of the learning experience for me, but it didn’t end there. Now it’s as if I am watching the baby grow, and I am as proud as any Momma would be, of her beautiful, healthy child. In fact, I have never been so proud of my work, and the work the previous NCAS-I team has accomplished.
I remember clearly the conception of this project, Sue asking Meg and I – We are thinking of doing an international service learning component to the Community Art Studio, Are you in?” I remember, after the seed was planted, how patient we were to let the sun shine, and the rain come, before we saw any hint of a sprout. Now, it seems as though that tiny little sprout has turned into a maturing tree and as I watch it grow more and more each day, I am reminded of life cycles, and how a little TLC goes a long way. I am so happy for the next group as they venture on their journey to Cambodia, and how I can’t help but smile knowing how they may feel having been through it all myself.