Friday, 28 February 2014
Random act of kindness
Dear readers, if you are still out there.... Blogging has come to a complete standstill it seems. I don´t know why but it looks like inspiration has gone on a long holiday. Yes I did make some small items and probably will show you at some point but what I wanted to share today is something completely different!
I have been participating in a Photo - A - Day challenge for over a year now, although from January this year I have not been posting every day, I still am very much intending to do a photo a day.
Within this group of people there is a lady who has a daughter who happens to have Autism. She started the PAD journey to see if she could get here daughter to open up a bit and looking for a way to express the creativity of this little girl Delilah who sees the world in another way then most of us do.
Her mum Jennifer did a great job of showing and telling all of us what Delilah´s thoughts were on the daily prompts. Living in New York there is a lot going on to be taking pictures of!
One day Delilah lost her favorite doll Clawdeen, a Monster High figure, in the park and she was very upset about it and so it came through in the daily pictures.
There was a lady in Australia who thought it would be nice to sent her a new doll, maybe visit some friends in Australia, make some pictures to show Delilah were Clawdeen had been during her time away and returned on her birthday 26th of February.
This little idea turned into a world wide journey for Clawdeen and a blog to keep track of her many adventures, everyone who had Clawdeen over made a little story for Delilah to go with the pictures. There were a lot of people very happy to have Clawdeen over for a visit and sent her to the next person who would do the same. It soon turned out that there were more dolls needed to keep up with the many requests. Jennifer asked me to have Clawdeen over for a visit too, since there are not many people from Spain in this group, and so I became involved in this amazing journey.
Because of mail issues in our little village and because I was taking a trip to Holland to visit family I decided to buy a doll myself and take pictures as well as is Amsterdam as in Spain.
In this 2 months time that this project started and finished there was a lot of messages on a Facebook page called "He there Delilah!" this is a closed group so unfortunately I can´t link you over there but is was sort of the adult version of the stories and what went on behind the scenes.
Many people were having get togethers and did a lot of traveling to be a part of this.
For me it was sharing the fact that the doll fell into the river in Amsterdam and my brother and I had to work really hard to get her out of the water before she would sink to far!! Embarrassing to say the least, but it was really windy and I just did not realize for a minute she would be swept into the water. Maybe because she had become sort of a person that had her own mind, likes and dislikes, I don´t know....
Because I had no idea what these dolls were, I just ordered a Clawdeen on the internet and had her delivered in Amsterdam. It turns out I bought a howling version, she has a little switch on her back that makes a howling sound and lift up her arms while doing so. After her dive into the icy river she stopped the howling, we thought.... But after having her on the radiator to dry she started howling without the switch, just random, 4 times in a row! Then be quiet for an hour and then all of a sudden she would start up again, I had to remove the batteries because it was making me restless!
Or that time I was on the plane back to Spain and sat next to a middle aged couple that did not match, you know when you sometimes see 2 people together and you just think to yourself, how?, why? well it was that kind of couple.
I had to take pictures of her sitting on the plane right? So when I did I saw him peeping over his news paper and her looking at me, in that way when you do when you see a grown person taking pictures of a barbie like doll.... So nervously I quickly explained what I was doing and who it was for. He then said to me, " ooohhh yes you see that sometimes, people taking pictures of little bears on the street, something like that?!" so I mumbled "yes, something like that...not" And then he went on to his reading and she whispered " I understand, I love my teddy bears too!!!!
There were a few volunteers that organized the traveling schedule in Europe, Canada, Australia and someone who started the blog without any experience what so ever!
Donations had to be made to keep the doll moving through the mail and in New York on time. Random people were writing airlines to ask if they would take the doll overseas ( all declined) Mattel, the maker of these dolls did send in a messages saying that Clawdeen was excused at Monster High due to traveling and that it would be ok for her to come back in 2 months!
Someone notified an organization in New York called Autism speaks and they invited the family to come and celebrate Delilah´s birthday.
Because all of us were very excited for Delilah to be reunited with her doll we got an explanation from people who work with these kids that it could well be that Delilah had completely forgotten about the doll and would show no interest in it what so ever!
As you may know, or not know, I do not have kids and have no experience with Autisme what so ever so that was really a good thing to be prepared for, and I realized the pressure on her mum Jennifer was enormous! For her little girl to be as excited as the rest of us were! So I was prepared to see Delilah not being impressed by it in any way, but to know that we all had so much fun doing this!
And so Clawdeen´s journey has come to an end and Delilah was very excited for her friend to be returned as you can see in the video on their site.
Well, the journey is not really over because the blog has over a 100 entries that Jennifer has to read to Delilah each night. So there are still people taking pictures and making stories to go on the blog!
It has been a very moving experience for me, and a lot of others! It was so much fun and to share and read the stories of others all around the world has been a bit of an eye opener and restored my faith in humanity with just one reward, to see the smile on that little girls face! So happy to be have been a part of this!