24″ x 18″
Ink on paper
Collection of HATİCE ERÇETİN
When I arrived in Riga, Lativa in June 2013, I was met by the founder’s son of Kristiana David School, Jacob. I was immediately struck by his angelic features on his tall frame. We made arrangements to travel to the central part of the country, Madona. Although we missed the train, a bus was easily boarded and we headed off.
The summer at Kristiana David school was filled with prayer, gardening, cleaning and growing as a person. I didn’t know if I could be a role model for the children, some who have no parents. There were days when I thought I made the wrong decision to spend the summer there. Maybe I was too selfish to follow the structure of the day. Wake up at 9:00am, working until lunch, rest, work until around 6:pm. But, I wanted to help in any way I could, so I did my best.
The day I left was emotional. By that time, I had became so close to the beautiful people there. I loved the girls, Manta and Madera. We would do things together when not working, like gathering mushrooms in the forest. We laughed, danced and they tried really hard to speak in English to me. It was hard to say goodbye.
In the end, I feel like this was one of the most successful adventures of my life. Latvia is an amazing country and the people I met will always be in my heart.
“At a Crossroad”
12″ x 20″
watercolor and ink
Collection of Kristiana David School
One beautiful morning, I saw some of my students outside soaking up the sun and doing what they do best. Painting and enjoying the rare warm weather. Talent is omnipresent here amongst the Turks. The students were so kind and shared a cup of tea and their breakfast with me.
I remembered a little story my mother told me recently. It seems that I have always had this adventurous spirit. She said when I was about three or four years old, I decided to go to a convenience store by myself. To get there, I had to cross a very busy street and once again on the way back. The memory is cloudy, however, I do remember wanting to go buy some candy. When my mother realized that I had done this, she marched me back to the store. She asked the man if I had been there earlier. Of course, he said I had. Looking back, this marked the beginning of my daring globe-trotting adventures.
“Little One All Alone”
ink on paper
Collection of Amanda Threadgill
Yesterday was the sacrificing of the animals and today, the meat was delivered to people as gifts. Not being much of a meat eater myself, the others here were happy to have it. The butcher downstairs grounded the meat and we made meatballs. My Japanese friend Erica made the rice. I must say, the meat was the tastiest I have ever had!
LOVE, PEACE AND COMPASSION to all human beings!