We spent our last work day in Kenneth Gardens this week. Although we first arrived there only a short two weeks ago, it quickly became a home base for this program. We got to know many members of the community, including several incredibly inspiring and amazing individuals. We listened to the stories of their lives, struggles, hopes and dreams. We ate lunch there in the shade on sunny afternoons and played with the children at the playground. We have learned so much about the Kenneth Gardens residents and their unique community. Our perspectives have changed dramatically since our first day in the community when we were asked to take pictures for the PhotoVoice project that reflect our feelings as an insider/outsider.
We accomplished the tasks we set out to complete, but leaving Kenneth Gardens is bittersweet. I have a greater appreciation for their challenges and feel enriched by their ability to persevere and stay positive. I feel united with Kenneth Gardens and closer to occupying the “space in between” than being an outsider. I will miss working there, speaking with the residents and learning from them. I wish the best for this dynamic community and that I could be present to witness some of the positive changes I hope are soon to come.