Easter Baskets

Amanda Hawks - Brazil


April 5, 2017

In my last few months of being in my host community I have found myself more busy than I found myself the entire time I had been at APAE (my apprenticeship working with people who have disabilities). Every year APAE has a project selling Easter Baskets for everyone in my community, and almost everyone I've talked to has known about the Easter Baskets.

 I, however, found myself with the unique experience of being able to work behind the scenes on this project. It was not what I would call super hard or grueling work, but it took a lot of time and detail to make the baskets. The process started with newspapers that we would roll into what looked like giant newspaper sticks, before somehow gluing them, and painting then in a way that made them look like super cool baskets. The process ended when we hand cut over 600 bunnies, as well as noses, paws and carrots.

I was responsible for cutting at least a fourth of all of this, as well as the time that I spent putting everything together and decorating the bunny. So I could say that a lot of work went into this project that by the end I was just so disillusioned, until I looked at the wall that was filled with at least 50 fully made baskets.

The baskets were so cute, but I was more excited because I thought about all the work that was put into them. Every basket was unique because so many different people had put so much work into so many different aspects of it ane the result was that every one of these baskets were filled with the creative energy of so many people.

This resonated with me because what I was really seeing when I looked at that wall was diversity, and diversity in a way that I never expected to see it. The main reason that I went on my gap year was because I wanted to experience diversity on levels that I felt I had missed because of the community that I had grown up in, but looking at this wall I saw so much diversity but it wasn't in the way I had considered diversity. This wasn't just diversity of color, sexuality and gender, which is what I had always seen as the main aspects of diversity, but instead it was about a difference in personality and creative energy. The result of that was seeing something physical that was beautifully made, and really allowed me to take a step back and say that this was truly what my experience had been about, and I was lucky to see such a physical representation of it. 

Amanda Hawks