andrewknapp andrewknapp

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Andrew Knapp  be here now

I can tell Momo has been on a lot of walks because he's so ______.

Yesterday we were welcomed to San Marcos, Nicaragua with the beat of drums filling the streets. The kids and teenagers marching turned out to be the orphans at the residence we were on our way to visit. These youth from the streets and without parents are given food, shelter, a place to learn and a beautiful space to grow. I watched and photographed as Mark and Manny driven with kindness and generosity cut and styled their hair and played with them. I got pulled into a world of curiosity as they peered into my lens and lugged my heavy camera and took photos.

We identify ourselves with the virtues and vices in other people. Every voice that stands up for love against hate and ignorance is an echo of a role model that we've witnessed in our own lives. But in times when hate crimes dominate the airwaves, we can remind ourselves and our youth that these are examples of how not to be, characteristics that ultimately would make our lives more difficult if they happened to us, as they can and too often do. And we can turn to the people in our lives and the leaders in our world that exemplify who to model ourselves after, what it means to be compassionate, and how to initiate and facilitate fierce resistance.

Our lives are filled with opportunities to identify the characteristics in people that we should and shouldn't echo. I did an exercise recently and listed the role models in my life that led to my successes and my failures, and had I persisted, the list would have been essentially a list of everyone I've ever met. Sure, there were some more obvious mentors and friends and eccentric people that guided both my good and bad choices. And we can't forget that we're always as easily influenced as we are an influence to others.

I don't speak the same language as the orphans we met yesterday, and their upbringing is a world different than mine was. But it's certain that time spent with them is indispensable, and the lessons they taught me invaluable. I'm grateful for and inspired by the work that ProNica does with these women and children, and for the invitation Mark generously extended to me. These new friends are examples of role models in my life.

I'm saying ciao to this sunbeam and the smoky Vancouver light for a few days as I'm heading out to Managua, Nicaragua. I was invited out there by the amazing @markbustos, who writes: "It is one of the poorest cities and countries in the Western Hemisphere where about 25% of the population are struggling to make a living with less than USD $1 a day. Some women are sucked into prostitution because they are not left with many other options to make ends meet." I'll be capturing Mark and @mannymakeshair as they share their time at a tiny beauty school whose purpose is to empower women transitioning out of prosititution to learn a trade and create a beautiful living in the beauty industry.

I'm excited because I've never been to Central America, I'm excited because this is an experience that will be so unlike my day to day life, and when Mark invited me I immediately knew it would be a challenge to my work and also to my life experience. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to experience another beam of light where it truly is needed.

Took a walk down the alley west of Main St while I had a few hours to spare, @vanmuralfest has taken over and it's reminding me how incredible and hard working the artists and organizers are. I definitely recommend taking a walk if you're in Vancouver and meeting some artists, or finding a mural festival near you (*cough* @upherefestival is August 18-20 *cough).

Don't forget about hope. That fickle little glimmer on the horizon that offers us a bit more direction and momentum in the moment.

Careful on a boat, it'll tug on your heartstrings. ⚓️

I'm curious and have a question for you: what would you do if you suddenly had hundreds of thousands of people watching and listening to you? What would you say? Would you have fun? Or take it as a responsibility or opportunity to make a change? There are no wrong answers - I'm just very curious to hear your perspectives on this.
Total candour: I remember when I had joined Instagram and saw the opportunity to grow an audience. I never thought it was a possibility for me, but I remember considering: if I had managed to gain a following of a hundred thousand or more, that I would probably want to do something daring, try new unexpected things and be absurd. But now that I'm here I can't remember exactly what I thought I wanted to do. So wether it's a goal of yours or not: what would you do with an extensive reach? And those friends and followers who already have a broad reach: do you remember your plans before your audience grew?

Sunrise dip in Cat Lake. 😽
Shot for a photo contest going on now on Momo's Facebook page.

Find Momo in Squamish! #findmomomonday

Summer weekends.

Here’s Ella. She’s one of the rescues at the shelter where we spent time with dogs and alpacas. @HyundaiUSA asked me to accompany a slew of incredible people to take some photos as they dropped off a large donation and spent time with the animals. I was excited to work with Hyundai on this project to share what they’re doing. It’s nice to align with businesses that strive to make things better. #NewSonata #ad

I hope you have a friend you can laugh non-stop with. Would you take a canoe with them and accidentally get way too close to a cargo ship? 🚢
This is Elaine and she is my friend and I put my smile muscles to good use every time we catch up. (Life jacket removed for photo plz practice water safety.)

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