As we continue to face the unknown, our connections inspire us to move forward. Our newest blog series, "More Connected Than Ever 2.0," is designed to deepen our connections so that we are all able to remain flexible and positive this summer.
Our first posts in this blog series will show "A Day in the Life" for several people who are a part of the Vista community by sharing key pieces of a typical day for our students, members and staff.
Throughout the current COVID-19 crisis, members of our Engage program have continued to thrive. This long-term program provides supports to nearly 100 households up and down the Connecticut shoreline communities in which we live and work. Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with a few of these members to discuss what a typical day is like in their home. We hope you enjoy...
This summer is like no other and the idea of a typical day is perhaps a bit harder to imagine. Yet, Vista members are continuing to adapt and find positive ways to appreciate each other and experience the summer. At "Seaside," the home of Vista Engage members Steven, Yan Qin, Andrew, Sarah and Alex, you can see these roommates being resilient during not so typical times.
The Vista residents of Seaside enjoying their day
It was a Thursday afternoon and members of the household were spending time inside, cooling off from the hot summer sun while Alex and Sarah prepared lunch. Andrew attended to their furry friend, Roxy (pictured above), and Yan Qin watched her favorite sitcom on her tablet. The group soon gathered together again for lunch and festivities as they were celebrating Steven's birthday. Following lunch, and after receiving a handmade birthday card, Steven cut the cake while the group gathered for a mouth-watering slice.
Steven cutting his birthday cake
While eating cake, the friends discussed some of the ordinary but impactful moments in recent times. With the rise of COVID-19, typical tasks such as cooking with and for each other and merely hanging out have become much more meaningful for Alex and Sarah. Since the pandemic, the two have exercised caution by practicing social distancing, but continue to do what they each love...cooking. Sarah shared, "I love being able to cook for myself and others; even more, I enjoy cooking with my roommates."
Sarah preparing a meal for herself and her roommates
Sarah's roommate, Andrew, is thrilled to have roommates that like to cook. As they sat together, he joked, "I need to keep working on my skills in the kitchen, but I'm an expert when it comes to the microwave." The entire house filled up with laughs. Andrew, a Vista Engage member for many years, has his own passion...a love for animals. Andrew loves spending time with animals, particularly dogs, and is a volunteer with the Valley Shore Animal Welfare League. When at Valley Shore, Andrew takes care of dogs by walking, feeding, and bathing them. Last year, he became certified for dog CPR from the Pet Health Academy. Coronavirus has caused Andrew to temporarily suspend his volunteering, but that has not lessened his passion. Andrew explained, "I'm happy to support something significant...the care and well-being for animals."
Yan Qin, an Engage member for about ten years, has been looking forward to her virtual art classes each week with Vista's Art Program Coordinator, Samantha. "Art is the way I like to express myself and it's fun," Yan Qin stated. She appreciates getting to develop her artistic abilities while exploring approaches like painting, sketching, and drawing.
This typical day shared amongst roommates – during not so typical times – is a prime example of how Vista Engage members are staying connected and finding the bright side of things, making the best of each day...a concept which we all are wise to emulate...