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By Kashish Kukreja, YES 2016-2017, Pakistan, hosted by Ayusa in San Antonio, TX

Have you ever wondered what life may be like for someone who is blind? I always thought it was very difficult for a blind person to live their life without experiencing colors in this world that is filled with so many colors. However, after meeting Fatima Zahra El Adraoui, a YES student from Morocco who is blind, I realized that my assumptions of what life may be like for a blind person were wrong.

Volunteering my time for my fellow YES student from Morocco was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Her life is not colorless, but is actually even more colorful than ours. She creates her own shapes, colors, and patterns in life that only she can see. We went to SeaWorld San Antonio and watched the dolphin and whale shows there. Her host father explained to her the movements of the sea creatures by moving her hand, creating an invisible visual for her in the sky. Seeing this was truly amazing. I tried to explain to her the movements of dolphins by verbally describing their actions. It was at that moment that I wondered, "how does she even know what a dolphin looks like or how the water appears?" Then I learned that you have to use your imagination to see beyond what the eyes can't see.  

This was such an amazing learning experience. I couldn't have asked for a better volunteer opportunity.


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