Gina Rizzo Bishop

The Birth of a Blog


My voice on the internet really sprouted within a dream…

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In 2009 I was living in North Eastern Pennsylvania, with my partner at the time, and we saw the movie Slumdog Millionaire. To put it simply… the visual illustrations of impoverished children in India shocked my system. It wasn’t just a deep compassion that was felt but, a sincere longing to be of positive influence in the world, in some way. Perhaps it was me consciously “becoming the change I wished to see in the world”

Whatever it was that sparked this “thing” inside of me- it was something felt with deep closeness- a personal revelation of sorts. I knew that whatever I was about to dream up, and embark on, would inevitably change my world. The aftermath of that single movie had a profound and long lasting effect on me- and, one that I had not anticipated. It hit home in a way few things had done in my adulthood. For me, it was as if I was a child again, returning home with a “knowing” that where I was about to go, was where I was always meant to be…

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At the time, I was teaching dance and had been doing so, to children, for 7 years in and around the Los Angeles area. Because of my performance background I had participated in over a dozen benefit performances, by the time I was 12 and already knew that the performing arts had the potential to be of great benefit – on so many levels. In working with so many children, I was starting to recognize just how blessed I was as a child. I had a very supportive family that provided me a world of opportunities to express myself. Because of this, I felt a deep seeded motivation to return the favor to children who may have been born into less desirable circumstances. A few years prior, I transformed choreography work I was doing with the local middle school into an effective charity event. Promoting performing arts as a way to also contribute to other meaningful causes…

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And, doing so with hundreds of local Burbank, Ca children who were eager to dance for a cause and truly understood our motto “Dance to Inspire, Not to Impress”. In “Gina-Land” I had already begun taking steps to bridge my two worlds…  Giving back while furthering my involvement in the performing arts and providing a platform for children who expressed a similar desire…

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But, what occurred to me (after seeing that movie) was a longing to teach elsewhere… to volunteer abroad, bringing music and dance to children i felt could use it as, possibly a way to cope or more imperatively, a way of life. I awoke the next morning with what can only be described as a “great clarity”. Oddly enough, my desire was not to go to India but, South Africa. I had never been outside the United States and going to Africa was never really at the forefront of my mind… until it was.

And…what became of that movie, and a restless night of sleep, was a dream… to go to this unknown place, work with kids and experience life abroad.  Oh, and delve into the business of finding a way to make it my reality… which i was determined to do. But, to no surprise, I was enthusiastically met with “How ?” and “Why?” by loudmouthed skeptics, or “raisins left a bit too long in the sun” as I sometimes refer to them, those that seemingly creep out of the woodwork at the slightest mention of a “dream”. Call me an idealist, if you must, but I knew this would not be a “dream deferred”. It was my intuition speaking to me and… I could all but taste it.

And so, I returned to Los Angeles with one goal in mind, to get myself to South Africa- any way, any how. And, exactly one year later I did just that…

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So, How did I do it? Well…  I married WordPress and we gave birth to a blog. A blog that allowed me the space to clearly express my desire and intent. It enabled others into my world, allowing my dream to go “public” and what became of it was surreal…

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At first, navigating my unfamiliar way through the blog-o-sphere wasn’t easy. The Capricorn in me found it challenging to put myself out there in such a vulnerable way, while my Aquarius side couldn’t help but stay focused on a feeling that the universe was on my side. Along with an incredibly supportive family and… a little voice inside my heart that echoed the words of my mother, who taught me an invaluable lesson, “Ask and you shall receive”. So, I did. And, she was right!

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Because, of this blog I was able to my make my way to South Africa and spend nearly 2 months teaching English and offering free Dance Classes to the Street Kids project at Sinethemba Youth Development Center in Knysna, South Africa…

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As well as, to children at the Dorothy Broster Orphanage…

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It was most certainly a dream come true. And, I did every single bit of fundraising through WordPress and Paypal. For one year I posted updates on my efforts, information about the volunteer program I was linked with and continued to put my vision out into the world. I poured myself into this effort and it was extremely close to my heart. I am indebted to this blog, its followers and visitors, and feel a deep sense of gratitude to all of the above.

After a beautiful 2009 volunteer trip to South Africa, I spent an incredible 8 months of 2011 traveling both South East Asia & Bali teaching children and blogging my way through another adventure! Needless to say…I was bitten by both the blog and travel bugs. Four years later, I continue to do both of them because… i really fucking like them. They are both incredible sources of personal expression, expansion and total enjoyment. So… That’s the romantic story of how (and why) i started blogging. And that’s all she wrote… for now 😉

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