When I was a teenager, I helped my great-grandmother once a week after school. One day, she revealed a WWII-era memoir written by her sister Hope.
Hope was born in 1903 on a mountain in New Hampshire. In her 20s and 30s she embarked on long journeys to live and teach in places like Alaska and the Philippines. However, as she was residing in Manila at the start of WWII, Japanese soldiers invaded the islands, and she was sent to an internment camp, where she dedicated her time to organizing a school and teaching the children.
Like Hope, I also became a teacher, and I seized opportunities to teach in countries as far from my small hometown as possible. Over a span of nine years, I lived in three countries, studied four languages (and failed at three of them), and encountered so many people who flipped my worldview upside down. In these new environments, I felt free to experiment and take risks.
In times of difficulty, I often thought about Hope’s memoir, and eventually, I traveled to Manila, where our stories converge. Finding Hope is a graphic memoir about self-discovery, finding purpose in life, and connecting with our heroes from the past.
Sarah Shaw is an artist, illustrator and art educator. She's originally from Southern Maine, but currently teaches Art & Design in Kathmandu, Nepal. She graduated from Pratt Institute in 2010, and has lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea and Cartagena, Colombia. Her work is mainly inspired by traveling and living abroad, often focusing on the daily lives of people and their environments. Besides art and storytelling, her interests include: trekking, yoga and reading.