Chris and Malik first met when they were matched in January, through Mentor Duluth’s match process. The two have had a lively and active match since that day. “We play basketball together, cook mediocre dinners, take my dog to obedience school, work in the garden, we’ve gone camping twice, rock climbing, board games, free concerts at Bayfront Park, went to a play at the playhouse, and visited Glensheen Mansion once. Malik has really gotten me out into Duluth!” Said Chris
The two have both picked up new hobbies and interests since being matched. “We’ve introduced each other to new food groups—I introduced Malik to pita, hummus, and falafel and he showed me that dandelions are edible.” Stated Chris. “He has introduced me to lots of his friends, let me experience the fidget spinner phenomenon, revamped the preset stations on my car radio, and he made sure that we learned how to make DIY ‘bath bombs’ for Mother’s Day. While camping, Malik successfully started a fire with a fire steel and birch bark.”
Their most memorable moment came when they drove to Sandstone to do some rock climbing. It was Malik’s first time climbing outdoors, and he was hesitant about the whole thing. He was convinced that he was just going to climb up about 5 feet and come right back down and be done. Nevertheless, he put on a harness and started climbing. With a little encouragement, he climbed higher and higher and before long he was at the very top. Of course it was “no big deal” by the time he was back on the ground, but Chris was very proud of him.
Chris also said, “as you can tell, I’ve asked Malik to do a random assortment of new things. It’s almost never the same. Whenever I call him up and say, “Hey, do you want to do ____________?” he is always ready to go. He has taken every new opportunity I’ve offered him, even if it’s way outside his comfort zone.”