Over the last few wonderful days at the Cura community school and home (orphanange), we had the opportunity to visit the classroooms for reading sessions and then we facilitated physical education activities with equipment that was brought from the US. There were balls, hackey sacks, jump ropes, activity dice, and a parachute. All of the 200+ students were able to have a turn at all of these activities so they could learn how to use the equipment in our absence. The children were elated with excitement and the teachers seemed excited about the equipment as well.
I was using the activity dice with the students. They would come to an area of the playfield to meet me and I would review the instructions of how to play. There were two large fabric dice: one with numbers on it; the other had instructions of what activity they should do (ex: jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups, one foot hop, etc...) The children would toss the two dice and we would do the activity as many times as the number dice landed on. It was sooo fun to teach them what a jumping jack was, how to do a sit up, how to do a push up! They were so excited to learn and then play the game! The smiles and giggles were never ending and, quite frankly, neither did I. On a side note - my abs are killing me, my triceps are yelling, and my hamstrings are reminding me of how I could probably be in better shape:) Once our visit to the school ended, we went to the home. I was able to meet the founder of the home and learn more about the accomplishments that have been made and the goals of the future. It's pretty amazing how this home is creating a self-sustaining community. They have chickens for eggs, hens for food, corn (maize), potatoes, kale, squash, bannanas, and bee farms. A cow was given to the home and it's the source of milk for all 50 children! Truly amazing.
I had a very amazing group time with some of the children of the home that lasted a long time, but that I didn't ever want to end. We sat on the ground together on the red soil dusted with grass. The kids were putting their fingers through my hair, rubbing my arms, touching my face, holding my hands, making as much contact as possible as we talked. They wanted to know about airplanes and how the toilet could possibly work, they wanted to know if I had stars where I lived, they wanted to know about my family, so I showed them photo's from my journal! They absolutely loved seeing the photos. They wanted to know where Washington was so I made a map out of sticks and showed them where I lived. They were so interested in everything! I had several little girls tell me they loved me and I could help but say "I love you too!, I'm so lucky to be here with you". To drive away from those children breaks your heart. It doesn't break your heart because they are in a bad place, but because you see the desire they have to make a close connection with you - to feel a bond. What they may not know is that all they have to do is look at you and we're hooked:) There is a little girl who greets and hugs me consistantly and her name is Minette - yes, sounds like Linette! We have fun sharing our names to eachother:)
Today was our last visit to the school so they sent us farewell with a musical performance that was wonderful, bright and full of energy and pride for thier culture! Evan took video while I photographed, so I have a copy to see again and again.
More of today, but less wordy: Banana farm visit, bee farm visit. We took an inventory of things needed for the home kitchen and went and bought almost everything on the list - plates, spoons, cooking pots, pitchers, and lots, lots, more. Sadly, the biggest and most immediate need is mattresses for the wooden cots that the children sleep on (on which they sleep). Hopfully, we can manage to do something to help fund that necessity in the future!! So much more to say, so many adjectives to be used! I could spend all day sharing what an amazing trip this is for me:)
I know this is really long, but there's so much to say, all the time, and at this moment, I have the time!