I have been going to the Art Club gatherings on Monday and Wednesday nights at the Gold Mines Foundation and today I actually went all by myself! ACK- I will become independent after all!! Anyways I am really enjoying getting to talk with the people there- all of whom have grown up in the Kibera Slum and are now around my age and grappling with possibilities of going to college. For 3 months the Art Club has concentrated on learning to bead jewelry so this is what they have taught me the past 2 times I’ve gone and to my surprise most of the people beading are guys, only a few women- I would have guessed opposite.
Anyways so these people just show up, gathering in one small room with a mat and pillows and beads and string in the center. We just all sit together and bead and it is a great way to talk with these people. They are so nice, O my goodness, the guys that have been showing me how to bead these complex bracelets are such genuinely kind and sincere individuals that you would question when they say they live in the ghetto- that gives one the impression of somebody callous and tough which is not the case. They have aspirations of going for higher education to college or university yet say that in order to go you need a sponsor to support you financially because it is expensive and these young people do not have that kind of money or the network necessary to give them this opportunity.
Next week they will start a new 3 month art session which Daniel and I have been recruited to “teach” (more like facilitate, really). Anyways we are doing painting and I am really looking forward to continuing to get to know these men and women better. I am honestly intrigued by the contrast of a gentle heart against the harsh reality of the slum.