If a woman was running the Inspiration Center she would have rung my neck last Saturday! Thank goodness Moses just walks in, casually glances at the huge mess we made and then sits back like its nothing new! Ha. These kids had a blast and I love it because this day is my excuse to make a huge mess on purpose! Whoa we truly did too- paper mache balloons with 13 children in the first class and 15 in the second class. They are getting used to the routine we have in class, which is great to see their own increase in comfortably in class as they fall into the comfortable routine of class each week.
This week I through them for a loop when I announced making a sculpture out of newspaper and balloons! I told that eventually this sculpture will become a mask- after we paper mache, let it dry, pop the balloon, cut the shape in half, form facial features on the mask and finally paint it. Yes, this is going to be an ongoing project. But as we discussed what a mask is and why people use masks I challenged the kids to apply the idea of a mask to themselves. Who they know themselves to be on the inside verses what others see on the outside. I passed out papers and had them to write “I am…” and to make a list of all that came to mind. Then they turned this around and I asked them to write “I want to be…” and had them write another list as they brainstormed their hopes for the future. At the end of this activity some kids were begging to stand up and read theirs- so we did, and they were so good! The kids read their statements with such pride and enthusiasm that I felt like they were given a deeper sense of encouragement and hope during the class just through that exercise.
After this we got messy! I spread the plastic cloth and then had them mix the flour and water together, rip paper, and blow balloons in preparation. We spread out the bowls so everyone could reach and I let them loose, which was the fun part really… I just sat back and watched them enjoy themselves, exploring the medium: newspaper, flour-water goop, and a big round balloon. The floor was full of flour-water lakes that got bigger and bigger as they worked. As I snapped pictures they were holding up the balloons to get a phone saying “66 Chapatis!” (the Kenyan version of “say cheese!”) and as they held up their balloons they were showering the people underneath with drops of goop!
After each class was through we had major clean up and had to wash the whole place down twice with brooms, buckets, rags, ect. But again these children amaze me at not only their attentiveness to learning and their ability to absorb what is taught but also their eager enthusiasm to help me with some of the less exciting tasks, like cleaning the gross floor. Yet even cleanup becomes a game when you turn up the music!