Appreciating Our Artists!

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We thanked our dedicated volunteers by giving them a fun day, spent in a park outside the city, called Paradise Lost. This trip was both a way to reward our team for the great job they did in Kibera and also build unity and a bond as they prepared for another week of art camp in Kawangware Slum. One of my goals for these two camps was to solidify a strong group of artists who will work together now and into the future, three times per year, rotating into different slums during the school holidays.

The day we set out for our “Fun Day” was rainy and gross-looking. I went to Uchumi, the nearby grocery store and ordered twenty sandwiches and grabbed drinks, all the while wondering how are outdoor outing idea would work in the rain. Once I dragged my santa clause load of food to the Center for Transforming Mission in Kibera I found the group just finishing up breakfast together and we headed out the door!

We traveled outside the busy city to a much quieter area. Paradise Lost is a jewel of a place- with waterfalls, boats to ride, and camel to ride, and caves to explore. None of the artists had ever been here before and so our rainy “Fun Day” turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for the team to have fun together. We did everything as a group… first boating, then waterfall and cave exploring, and finally camel rides. Breaking for lunch in the middle of our activities, I found out that few of the artists had ever eaten a sandwich before and were skeptical and intrigued by my lunch selection and were surprised that there was no ugali or sakuma.

As the day came to a close, we gathered under a pavilion by the lake, as it began to rain, and played group games. I was impressed by the enthusiastic participation by each member of the group, and was encouraged by the team spirit that was so evident in all that we did that day. The artists really deserved this small appreciation because of the hard work that they had put forth and even though traffic was horrendous on our way back home that night, we all were refreshed by the day and got closer with other team members.

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