Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Art Attack

We have just finished the school holidays, which, at Buguruni, is for two weeks. However, there are still around 50 children who stay at the school; this is for several reasons including the children having no home to go to as they are orphans, their homes are too far away, their families are too poor to have them home or they are not wanted at home.  I found this quite sad but what made it even worse is that some of the children who do go home don’t want to as they cannot communicate with their families and feel totally isolated. For them Buguruni is their home and their family.

Of course, you can’t stay sad about stuff for long around here as the children soon put a smile back on your face. On the Monday an artist came to the school to create a project with the children who were left here. (This was arranged by Mama Alison and was a great success!) Miguel, the artist, firstly asked the children to draw some pictures of things that reminded them of Dar es Salaam or the school. It was great we had pictures ranging from planes to giraffes, houses to fruit, fish to people. I was extra pleased with the children’s drawing as I had to act as the interpreter and I was very worried that my signing skills were so bad they would all end up drawing something totally random! He then picked the 12 best and the children took it in turns to paint the pictures on the big canvas. Whilst they were waiting they were able to draw more pictures which they seemed to be content with doing for hours. Maybe it shows how rarely they get to draw and colour.

The end product was brightly coloured, interesting and overall brilliant. The kids were really proud as was Miguel. We are hopefully going to hang it in the dining hall which at the moment has nothing on the walls at all. I gave out blue tac to the children who wanted to stick their pencil drawings by their beds. After tiding up two of the girls were desperate to show me their beds with the new addition of the pictures. Honestly, it is the first time I got teary eyed in front of the kids. I found it incredibly touching that they were so proud of a simple drawing. The children sleep in dorms of 40 in bunk beds, each bed has a locker next to it, inside the locker is ALL their belongings including clothes. All the beds are the same; all the lockers are the same. They don’t have little things by their beds like a toy, a photograph or a poster, nothing to show their individuality, their personality. Now they have a small picture that they drew stuck in their area, what a little thing that makes a big difference. Even the boys had stuck theirs up on the wall. It is a shame I can’t put pictures up to show what I am trying to explain in a very long winded way!!

Alisa, I am definitely going to ask my Dad to write his own blog, I think it would be awesome, we could get a whole family one going, Hadley’s what do you think? The tan is getting there, don’t worry fellow bridesmaids you won’t have to be wearing white t-shirts underneath, Jessi I didn’t ask the nuns about the whole topless bathing, they have got such funny senses of humours I reckon they would probably say yes! And no Bec I am not dressing as a Nun- do you know how hot it is here? Further sightings of the monkey, he seems to be quite a friendly chap. Love to you all, by the way I’m over half way through. xxxxxxx


  1. Oh Chazzer bird! This is so amazing!!! I hope you didn't draw anything as an example, that would have confused them greatly =p
    Sounds like you a contributing to so many little positive changes in their lives. They are lucky little tikes to have you around. I am glad that the first time you teared up in front of the kiddies was happy tears.
    Just something I don't think your other bridesmaids may have mentioned...with the weather we have been having you may not be the only one contemplating a white t shirt...even Jess herself may need one if she hasn't been careful, I have seen a few lobsters around Newbury!
    Over half way through! WHOOP! Although it is incredibly selfish of me to want you home, you are missed so much xxx
    P.S. A daddy Hadley blog sounds fabulous!

  2. Ohh my darling girl...this post really did bring tears to my eyes. I can imagine the children so very proud of their drawings and having them on show in 'their space' how wonderful to be part of the moment.

    How lovely to be able to interpret for Miguel it certainly sounds as if you got it right. I would imagine it was just as much a buzz for him as it was for the children.

    Dads comments sound popular, it is quite a performance I have a job to not knock him of the chair and write it myself to see him searching for ages for a letter just to have to search along the rows for the next one, it takes him ages and then to get it to post ..well that's another story.

    Over half way through how quickly it has gone by those little kiddiwinkles will miss you when you have to leave.......

    Take care, speak soon
    Bye for now
    Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. hey mushy. that was a quite emotional blog. but im glad they liked what they drew, i hope you didnt try and do any art, we all know what that ends up looking like. and thats fantastic obviously. i have sent you a faceyb message if you havent seen it already. mucho loves smelly. Becky! lewis (from uni) is over he says hello, but he didnt cry at ur blog, hes cold hearted.

  4. Hi Charlotte,great to read your last blogs,everything seems very positive and upbeat,the days seem to be flying by,what a good resuilt with the art classes.Dave(Willow Trust)has bought Tug,good job your`re back before the fishing season starts to reclaim your car!Liz W.T.is following your blogs must finish Mum off to bed after sending this Ciren.tomorrow.Take care love from Dad xxxxxxxx

  5. Wow Charlie, you got Keith on the computer! he'll be doing touch typing classes next, I must give jen a ring to see if she is managing to follow your blogs, and tell Rod to have a look too via his day lady.
    Big hugs
    Mart & Harry

  6. Hi Charlie, that's wonderful stuff, I'm sure the children will remember this art class for many years, it sounds like it's had such a positive impact on their lives and will help with their confidence too.

  7. Hello my lovely...
    So good to hear from you. It was getting a bit quiet on the blog for a while and I was wondering if that monkey had gobbled you up!
    It sounds like you're doing an amazing job. It was very touching to hear the story of the pictures on the dorm walls. I hope the children get the chance to do more artwork at a later date, it would be such a good tribute to all your fab work if you could return to see their walls plastered in pictures.
    There's not much to tell her. It is BOILING though - I'm very concerned that all the Easter eggs are going to melt! Tom and I are off to Tim and Jess's for Easter Monday - we'll definitely be giving a toast to you and all your hard work. So proud of you, you're definitely the better third of Chaysica!
    Lots of love...
    Faye x

  8. Katie, Mary and Ruby25 April 2011 at 04:14

    Hey Chazer,
    I am sat in Mary's front room with Mary and Ruby and have just read your blog aloud. Mary and I love hearing what your up to. You are a professional blogger and should take up travel writing as a career me thinks. Imagine that travel around for a job. Ruby cannot wait to meet you and you will have to come round for cuddles as soon as your back.
    I was most pleased to here you are making friends with the monkey. Maybe by the end of your trip he will follow you round and you could be the new Aladdin and Apoo.
    I can't believe they have such plain bedrooms and was touching to hear about the injection of personality in the bunks.
    Well, Just to keep you up to date. Mary has decided to get married in April next year and Verity has decided to get married in June next year so 2012 will be the year of weddings. But not mine!
    Missing you.