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