Friday, November 27, 2009

150 Young Artists

Wednesday morning was the first art workshop in Kediba, a very very long way from Lui! Darius was our intrepid driver, steering an old Toyota landcruiser over 35 miles of dirt road with potholes that made all of us gasp. We were greeted in Kediba, as at every school and church, with gracious Sudanese hospitality - tea, bread, mangoes, fish, chicken, and beef. The children sat in the church on benches of long poles, and balanced cardboard pieces which served as easels. They had never seen colored pencils, let alone colored pencils that turned into water color with a simple swipe of a brush. At first they didn't pick them up, but looked at them and counted them and wondered over them. Then they started drawing village life in Sudan - chickens, houses, the church, scorpions, flowers, and trees. In the days following we have seen images of a python, Adam and Eve, a bird eating millet, a fish swimming in a river, a man hunting with a bow and arrow, books, and mountains. The creativity is just astounding, and some of them are naturally gifted and talented.. It is truly a humbling experience to see them delight in their work, and heartbreaking when they look at me with big beautiful eyes and give me their finished pictures. Yet everyone we have met wants us to take their story back to the United States. It could not have happened without the team work of so many - Marc, who is documenting the whole project and each child, Sam who passes out supplies with the aplomb of a veteran school principal, and Evelyn, a gifted teacher. Our translator Stephen Dokolo was at one time the headmaster of a school and manages to encourage, keep order, and make children laugh in the process. It has been an exhausting five days, starting with an extra flight to Minneapolis instead of proceeding directly to Detroit, but so exhilarating! (After I typed the last sentence the computer said "hibernating", and shut off, much to my dismay - but thanks to Dan Handschy troubleshooting this has been saved. One among many things to be thankful for!) More later when I'm not falling over exhausted, and love to all.


bfelice said...

We can't wait to share in the artwork and stories of life in Lui. Thank you all for this wonderful work.


Anonymous said...

We thought of you a great deal yesterday. I'll bet you did not have the traditional American Thanksgiving fare. Nevertheless, your measure of wonder and gratitude comes through to us clearly. We offered many thoughts and prayers in great thanksgiving for you and your mission. Children and art - what a wonderful combination.

TednEtta said...

Your account of the first art workshops was fascinating
Hard to imagine the excitement colored pencils and other art supplies can create in young children who have never had such things. And then for them to be able to draw wonderful images of everyday things in their lives is an amazing gift.
There were 30 persons at Trinity's Thanksgiving Eve service! Enuf champagne for all and pies for 60!. Dessert is something Trinity excels at.
You and your group are very much in our minds and prayers. Love and best wishes.TednEtta

Carolyn said...

As you tell of the children counting and wondering about the colored pencils, and their big eyes as they hand in their papers, the same loving priest who celebrates the chilren's services at Trinity, comes through! What an absolutely wonderful and blessed experience you and all must be having! I can't wait to see some of their masterpieces and hear all about the children!
Continued success with the project.
(All of the Holy Ground gathering applauded you and your work on Sunday!)

Lisa Fox said...

How good it is to hear from you, Anne. I hope your hopes for this project are coming to fruition; it sounds like they are.

You are a wonderful storyteller.

I am glad it seems to be going so very well.

Blessings to you, and prayers for your energy level.

I hold you all in my heart.

Tammy King said...

I'm so happy the trip and the art project are both going well. I'm very glad you went to Kediba! I spent last Christmas in Kediba. What a happy memory. . . Keep up the good work, team! You are all in our prayers.


marjorie said...

I can't wait to see what you return with; there's nothing as creative as children's art. I see an approaching exhibit in the north parish hall; it will be fantastic. Safe trip home!