We are the stars which sing,
We sing with our light;
We are the birds of fire,
We fly over the sky.
Our light is a voice:
We make a road
For the spirit to pass over.
- Algonquin Song of the Stars
It seems fitting that our final projects symbolize taking flight. A flock of messenger birds landed this week at Ziavi-Bamefedo village having left their nests from Mrs. Brown’s 4th grade classroom at HIES in Atlanta, Georgia paired with Mrs. Ahler pre-first. These beautiful birds each delivered messages about caring for the Earth. They were hung to blow in the slight breeze of the hut classrooms, and many of the young students placed the birds they received around their necks like necklaces; the messages resting close to their hearts. Each student’s eyes grew wider as the volunteers revealed the supplies – colorful scrapbook paper, glitter glue, and sequined eyes – that they’ve likely never seen before. The younger students shared their messages in Ewe, while the older ones proudly shared their wisdom in English. The project spread from P1-P5, but the spirit of the work flew home with the students, down dusty roads, into their small rural community. The new flock created will migrate soon over the Atlantic Ocean, bringing new messages of hope and peace back to the U.S.
We also collected the “Sky is the Limit” projects from RCM P6 on their way to Ogelthorpe Charter School in Savannah, Georgia. The students decorated slips of blue paper, meant to represent the magnificence of the sky, with inspiring messages and pledges: Peace brings about development. Let us live in peace. We love you all; Peace brings about development and love; Long live the people of the U.S.A.; and Let the world live! Let people survive. Let generations witness peace. These students have connected for two years now with their friends in the U.S., they know the spirit of peace from walking connected paths and striving together toward a future bound by a common hope.
We visited both EP Primaries for closings filled with songs. Aurelia’s P5 class proudly sang before the whole school This World is Our World, while Beauty’s P3 class sang Agents of Change. The volunteers chuckle about how they sound like they are saying Angels of change, a title that we believe to be equally as fitting. As the students head back to their classroom, they were still calling out the chorus – Hey! You! On Your Feet! Join the party, make it sweet!
We hope you all in the U.S. and Canada have enjoyed following our journey here. The kids have made it sweet. Their light is a voice that continues to make our hearts soar as we begin to pack our things and prepare for the long road home. We look forward to our final reconnections for the year. We are coming!