Joyful Prayer

“Joy is peace in motion, peace is joy at rest." - Unknown Wednesday morning has arrived, and our tiredness is quickly shaken by the jubilation of children this morning. These mornings are always a highlight of our trips, as the energy of these gatherings is a rare and special experience. We get this not once this morning, but twice, as they are still in service when we arrive at EP Primary Sokode-Bagble for our first classes here this week.

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We start with P6, and share the colorful prayer and peace flags from Greg and Martha’s class at Paideia School in Atlanta. These flags are covered in color and glitter glue messages of hope and peace. They were created in resemblance to Tibetan prayer flags, whose prayers are sent around the world as the wind blows through them. As the students create, the open-air classroom becomes draped in younger children curious about today’s activities. They peacefully create their own messages in return, and place them in the sun to dry while we move into P4.


This is the first time for these students, and they are definitely a little more reserved and nervous when we begin opening circle. As we give the handmade beads and necklaces from Summit Charter School, any shyness quickly releases and a lightness now fills the hot air. Their inner light beams even brighter as these colorful gifts are given to them and drawings are shared, for they have their first gifts from America to take home, share and cherish.


We close the day with another new class connecting with Jennifer William’s Oglethorpe Charter School class. We find the last class of each day drags a little more in the heat. Their teacher Dorothy doesn’t look well, and is feverish. We soon learn she is coping with malaria, but still at school teaching. Row by row, they approach the colorful banner full of handprints expressing what brings each student peace. They begin their own, but we will return again on Friday to complete. We, too, are a little tired this afternoon, and look forward to a cool evening with dinner and reflections at SkyPlus, a restaurant that overlooks Ho, has cooler breezes, and has become a tradition for a mid-week celebration of our own.