We arrive at R.C. Mixed to work with P5 class on the splatter paint letters sent from Vail Mountain School. The students are eager to begin their letters because the sooner they get them done, the faster they can get their hands on a paintbrush and paint. We set up the palettes early so everything is laid out on floor, spurring their fingers to grip pencils and streak personal messages across their pages. The students circle around the paint and cups of water with their heads close together and their faces turned down as though they are participants in a meeting for a secret society; they speak quietly in their small groups, but concentrate on the heart of the task. They like the splatter technique used by their friends at VMS, but most here opt for the more traditional approach of lathering up the brush and washing it across the page. The students so rarely get to use these fun supplies that they want to stretch the experience out and make ever last second of it last. We literally watch paint dry (which doesn’t take so long in the Africa sun) as we stretch our tired bodies from the week. The kids begin to mimic our movements, so we offer an impromptu yoga tutorial – tree pose, triangle, dancer, warrior – that proves all the more challenging in this rocky school yard filled with giggles.
We stop by EP Ho-Bankoe to visit before the weekend. It is immediately apparent they have won a local contest, as the entire schoolyard is in jubilation- bands playing, students and teachers dancing. We are not sure how Amy remained standing as nearly a hundred children ran elated to share their victory, surrounding her on all sides with an enormous group hug. EP won #1 in the Library Board competition, but the campus resembles more a sports championship victory game than was school pride in academics. The joy lifts the heaviness that has been lingering on this campus for months since the passing of Vida. It is a great way to end our week!