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Friday, October 22, 2010

Africa One More Time

This woman is carrying a bucket filled with water on her head. The women walk easily down the street like this carrying all kinds of things on their heads.

Beautiful children with ever-speaking eyes.

And great joy for living despite difficulty and hardship.

Using a Tire for Hula Hoop

The CCS volunteer group and BYAC kids and teachers.

Jane, one of the volunteers, fell in love with Daria's painting hanging on the fence and asked her is she would sell it.  Daria is one of the children.  She was beside herself with joy.  Now she can buy a few supplies to paint again.

This family is amazing. Tashi, Masiga, Asha, and Irham are all wonderful artists. They paint, play drums and guitar and sculpt when they have the supplies and tools to do these things.  Irham loves to sculpt but she doesn't have the tools or the materials and only sometimes do they have enough paints to actually paint.
Tashi, Me, Masiga Asha, Irham
They have nothing themselves and yet they open their hearts and their home to the children of Bagamoyo two to four hours a day, six days a week. They  feed them because some of the children would not eat otherwise.  They teach the children to paint whenever they have enough supplies.  As they learn to speak English, they teach the children to speak English.  Mostly they teach them to dance and to drum and tell them about the dangers of Aids. The house they live in is rented and is in better shape than many homes in Bagamoyo although it's completely empty of furniture.  They sit and sleep on the floor.  The toilet is in a separate room - a pit in the floor.  They bathe and cook outside and wash dishes in a tub.  Asha travels back and forth to Zanzibar (a 4-6 hour trip by bus and ferry) every 2-3 days to try to sell their artwork to tourists.

I have never in my life met people whose hearts are so open and generous and loving.  They smile, they laugh, they welcome you in without a second thought.  They enjoy the simplest things.  I want to assist in some way but honestly I don't know how to help in a way that will be anything more than a temporary band aid.  They are working to find an organization to sponsor the Bagamoyo Young Artist Center so they can continue with it but they do not have skills in grant writing nor do they know the first thing about finding a sponsor.  They just know that sponsors exist.  They have dreams and desires with no way of making them come true but they don't give up even though their efforts are like dropping a coin in a wishing well.  If anyone knows of an organization who is looking to sponsor artists and children in Africa, or knows how to write grants, please let me know.
An experience of love I shall never forget!

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