As I’ve mentioned, this week I’ve been acompanied by two wonderfully different and talented sophomore ladies on their cross cultural through Latin America. So today, I have a guest blogger, Karla Hovde who is going to share about her experience volunteering with one of the Sanctuary Peace Churches I work with:
“My name is Karla Hovde and I am an Eastern Mennonite University sophomore visiting Medellin, Colombia for a week during my semester long cross-cultural to Guatemala and Colombia. On Thursday, April 11, Emma Dalen, Jessica Sariot, and I took the Medellin metro to Interamericana Filadelfia church which hosts a program called Fundacion Raices de Esperanza or Foundation Roots of Hope for students ages 8-17. It is a before and after school program because the schools have half day schedules and the kids need something to do the other half of the day. I’m an art and digital media major, so the program asked me to plan and lead some art lessons for the students. I’ve never taught an art lesson or lead a bunch of kids before, so I was pretty nervous about how challenging it might be, especially with my limited Spanish. The morning group was about 30 students and arrived around 9. We began with painting. Each student had a small piece of a photo to copy on a bigger paper. When everyone finished we put the parts together to make the bigger picture. It ended up being a little abstract, but the kids had lots of fun. Then we made origami paper cranes. Here I could really tell that these kids wanted attention and affirmation, more than any other kids I have met. They paid really close attention to each step I demonstrated, and when they got it right, they ran up to me and showed me what they did and waited until I told them it looked good. With 30 students, this was a bit hectic. Emma and Jessica were great helpers, showing the children what I was demonstrating up front. Around 11:30, the first group left to go to school and Emma, Jessica, and I got a break to eat lunch, played Rummy-Q with the pastor of the church and prepared for the 32 students that came around 2 PM.
With this group, we did the photo enlargement activity again but with pencils to teach them about shading. Then we made cranes and painted as table groups the things that were most important to them. Again, without the support of Jessica and Emma, things would have gone badly. This group was much rowdier and messier, but they also showed incredible creativity. I was very impressed by some of the creative and clever things the kids in both groups came up with. I hope they learned something about or art or at least became a little more comfortable with displaying their artistic side.
This experience for me was stressful and out of my comfort zone, but it was an important learning experience and an opportunity for me to give back a small amount of what the people in Guatemala and Colombia have given to me on this trip.”
Stay posted for more exciting happenings in Medellin! It’s been quite a busy time!