Campers showing off their artwork. Thanks, Kaleidoscope!
CAMP MALAWI 2008 - VILLAGE
Photos by Nancy Chuang & Kip Myers
We played Red Rover, created paper jewelry, hats and glasses, discussed basic AIDS info, and screened the first movie most of these children had ever seenfor about 15 minutes, anyway. From our sunrise walk along Lake Malawi to the final t-shirt giveaway, Camp Malawi in Kande Beach was a jam-packed, thoroughly rewarding day for everyone involved.
The invited children were part of We Are One's daily lunch program, given special permission to come early for camp. After they opened with singing, we welcomed everyone and the classes began.
Inside We Are One, Meegan Neeb, Ashley Huff, Tim Ayers, Kip Myers and Jamie Talley helped small groups of 5-7 experiment with the astounding array of art supplies donated by Kaleidoscope/Hallmark, including paper wearables, markers, and stickers. Many children had never explored their creative sides; some jumped right in while some needed gentle encouragement. They wrote their names and doodled on Kaleidoscope's paper bags, in which their art projects were collected to re-distribute later.
Campers also attended health class. Rubina Hussain used a model of the human body to explain the functions of each organ. When the language barrier was too difficult to surmount, WAO boys Benson and David stepped up. These normally-shy boys quickly became leaders, showing talents for teaching as they translated Rubina's lessons into Tonga, the language spoken on this stretch of the Lake.
After discussing the body and allowing children to play with the model, Rubina gave rudimentry AIDS informationhow it is spread and how it is not. Once again, David and Benson made us proud with their help and evident maturity.
Outside, Stephen Bock, Heather Gauntt and Andrew Longstreth overcame the gender barrier by avoiding soccer, a males-only sport in Malawi. Campers played whiffleball and kickball instead. One highlight of camp was seeing small girls in dresses and bare feet ferociously attack the ball and tear off through the bases.
After a hearty lunch of chicken, greens and nsimastiff corn porridge, a staple in Malawiwe began our afternoon program. WAO had recently acquired solar power, so we were thrilled for the opportunity to show the children their very first movie, The Lion King.
About 15 minutes later, the power overloaded. In absolute silence, the kids waited patiently until this was determined. Terribly disappointed, Kip announced the power outage to the children, who didn't even seem to realize the movie wasn't meant to end abruptly.
Instead we played Red Rover! The kids took to this immediately and played on the beach for the better part of an hour.
Finally, we called the children together to say goodbye. We thanked them for the fun we had, shook their hands, re-distributed their Kaleidoscope bags and as a special gift, gave them each their own Kansas University t-shirt donated by James Pottorff. Waving cheerfully, the campers walked home eagerly examining their works of art, solemnly wearing their starglasses.