Our first day of teaching was filled with puppets, paints, a science experiment and preaching God’s word. We began our day with song, led by Aman, a truly gifted Ethiopian teacher. Eighty-five children sang and clapped enthusiastically while sitting four to a bench. Aman then shared the story of Cain and Abel. The kids listened and participated intently while bravely sharing their heart during the application questions. Next was the puppet show that Heidi had put together to further illustrate the lesson of the day. Sue brought in a traveling science , demonstrating “chromotogrophy” and how everything whole is actually made up of smaller parts- or in this case, separate colors.
Finally, grades 3 and 4 began their week-long art project. The intent was to have the children begin a multiple day mural based on Christian artist Edward Hicks’ interpretation of Noah’s ark, starting with the ark and landscape. Each team had a large paper to paint an ark and smaller papers for flowers, trees, clouds and earth with each day becoming a layer of the mural and ending with a collaborative rainbow. The sweet third and fourth graders heard the word “ark” and began painting rainbows. Once the rainbows began, you really couldn’t (or wouldn’t want to) stop the flow. The third and fourth grade class began with God’s promise- what an optimistic group.
Upon completion of our day, we found ourselves with a few minutes to fill while waiting for the lunch line to die down. It turns out that in Ethiopia- when you find yourself with a spare moment….try singing a song! Upon suggestion, eyes lit up, backs straightened and singing in Oromofo began. Our room was filled with contagious joy. The principal of the school came in, along with Tegabu and his guitar. You never would have guessed that nearly 100 children were waiting to eat. Who needs lunch, when you have song?