Saturday May 15, 2010
I am still reeling in the success of this week!
I stared on Wednesday reading at Gladney’s Foster Care centers in the 2 toddler rooms and to the children ages 4-6. Riveted doesn’t even begin to describe it. I have never seen kids so fascinated by books and pictures. The toddlers love making the animal sounds and the older children love to do the “Barnyard Dance” (a book by Sandra Boynton). By far the favorite is playing the drums in “Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb” by Al Perkins and of course screaming “Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom!”
It is pretty much mayhem when I walk into the room carrying a pile of books. All the babies go crazy trying to grab them. Eventually the caregivers assist me in getting them to sit and we read through the pile. I usually have about 15 minutes of attention with the toddlers, which is more than I initially expected. When focus begins to fade, I pass out the books and they will literally spread out on the floor, flipping through them over and over. They all get really serious in concentration. I mean this is real work!
The older children are just as adorable. They love interacting with my reading, but attention usually beings to drift, because there are other toys around for them to play with. They stay nearby to listen but I notice their focus becomes divided with other toy distractions. They too loved reading on their own, although some are more interested than others, naturally. When I am done, they like to bring books up to me and ask for individual time…this usually starts fights. Yesterday’s conflict resulted in me getting attacked by a magic marker!
The “On Their Own” necklaces are already finished. It took two days and could have taken one, but I deliberately tried to extend the project. The women were so enthused and were such a joy to work with. They are obviously skilled in crafting and literally flew through the project with very little assistance from me. The necklaces are well done, and the women were so grateful for work, they kept asking if they could make more, or if this could be a continuous thing. “I really hope it will be,” is all I kept responding.
Yesterday they performed a coffee ceremony in the shop in my honor. This is a 2+ hour process. That involves roasting the beans, grinding them by hand, and brewing the coffee over coals. Three pots are brewed in succession called, adobe (the first), tona (the second) and I forget the Amharic name but the third is called “the blessing.” They also serve popcorn with the coffee ceremony, but no one knows the significance of this. It was all so sweet and fun!
I should probably explain that I titled this entry “Works” in honor of my BFF Yemamu. He tells me every day “I have so much works,” or “I got so much works done today.” He means “things to do/things done” but I like the use of works. I think it describes much better than “things.” So that’s what I’ve been up to… works!