A note from Uganda (I have pictures to add later!):
While visiting New Kabaale Busega, I saw a student sitting at a table with her composition notebook. Curiosity was sparked in the teacher in me, so I sat down beside her. She began showing me her work and very neat hand writing. By this time 4 or 5 other girls joined us at the small bench table. I asked if I could take a picture of the girl and her notebook. She smiled and shook her head to indicate that I could.
After taking the picture, I saw back down with the girls and asked if anyone would like to have one fingernail painted since I had some colorful polish with me. My 9 year old daughter enjoyed having me paint her nails, so I thought these 8, 9, and 10 year olds might too, after all kids are kids!
The pink and purple polish came out of the bag first. And one nail quickly became one hand and eventually both hands! The reason I said one nail in the beginning was because I was not sure how much longer we were staying, but I quickly realized that painting 10 fingernails is a task that can be done in a short amount of time. By this time, the sparkly teal polish and the silver polish had also emerged from my small bag.
Some wanted all their nails the same color, while others opted for more variety.
When I first started painting nails, one of the little girls asked me if she could use my camera, a small point and click camera, to take a picture of me. I smiled and said yes. After taking one picture, she asked if she could take more. I laughed and nodded in agreement. As I was painting nails of the girls who were at the table originally and the others who came over, my camera was used to take all sorts of wonderful shots! Every once in a while, I would ask where my camera was and the children always knew. I was able to look at the pictures taken while on the bus leaving and was quite impressed to see the special moments captured from the point of view of a child.
After painting nails for those originally at the table, we stopped to take pictures of our fingernails all freshly painted! After that we took some group shots and I think the ones that were the most fun were when we were all shouting. One girl looked at me and asked to have her picture taken with just me. I happily obliged! Another girl wanted us to pose back to back for a picture.
One girl said she would miss me. I smiled and replied that since I now had pictures of her and her friends, I would remember them and our time together!
Making a connection with people, any age, is such an important process. That process does not have to be a complicated one. I was able to make a connection with these children and show them that they matter simply using fingernail polish and a point and click camera!
*Names are not an easy thing for me to remember, which is not a good quality for a teacher! I did ask each child her name. If I get this chance again, I will ask each one to write it down for me in my notebook to help me better remember. But I do remember their faces, their smiles, their hugs, and the joy they caused for me! Plus I have lots of pictures too!