Hope Shines Inc.

Hope Shines Inc.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Azizi Life and Hope Shines

Kyle Bernhardy – 1st Year Volunteer

Second day of Hope Shines Camp 2015.

I am Kyle, a first year volunteer with Hope Shines.  The time since I told Dan & Stephanie I wanted to volunteer six months ago have just flown by and I can’t believe that the second day of camp is behind us.

This morning the volunteers & interpreters returned to the camp center excited to reconnect with the campers and continue learning, laughing & playing.  We kicked off the morning inside the classroom divided into our four groups (Super Starfish, The Wolves, Bright Minds, & Shining Star Angels) and went over vocabulary related to making, buying & selling crafts.  The campers then paired up and wrote down a conversation that would happen in a market.  At the end, the campers with the best conversations went in front of the camp and reenacted the conversation, which ranged from creative, to funny - with shopkeepers fighting over a sale.

Training for the dance competition swung into high gear as we reviewed the steps learned yesterday and then added the final 2 eight counts. Then the teams got down to business and practiced the entire dance while adding their individual flair.

While waiting for lunch to finish cooking, the volunteers & interpreters used their improv skills & quick thinking to keep the campers engaged. This was a great opportunity for everyone to connect and relate whether it was just talking or playing games.

Michael, Simeon, Jean D’Arc, & Kalee shared their creativity & a little bit about themselves while lunch was served. Michael extended his streak of making everyone laugh with a hilarious rap, Jean D’arc moved the camp with a beautiful poem, Simeon stunned everyone while he broke out in song & Kalee warmed our hearts with stories from her home in Colorado.

Following lunch we called back to our lesson from the morning with a visit with artisans from Azizi Life.  Azizi life is a collective of independent, rural artisan groups from around Rwanda who make a wide range of crafts including baskets, jewelry, & bags. 

Making Jewelry with Azizi Life

 The campers were split into 10 groups and each group worked with an individual artist. The campers were shown the raw materials used in the crafts and how they are broken down into the actual components that make the craft.  Then they sat down with the artisans and were shown step by step how to create bracelets from sisal and balls from palm leaves.  The campers were pros at making the crafts, I had a very hard time and I think I made the artisan I was grouped with very sad at my lack of craftsmanship.  It was exciting to watch everyone get involved and take pride in the item they were creating.  We completed the day by asking the campers to turn in their craft to the volunteers for a lesson we will complete in a few days.

Making the Banana Leaf Soccer Balls

Labels Azizi Life made especially for Hope Shines and the kids!

 I am looking forward to what the rest of the week brings & hope you continue the journey with us as camp progresses! 

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