Dancing Through The Week

Hi Everyone, Morgan here, and I am back for another blog about this week. We have hit day 3, Wednesday, which is better known as Hump Day, and for those working it usually means that horrible middle day of the week where you seem still so far from Friday…but here that is just the opposite feeling. I am dreading the approach of Friday actually. I have grown so fond of so many of the kids here, and I love getting to know some better each day. I have a blast with my group, AKA The Sharks. I see them grow, learn, and interact in different ways each day and that has to be one of the most fascinating observations about working along side children. Furthermore, they help me change and adapt everyday too. I have learned how to communicate in different ways from body language and with the help of the incredible translators, but they also allow me to pause and think about different ways to explain or approach a situation, which I did not expect upon joining the Hope Shines team.

Today we started off by working on the dance we all will perform on Friday as part of the dance competition. I am pretty competitive so naturally I want the kids to do well, but also have fun. We had about 2 hours of just dancing today and it was an uphill battle, but also had some really fun moments. The Sharks collaborated on how to make this dance their own and I really think that once it comes together, we’re going to be the team to beat! After, the children had a nutrition lesson with Pearl. They learned healthy habits, which related to our other activities later on, and the importance of good nutrition in order to support their growing bodies and long term health.

Once we all finished up another hearty and delicious meal prepared by the Mamas, we all went inside and learned about parachutes. The kids assembled parachutes out of a bandana square, some string, a button, and then either used a pipe cleaner person or a rock as test subjects for their experiments. To continue, the experiments tested the difference of falling speeds from high and low levels using heavier or lighter objects. It is so funny to see them all running around throwing their handmade parachutes all over the place. It is a certain type of chaos that I will miss when this camp finished at the end of the week.
 We finished the day by completing a healthy food maze and learning about diseases to continue learning about the importance of healthy habits. I was very impressed by how well my group not only participated, but also how their English improved today. After camp ended, our Hope Shines group of leaders and volunteers went to the Rwanda Natural History Museum, which had a ton of interesting things to learn and we had a nice guided tour. They have a zoo there of live snakes from the country, some that are incredibly deadly, and that was fun and scary all at once! I can’t believe how fast this week is flying by… I just want time to stop at some points, but I am so happy to be here and am loving every moment as it comes.
I will conclude by saying “Thank You,” from the bottom of my heart to the people who have paved the way for Hope Shines and everyone involved who tirelessly helped it grow to what it has become today. As a first year volunteer, I am so honored to see this program in action and I appreciate all it does for the children involved. I can only imagine the feelings returning volunteers have seeing past children who have grown and gone out to accomplish so much with their lives, all thanks to Hope Shines for their support and installing work ethic and confidence amongst the children.
Morgan Payne
1st Year Volunteer

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