Teaching Art in the African Bush: Intern Post by Shelley Rich
The sights and sounds of Kenya are colorful and brilliant! The humidity plus the heat of the sun drain you. Sharing art with children who’ve never viewed any art is indescribable! The beautiful pure dark chocolate faces of the children of Bahakwenu soak in the images of King Tut’s Golden tomb, Chinese calligraphy from the Ming Dynasty, and bamboo ink paintings. Giggling as I try to pronounce their names in Swahili, I teach about Mona Lisa and the amazing inventions of Leonardo daVinci. Van Goh’s irises take their collective breath away and the surrealism of Margarit is a thought provoker to end on. The African students write in answers about themselves giving insight into their world, centering around simply getting something to eat.
The murals I brought painted by students at Hawthorne Elementary were met by oohs and aahs and much appreciation. All next week I will be teaching the children of this beautiful village in the bush. Most of the students have never seen paint in their lives. The mural created by the students of Bahakwenu will come home with me to be hung in the front hall of Hawthorne Elementary school. My life is greatly enriched for the privilege of being in this magical place.