The teachers have requested Peace Village curriculum they can teach during the school year. We are very excited to be rolling out the Amani Peace Ambassador Program. Secondary students will learn new Peace Village curriculum throughout the school year, and then be able to work as group facilitators (camp counselors) at Peace Village camps during the school breaks.
Our inaugural international Peace Village camp ended on Friday, November 16th with a gathering of students and their parents. Each teacher spoke of the importance of this camp for their community, and a few parents stood up and spoke of the importance of this camp for the children. Talking with students, parents, and teachers, we feel this camp was a rousing success and we are delighted our first international camp went so well. We look forward to working with the teachers and the community for many years to come.
Each day continues to be better than the day before. We begin each day with morning circle-singing and storytelling. We taught the children our Peace Village song and Mr. Masemo translated it into Swahili. Listening to the children sing it in both languages is beautiful. While the story is usually in Swahili, and while improving, our Swahili is not quite good enough to understand the stories fully, we love listening to the lilting cadence of it.
We just finished day two of camp and we are loving every minute of it! The teachers are phenomenal, the children are adorable, and we are learning so much about adapting the lessons to the culture. One thing we know for sure—no matter how the lessons are taught, the deeper meaning of how to go about being a peacemaker holds true no matter where we are.
We spent two days training and learning from a wonderful group of teachers. We are delighted to be working with Nellie, Peter, Consolata, Francis, and Masemo. They are all experienced teachers who have so much to offer the children. They are already saying this camp won’t be enough and want to bring Peace Village curriculum into the classroom.
Elizabeth meets Wintry’s Kenyan family and they welcome us home. We will be working with Consolata (pictured between Elizabeth and Wintry) at the camp. We will be loved, fed, and nurtured by Mama Benedetha (pictured next to Wintry).
After two days and three planes, we have arrived! I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am to be back! After settling into our house and sleeping for a bit, we went to find the school. Training won’t start for a couple of days, but we walked down to find the school today. So excited to begin our work here.
It’s finally time! As Elizabeth and I head to Kenya to run the camp, Mikaila is off to Italy to represent Peace Village at the UN. We are excited to be covering the globe with this important peace work. (It’s become a silly tradition to photograph your feet at the Portland airport. It all started when they decided to put new carpet in the airport and everyone wanted a picture with the carpet before it was gone. It’s been gone some years now, but the tradition stuck. Keep Portland Weird!)
In 2000, I (Wintry) went to Kenya to teach. While there, I ended up starting a school with a local woman, Consolata (pictured above in the red shirt). She and I began teaching a small group of children each day, and that group slowly grew as word spread. Soon we were teaching over 50 children. That first year I was in Kenya was the first time I missed the Peace Village camp in Lincoln City, Oregon. After the camp, they sent a box of school supplies, along with Peace Village t-shirts. It was decided that the school would be called Peace Village Primary (which we later changed to Amani Primary—amani means peace in Swahili). I am so excited to return to the school (which has continued to grow!) and be able to bring the Peace Village camp program to Peace Village Primary!
We leave for Kenya on Monday! The last week has been a blur of organizing and preparing. Our training is planned, curriculum printed, and supplies packed! Bringing Peace Village to Kenya may weigh down our suitcases, but what’s a little extra weight when it comes to teaching peace?
When we started Peace Village over twenty years ago, we dreamt of one day taking Peace Village to Africa. Many things happened over that time, as things will over twenty years, but as Peace Village grew and added programs, the dream remained. We are so excited to be able to say it’s finally happening! Follow along on this blog as we prepare for our trip next month. We will post regular updates and look forward to sharing this journey with you all!