Graduation

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.

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And it continues

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. 

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Peace Village camp!

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. 

 

 Students taking a deep breath together in Mindfulness class.

Students taking a deep breath together in Mindfulness class.

 Studying Media Literacy

Studying Media Literacy

 Playing “empathy poker” in Conflict Resolution class.

Playing “empathy poker” in Conflict Resolution class.

 Learning about how everything in nature is connected in Connection to the Natural World class.

Learning about how everything in nature is connected in Connection to the Natural World class.

 Afternoon art activities

Afternoon art activities

And we’re off!

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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!) 

The backstory

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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!

It's finally happening!

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!

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