Preparing to visit with the children took some extra care. In order to provide a tactile experience, we brought our Travel Trunk which includes artifacts and other objects that really helps to bring the country of Tanzania to life. We worked with the education staff to make sure our supplies were sanitized and that the children were comfortable.
We learned the continent song, how to count to 10 in Swahili, investigated various handicrafts of the Maasai, and even listened to the sounds of wildebeests while they migrated across the Serengeti. The children tried to imagine what it would be like to live in a dung hut, and were even energetic while they went on “safari” to look for some of the fascinating animals of the Ngorongoro Crater. They also tried their hand at their very own Tingatinga art.
But the most important thing of all is watching their imaginations travel far from the limits they had within their physical environment at the hospital. And for a moment in time, however brief, we were able to bring a world of adventure to these kids who would otherwise not have this opportunity.
I have to admit that I never know who looks forward to our classes more - me or the kids. I am genuinely overjoyed watching their faces light up when they learn something new about our world, and our recent global adventure was no different. It is days like the one spent at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital where I feel like we truly do make footprints of the mind!
*images courtesy of Dana Foley Photography