My name is Katie (Katherine) Chiles, and this August I was blessed to be able to spend a few days helping at H2H. My Grandparents, Paul and Joyce Chiles, and I came to Honduras to give drawing lessons and to help the children paint a mural on the front of the stage at the new school. The challenge: it all had to be done in less than one week and school would not start until midweek, so we would only have three days to work with many of the kids.
It was a crazy week. After going to church and holding a strategy meeting on Sunday, we spent Monday and Tuesday purchasing supplies, preparing the mural, and running out to the Village for art classes with the kids (who created an amazing variety of work). The mural was to be of a stylized jungle, and we needed to complete the background and trees before we could get very far. I have to say that the art teachers and a couple of the older boys put in a lot of work here.
On Wednesday, the first day of school, I taught drawing classes to grades two through four. They did an excellent job. (Apologies to the teachers whose kids I took on the first day of school!)
Originally, we had planned to trace each child’s artwork onto the stage front, then allow them to color it in. But we realized that this was impractical, as it involved moving the projector to a different place for every drawing. We succeeded in putting up about seventeen of the boy’s original drawings (hummingbirds, geckos, and butterflies), but it took an inordinate amount of time. In the end we decided to create stencils similar to the children’s drawing projects and apply those to the wall.
At last, with all of the background, trees, and drawings in place, we were ready for the kids. One by one the teachers brought them out, gowned them in garbage bags to protect their school clothes, and helped them with their projects. First grade and under dipped their palms in green paint and used their handprints to create grass along the bottom of the mural. Then, the older grades came out and filled in the patterns according to their preference. They were very careful and skillful with their painting, making every drawing—from the flowers to the butterflies to the toucans—into a unique piece of art. And when the kids were done, the teachers took a turn, filling in the leftover designs and having fun doing it.
When everything had dried, we sharpened the lines with black marker and added a little extra pop with metallic markers. And, happily, it was all done early! God blessed us with speed and with all the amazing teachers and helpers without whom we never could have finished. Muchas, muchas, gracias to everyone!
All in all, it was an enriching experience, spending time with sweet kids and watching them be creative. I think that anyone would benefit from an experience like that! God bless all of you!
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