Monday, August 31, 2009

Bright Places Make Smiling Faces

"Qué estás haciendo?!?" demanded the little voice behind me, sounding more like a distressed complaint than a question. I turned around to face my interrogator and found a little lad of about 7 years with his hair neatly combed to the side, button-up t-shirt tucked in his gray trousers, and his face hopelessly contorted with concern as he watched my paint roller pass over the school's recently completed mural.

"I'm putting a sealant onto this beautiful mural to protect it," I replied after a slight chuckle.

"Ahhh, para protegerlo," he repeated, his demeanor instantly changing as my reply met his approval. He nodded and scurried off to his classroom.

I smiled and turned back to the wall with a renewed since of purpose for my simple task.

While I had not participated in creating the mural, I was content that I could contribute to something that the school and its students were obviously very proud of. A group of volunteers through the organization called Otra Cosa, had worked for two weeks to complete the mural, which transformed a dull cement-surrounded courtyard into a bright and colorful place where the youngest of the children at the school play during recess.

One of the final tasks to finish up the wall was to put hand prints of all the children along the bottom border of the mural. Working in assembly-line fashion, three of us volunteers finished over 250 hand prints in two days time and sealed up the final product. The result is maravilloso!!

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Where I Am and Where I've Been