My big project, Finishing the Ward 4 AMICAALL/Nhlangano Town Council Social Center, the PCPP


Peace Corps Partnership Proposal (PCPP) with the Nhlangano Town Council (NTC)

First application draft submitted Feb, 2011
Approved & Funding Begins on PC website May 17th
Construction started on Oct 24th.
All exterior construction done by Dec 20th.
Grand Opening Jan 5th, 2012
Round 2 of the Funding arrives in early January.
Interior Only Construction Restarts Jan 16th.
Construction all done Feb 16th (minus a million tiny To Do's)
Project Officially Closed May 4th, 2012

Let the children play, learn & be safe.

As of Aug 25th, 2012, I am no longer a PCV, I am now RPCV (Return Peace Corps Volunteer). This blog is my experience in Swaziland between June of 2010 & Aug of 2012. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art Classes & Painting Part 12 (Post Day 1, Monday July 9th, 2012)

Monday, July 9th, 2012

It’s Tuesday, the main building is mostly completed with lots of little stuff to go, lots & lots & lots of laughs happening. The World Map is turning into something quite special. Joseph proves his art skills again. Thebo & Obed rock the map.

But let’s go back.

Monday rolls around an interesting mix show up to work to continue painting the Ward 2 building. The mix of Thebo, Obed, Senzo, Khatsewi, Sambulo & I are the painting crew.

So actually at the end of Sunday, I talked to Senzo, knowing he didn’t have job & knowing he was a really good painter & excited to be there. So I hired him, using money out of my own pocket since the project is over budget.

Let’s go back to Saturday night, we ran into a major problem regarding the map.

So back in April, as I am creating Free Art Class, which as you have read was designed to get a building painted with new artwork well at the same time give education to new artists on how to do what Joseph did for Ward 4. So I meet up with him in Ezulweni Valley, where the one & only 4 screen movie theater is located. To tell him about this woLinkrld map painting/art class idea, I had. So after several hours & looking at numerous pictures, he agreed to come down and teach the class as well as paint the new map. Well months later, the project was delayed & shrunk by PC (Part 2)

During this delay, I saw that the Yebo Art Gallery had announced there new ArtReach program, its own NGO to help promote art in Swaziland, was running classes to teach students art at The School for Deaf. (See their recently completed fundraiser here & Yebo Art Gallery main webpage ) Because this is where I found Joseph & I knew the owners of the gallery. I contacted them to see if they wanted to partner with me on this project. They quickly agreed and what was going to be just a partnership between PC & AMICAALL, now became a three way with Yebo in mix. They promised to bring down more artists, which turned out to be Thebo & Obed, to excellent artists who ended up doing the entire map plus an animal each. So God’s mysterious ways worked well with the delay.

So when Joseph with Obed & Thebo arrived on Friday we started talking about the map. Well, the map Angela started comes from a PC design program based off creating a grind that none of three artists understood, but they knew how to make one without a grind. I had put the map program on a flash to print on Saturday, but was unsuccessful in getting away to print (because I forgot). Sunday, all internet cafes in town are closed as well as our office, which meant no printing anywhere in town. Which pushed starting the world map til Monday instead of the planned Sunday, so hence why Ward 2 now has The Chase on it. God was certainly working a plan.

So Thebo, Obed & I go to the AMICAALL office to print the instructions & grind pictures at 8am Monday morning, plus the night before we searched through the internet for cool world map images. Finding one we all agreed on. So Monday morning at around 9:30am, the new world map for Ward 2 was started.

Just as over on Ward 5 Joseph was starting an animal on Titi’s Center. Titi wanted a Giraffe bent over drinking water, I liked a lion, since Ward 4 already had a giraffe. But Titi was insistent, so I just told Joseph to figure out how to put a giraffe in basically a tight space horizontally.

Thebo helped teach Senzo how to skirt, a quite valuable skill since every building over here has one. Khatsewi, who spent every hour of the class learning along with the students when she wasn’t helping with logistics, she even created her own Jackson Pollack version, jumped right into the general building painting having learned on Sunday herself.

Obed began the conversion to a version he could understand for the grind. We joked that art usually doesn't require math.

Sambulo painting inside with me turned out to be filled with questions of what to do since he really wants to go school, but no way to get school fees to go. Well, I told him he is learning a new profession on the spot. Senzo on the outside had told me his Dad is a painter (regular not artistic) but he doesn’t get to paint or work with him. So since I was paying Senzo, I decided to pay Sambulo who was there just volunteering (or more likely he had nowhere else to be or anything to do, much like Senzo). So they both were gaining tremendous new experience that I hope will carry with them beyond the project. It is interesting even though they are more than 10 years apart with completely different life stories what they gained from the project is probably the exact same.

So I looked around it was quite mix of people doing multiple different things to turn this dirty Social Center it something that looks great. All day long we joked, laughed Obed is hilarious, with his own sense of humor mixed great with the quarky Thebo humor as they sketched the map. It was a super productive day filled with tons of fun. For lunch, Sambulo & I walked the twenty minutes to town to get lunch for everyone. During the walk, I talked with him saying that he needs to find away to make a life without school, a way to educate himself without it, it’s just not possible for him to go & he is too young to work so he is stuck in tough time of life. He has a library card, so I suggested if he really enjoys doing art that he find a way to make something that he can sell.

So Sambulo brought back the lunch, I meet Joseph, who had finished his giraffe, at the Town Council Ward 3 to show him where he was going to paint his elephant in the Ward 3 garage/classroom. Now Ward 3 is literally the Town Council’s garage, which has about 15 children attending, so the artwork was going to be much smaller compared to Ward 2, 4 & 5. After looking through several photos (by the way Google Images on cell phones were used countless times during this project, plus Bluetooth, yeah for the internet & technology) we decided on a front view of an elephant. So Joseph starts, I head back to Ward 2 for more painting.

The exterior of the classroom

By now, the map is looking like a map, we had decided to use this look. But adding a few new touches.

So here are some of the progress pictures on the map as Monday ended.

The grind Begins

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing what all of you were able to accomplish! Great work.