I want to share with you one of the most exceptional moments of my life, let alone my experience here. I’ve felt a good number of ‘feelings’ on this journey, and there is one thing that I can be sure of: I will never, ever be the same after its completion. But I suppose that means that the journey has just begun?
On Monday, Melissa and I planned a cut-out animation exercise that you can see being made above. The rain, it came. The tree, it grew. And the leaves, they sprouted! On each raindrop - something that helps us to grow. On each leaf, our names, nourished and given life by “education”, “food”, “water”, “football”, “advice”, “parents”, “support”, “happiness”, “play”, “skipping”.
We were fortunate enough to have Ojullu, who studies with Michael & Julianna as part of the Dadaab Theater Project, join us to try his hand at animation. Just two months ago, under the guidance of Michael & Julianna, Ojullu began to write poetry. To say that they have helped Ojullu find his wings is a massive understatement. Ojullu is an Ethiopian national, under refuge here in Dadaab, and he is a brilliant artist and writer, whose voice demands to be heard. When he returned to our class on Tuesday, he presented me with this poem that he wrote about his experience during Monday’s session. Please find more of Ojullu’s writing at the above link.
The Flowers Monday
It was bright Monday afternoon
When papers became Rain that let
The untouchable fruits of tree
That let idle fruitbat sang happily
Hanging his legs on the branch with her
Head upside down, watching children under
The tree. It make tree proud.
I am a tree planted by professional.
A shade to the minority, a host to the majority.
I am a host to fruitbats, a nest to the birds.
I am a tree planted by animation.
Tomorrow I will grow by my own and bare
fruits that feed whole world.
When Lisa the water Lily the animation come
She made a paper sun, paper winter and
She captured the mind of hungry children.
The hungry children forget about hunger.
She is a babysitter to young babies, grandcat to
Kitten. Choir to the youth and Rain to the
She planted tree that made our
Ice teeth melt into water with laughter.
When I was in her class, paradise has
Become my favourite food.
It really touch my white paper heart
With her animation. It made me grow bigger and
Bigger with excitement until I am out of video frame.
Paper tree got stem, branch with butterfly
Paper tree take Nutrient from soil ,
Photosynthesis from sun Light.
Wow! It’s amazing!
I want you to make me fly like a young
Poem by Ojullu Opiew Ochan