Sunday, September 11, 2011

The World Was Built In 8 Days

That’s right, just as fast as the idea popped into our heads, the paint brushes were dry and put away and the project was done. It took just 8 days and a lot less paint than we bought to create a mural of the world map on the entrance wall at the children’s library. Man is it beautiful! Seriously, Vatican City has its Sistine Chapel. Balaken has this world map! I keep stopping in just to stare at it! Much of the work we do as volunteers does not have tangible results. We are catalysts, hoping to encourage things that will manifest themselves long after we are gone. But this, well, there it sits, all bright and colorful, the fruits of our labor available to gawk at between the hours of 9 and 6, Monday through Friday!
We could not have done it without the tremendous commitment of our students. Samira, Muslim, Turkan, and Fuad came everyday during the first week to prepare the wall: priming, sketching, and only finally painting. The rest of the students came everyday for 5 days straight the following week. Each day we painted 2 new colors. By the fifth day, the masterpiece was done. I am so proud of them and also grateful for their help. This has been a project I’ve wanted to do since I got to site. I also must thank the librarians, who though at first quite skeptical, gave us free rein to paint all over their walls. “Those crazy Americans!”
The library was already a great space and a wonderful resource for the youth of Balaken. Now, it is just that much brighter and will hopefully continue attracting kids!
If any other PCVs are interested in doing this project, just send me an email or a comment and I can supply you with everything from the project plan to the budget.

Day 1: Priming

Our helpful crew

Mixing paint

Tracing the map...and me clearly not helping too much

First coat of paint!

First day painting countries

2nd day: Muslim forgot about Mongolia!

Samira and Muslim hard at work

Checking for errors after the second day of painting countries

Even the librarians got involved in the painting


The final product! Ain't she a beauty!

Celebrating a job well done

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