Yesterday we had the last group of girls working on the clay animals and their homes. In the beginning of the session the girls shared their stories written in the preceding week. Also with this group, food (feeding the animal, inquiring its favorite food, being hungry/happy) was a central theme in the stories. During the group discussion this was acknowledged by the girls as well.
At the end of the session we asked the girls to place their clay animals on top of their drawings. “Where in the picture would the animal prefer to be?” The animals with houses were placed indoors “to rest” while the others were enjoying the abundance of food outside. After the session one of the Form III girls returned to the classroom to take another look and comment on her drawing. “I would like to live there also”, she said pointing at the picture. Her clay giraffe dwelled in a cozy hut located next to a river at the edge of a leafy forest with butterflies and birds. The drawing depicted sunny days and rainy nights, “perfect weather conditions”.
When reviewing the art works of all the groups we noticed that the majority of the animals chose to live in traditional houses, a few in lush forests, one in the Bethsaida compound and one in a zoo. The animals either lived by themselves or shared the house with the girl, who often was responsible for taking care of the animal. The independent animals were able to move freely in the house and surrounding area and feed itself at anytime. Some of the narratives included relatives or other animals. They were presented either as living companions or as longed-for others.