10th July 2017.
A new week is starting and what makes me feel happy is that today I’m going to see again my little kids. Oh, wait. Today we’re going to explore the Outback, the heart of Australia. The dry and true heart, Pure Essence of Australia. My beloved Australia. Everything started there. Matt and me met there, actually. And after three years and some adventures in other marvellous corners of the Universe, we are here, teaching together. How weird and beautiful Life is. Those connections that you can’t say whenever in the future will catch up, will re-connect, but then.. PUM! They happen, and they happen to be for a very specific and very meaningful meaning. So strong. So aware. So present. And today it’s going to be Matt and me introducing the Outback; so not random, I’d say. Ali, it’s already late, you know. I can’t help it. I take the didgeridoo, the one that I bought in Darwin, when lived there. Boomerang and earsticks. Yep. I can’t forget them, they are going to be essential today.
I jump in my car, start it, Despacito is going in the air and soon I catch myself singing and dancing, excited about life while I go to school.
We wait for everyone to be there, and as soon as all the explorers are ready, we brainstorm around Australia: which animals live in Australia? Where is it? Can you spot it in the map? From this little previous knowledge, we introduce the flashcards, we got to know animals we didn’t know before like the wombat and one with a very funny name called kookaburra.
We see and observe some pictures of who the Natives of the Outback are, the Aborigins. We ask questions, so many. Now we have the chance to color and cut out our friend from the Outback. We learn that each Aboriginal name has an important meaning, pretty much related to the necessity or the willing of the parents. Bindi means butterfly, Jiemba means laughing star, Inala means place of peace, Jedda means little wild goose. Matt takes a chalk and write a list of them on the blackboard and the children come sit down and choose that one that suits best their friend.
It’s lunch time (Oh, I haven’t shared about the snack, probably because they didn’t have anything different from usual) and we all are extremely hungry. We eat even a little salad and spinach: we need to be strong! We show off our right-arm best muscle and we laugh. “Wow, teacher, che forte che sei!” – “Thank you Matilde”.
We play outside and enjoy the sun. It’s warm, strong, arrogant, teaser. It’s on our skin and we feel alive, we feel so connected with the rest. It gives us energy and we need to let it be. We run, we jump, we fight over each other, we make peace, we hug, we observe, we kiss, we slap, we say sorry, we are free.
We go back upstairs, ready to focus. We’re going to be artists, like the Aborigens. Their art is called “the Dot Art” and we read a book that shows us beautiful illustrations on how to reproduce this type of art, the meaning and some ideas. (Arte para ninos is the name of this book and it took two weeks to get it from the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and I was so happy to read it with the kids!)
We watch a video of a woman painting a huge carpet of dots: she’s amazing, we are literally fascinated and we feel inspired. Animals from the Outback, earsticks, tempera and a good amount of patience: this is all we need to master this ancient Art. For some of us it’s easy to concentrate and the focus takes us to isolate completely from the rest of the world: Gaia is dipping the earstick in the tempera, dots her snake at a quite fast pace and nobody is able to disturb her. Not even me, that I’m recording.
Who finishes can go to the library, where books and crosswords about Australia wild animals are waiting for us. We relax, we talk, we are curious, we try out sounds and spelling, we make attempts.
Snack time approaches and the day is about to end: we explored a lot but the Outback is huge: much more is yet to be visited…
READ MORE IN OUR TRAVELOGUE“EXPLORE THE WORLD SUMMER CAMP ’17”
Day 6. The Outback (10th July 2017)