When I called my class up front to get started with the mural painting on the first day I realized there was only one little girl in a sea of older boys. Sabina is about 8 years old and has come to my painting class a few times in the past but she has not stood out to me as someone particularly dedicated or serious about painting, so initially I was not sure how she would do being such a minority. Turns out though that this little girl can really hold her own and I got to know and love Sabina’s sweet smile and determined perseverance increasingly throughout the week.
Sometimes I would see Sabina off to the side, not painting, and so go up and suggest a certain thing for her to paint. For some reason many of the parts Sabina painted were in the sky… first mixing a light blue color, then I showed her how to swirl the clouds by rotating a bigger brush, and then finally she put a sun and a rainbow in the sky. With each of these tasks Sabina took her time completely, intentionally, and actually went over much of what she painted multiple times because it kept getting dirtied.
Every once in a while, during the camp, at the Saturday celebration, and Sunday at church I would get a tug or a tap on my back, turn around to see Sabina’s wide smile and be offered her hand to hold. Sabina doesn’t say a whole lot although I know she knows english, she is just a girl of few words, but she says a lot by how she responds to things. I think she and I have some special connection after this camp that will pull us back to hugs, hand holding, and “talking” through smiles whenever I come to Mathare.