“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” -Chuck Palahniuk
Ms. Martinez: Legacy was the word of the day today. Some of the legacies that we leave behind are physical, such as the house we built for Edilberto and Oscar, or the mural we painted today. They will linger in the spaces we traversed and will remain for a stretch of time, but forever in our minds and hearts. Some of the other legacies we carry with us or leave behind are purely emotional and based on the love and support among us. It may seem like a simple phrase but these students have grown into a family that supports each other and laughs with (or at) each other. Alejandro was clearly the superstar of the day, with every action of his warranting a loud and positive cheer of “SLAY, Alejandro, SLAY!” The other lasting legacy that we hope is left behind is a raucous celebration for Mr. Dale’s [insert number here to not hurt his feelings] birthday. Cake and “Happy Birthday” songs reverberated throughout the day! As we reflected tonight, we spoke aloud our wishes for the legacies that remain after we leave this wonderful country, but also the legacies that linger once we have passed on. Among our wishes, we hoped that we are remembered as people who helped others, who made good, wise, responsible choices, and who were loving to all those around us. Enjoy the thoughts of Amy and Jenni!
Amy: “Abre Tus Alas A Grandes Acciones” Open your wings to big actions. That was the whole message of the amazing mural we painted today. Waking up at 5:30 a.m was really hard but it was all worth it at the end. Stay tuned about how 24 students painted a mural in about four hours. We started by meeting up at CASFA in the morning and greeting our partners as we do everyday, then walking to the place where our mural would be born. Seeing where the mural would take place was surprising. It was such a busy place for 24 people to paint one mural. When I first saw the design of the mural, I didn’t think we were going to be able to pull it off.
Once we started working, it was like the seven dwarfs from Snow White (except we were 24) working really hard to finish the mural. I was really scared to get paint in my hair. I don’t need more then two colors in my hair. While we were painting, putting the finishing touches on the mural we all sang together, and laughed about our inside jokes. Painting the mural was a life changing experience for me. Who would’ve known that a group of students could make such an impacting mural? A mural that will stay on that wall forever, anyone who walks past it will remember us. Our partners will remember us on their way to school everyday. That’s impactful.
Finishing that mural was so tiring, but again so worth it. Worth all the black, gray, and white on my fingers (which took so long to take the paint off) It turned out so beautiful. I have no words to describe how beautiful it looks. After we finished the mural, we all felt very accomplished and took an amazing picture. Then we went back to CAFSA and we ate a delicious lunch. Of course we had to celebrate Mr.Dale’s birthday and after that we played activities with the CASFA students, who have become more then friends, they’ve become family.
Jenni: Today, we made a mural with the CASFA kids. The mural included the flag of the U.S. and Colombia. While painting, I felt connected to my inner self. I remembered the time Sister Carolina told us of the significance of the mural of the indigenous women and of the baby eating corn. The indigenous women in the mural represented our (hispanic) indigenous roots. The baby and the corn was a representation of how one eats cultural food from a young age.
The painting itself represents the love for art in the culture of hispanics. While painting, I really felt that connection. I’ve always wanted to write graffiti on walls and to do it in Colombia is an absolute dream come true. Back in the U.S. you don’t really get praised for murals or significant graffiti. Here, you are recognized for the art you do. As we were painting, people walked by, talking of the man that was leading us in painting. They’d smile and say with a proud smile “He’s especially recognized for the art he has all over here.” I felt inspired by him to embrace the art and spread it to others. The way he led a group of more than 20 people in drawing and painting a whole mural was amazing.
Truly, I think art is a part of us that we all embraced today. I’ll never forget laughing, singing and painting with the CASFA and Cristo Rey kids. After we finished, I sat at the top of the mural and enjoyed the view. Friends came to join me and we all just laughed and listened to music. Heidi came to me with her speaker telling me that my cousin, Kevin Roldan’s (famous artist in Colombia) song was playing. I started laughing. Today was full of true joy. I was struck when I saw the ending result and felt surprised and proud at the same time.
Through this mural, we left our footprints here in Colombia. I saw people looking back at it as they walked up the stairs and passed by the mural. I hope that our partners will see it and remember the memories spent during this trip and especially while making the mural. Though I got white paint on my hair and seemed as if I got gray hairs, I’d consider this one of the most memorable moments in my life.