Saturday, June 2, 2012

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Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 Today (Tuesday May 29th) was an exciting day for us because we started our service work with the Xukuru schools, something that I have been looking forward to since we arrived. Bright yellow was the color that we painted the outer wall of one of the schools. The color was so beautifully brilliant that when the sun hit it at noon it looked absolutely stunning. I cannot imagine going to a school with such bright colors, mostly because the school that I attended from kindergarten to twelfth grade was made of simple red brick with very little adornment on the outside (other than a garden in later years). It wasn’t only the bright yellow outer wall that stood out to me, but how every Xukuru school is painted tan with a rainbow border at eye-level that wraps around the entire school. Not only do the schools have pops of color, but, as I have mentioned before, almost all of the houses are painted different colors that are not commonly used on houses in America. The colors used in decoration make me wonder what effects these choices have on the daily lives of Brazilians? Do these bright colors invigorate and inspire their inhabitants, or are they used only to beautify an otherwise slightly plain home? Do the colors chosen reflect upon the personality of the painter, or are they merely a decoration with very little thought put into them? These are questions that I will have to ask while I am here. But for now I know that painting the surrounding wall of the school excited the students and community members and seemed to have a very positive effect on them.
We started our work with only a few of the community members helping, and overtime more and more came to help (including the students.) When we were finished with the school one of the ladies in town made us an enormous lunch. I can see that there is a very strong since of community here because of the help that we received and the lunch that was prepared for us. It makes me wonder how much more frequently community projects would occur at home if all of us stopped to help when we saw our neighbors participating. Would there be a stronger sense of pride and togetherness in our communities if we took an hour out of our day to help paint the school or plant a few trees? These are the things that I think about at night and I strive to live out during the day.

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