Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - Heartbeats -

Over Easter, my son Chris­ti­aan and I were trav­el­ling in Zim­babwe (where I was born and grew up) on an in­ter­na­tional youth tour made pos­si­ble by Ruth Pasi Foun­da­tion and World Re­mit. While in Ruwa, east of Harare, I con­ducted and spon­sored a very suc­cess­ful mo­saic work­shop.

200 women reg­is­tered for this event but Ruth and I could only ac­com­mo­date 20. These women from Dotito, who re­side in huts with­out run­ning, potable wa­ter, no elec­tric­ity and mostly live off food that they grow them­selves sang us into the work­shop when we spoke about it un­der the com­mu­nity meet­ing tree on the side of the road to Dotito. I un­der­stood their words of Shona: “Ta­tenda mawuya” (thank you for com­ing) in the wel­come song, re­call­ing them from my child­hood in Kwe Kwe… so at the end of our work­shop on Easter Sun­day I sang the song back to them and ev­ery­one laughed.. and then joined in !

We all sang and danced and clapped around the Easter Mo­saic Cross we had made to­gether in an ex­plo­sion of joy, recog­ni­tion and friend­ship. This is the most unusual mo­saic work­shop I have ex­pe­ri­enced to date! I went back home for the first time in 25 years to show my son where I grew up; to con­trib­ute some­thing pos­i­tive to Zim­babwe by shar­ing my cre­ativ­ity. But, in the end, it was me who was truly blessed by the peo­ple I met there.

Ev­ery­body loved the mo­saic process; were ex­cited, in­spired by and proud of the artworks they made. Lead­ers of the area have in­vited Susie’s Stu­dio back to cre­ate more mo­saics with ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in Mashona­land next year- in­clud­ing a new Dotito Wel­come sign and plan­ning a fu­ture mo­saic gar­den for Dotito.

Con­trib­uted by Su­sanna Mills

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