Monday, September 11, 2017

Planning and adapting

We often say the Christmas messages I do with the kids at St. Mark's are Carefully Controlled  Chaos. There are a lots of animals sounds and angels swoop in to the astonishment of shepherds. I think it pretty much reenacts the chaos in the original manger.

However meeting the needs of the children at the site removed Carefully Controled from the equation. The kids are ages 3-12 or so and they have had a Summer Camp for the last few weeks. Structured in planning, but spontaneous implimentation. Yesterday we were to clean up from that camp and  prepare for the Fall activities.

Of course the obvious question is why aren't childnre in school at this time? The Greek school would need to hire teachers who are bilingual and the reality is that everyone is in transition. They could arrive, move on or move out at any time. Parents hope it will be short say and there is no point in filling out the great amount of paperwork to get the children in school. The schools, already strapped to teach Greek children, hesitate to add staff for a shifting populations.

The result is a lot of energetic children waiting for Whatever Comes next so they can move on. The realty is that many of the families here have been in the waiting process for more than a year. The average is around 6 months before they are relocated. That is 1/2 year these kids are simply unoccupied. Lots of energy can build up!

So a day with no activities is simply incomprhensible. Every open door - event open a crack - is an invitation to get in, grab some crayons or a trike and do something! For the western organized mind set, it is short sighted, but for these children short sight is all they have.

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