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2.24.2009

2/24/09 Mural Mapping (Map Muraling?)

This weekend, we had the third meeting of our group, the Future Leaders of Berberville. We talked about the upcoming tree planting and **painted a world map mural**. They already had a world map with geographical boundaries (although it was flaking badly, and more than one country had been knocked off the map by knocking out the plaster under it - reminded me of the now-headless images of Hatshepsut in her palace in Luxor), plus we wanted to maintain the Environmental Education aspect of the project, so we created a map of world biomes. Polar and Mountain Ice, Tundra, Chapparal, Savannah, Desert, etc. The geography teacher and English teacher worked together Friday night to translate the names for us.

Friday afternoon, Volunteers had scrubbed and primed the wall, using a baby blue basecoat to represent the world oceans. Saturday morning, we snapped chalklines to create a grid pattern and then used the grid to reproduce the world map. When the rest of the teachers and students arrived at 2, they began painting in the continents. We started with Antarctica, since it's just all white, and then as the kids grew more confident with the paint and the brushes, we moved to more complex regions. First the desert in Australia, then the shrubland around the desert, then the forests, and then we began tackling the rainforest across the southern hemisphere. (To reach the Northern Hemisphere required ladders). By the time we were ready to close up shop Saturday afternoon, we'd finished the southern hemisphere and were making progress on the northern.

Sunday, we trekked back to campus. We took advantage of the students' lunch break and siesta to do some of the detail-work ourselves - there are a *lot* of tiny islands in North America! - and then passed it to the students when they returned. Towards the end, the principal of the school, who had observed us closely throughout the process, actually climbed a ladder to help paint Greenland and North Canada (you can see him to the right).

He also insisted we paint a flag of Morocco, which we had originally planned to do but had somehow forgotten.

And then, after two and a half days of work in the Berberville sun, we were done! We packed up all the supplies, said goodbye to the kids, and went home to make pizza and apple pie for dinner. :)

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps