Besides being an adorable scene, I feel that this photo contains a strong allegory for describing my time so far at the Holy Mother of Mercy children’s center in Warsaw, Poland wehre I'm working as an intern with CARITAS For Children. It is naturally difficult to grasp the overwhelming concept of being in a completely new culture. I am constantly hitting language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, and awkward little silences when neither I nor the person I’m speaking to know how to proceed in discussion. But children don’t care. When I followed them to the large play area they simply grabbed my hands, escorted me to the sand box, and started burying my feet…then my legs…arms…you get the idea. Some brought over buckets, some brought shovels, but mostly they just scooped it up with their hands and patted it down. It is through this little ritual that I started to understand my place here at the center, here in Warsaw, here in this new country.
I would like to begin with a quote from The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “…I call to mind the golden words of the Great Teacher of mankind, ‘Unless ye become like one of these!’ And now, my friend, these children, who are our equals, whom we ought to consider as our models, we treat them as though they were our subjects. They are allowed no will of their own. And have we, then, none ourselves?”
Topics: internship in Poland
As a philosophy and language student ultimately hoping to start a career in art therapy, I have been thinking about how to bring art into the lives of the children at the Centre of the Holy Mother of Mercy just outside Warsaw where I’m serving my internship in Poland with CARITAS For Children.
Naturally I feel a deep desire to introduce, incorporate, and encourage different art activities, but the main question was, “How?”