Written by Niki Even on March 26 2008

Picture Me, Picture You

Our pen pal project between Explorer Elementary (San Diego, CA) and The TunaHaki Foundation (Tanzania, Africa) is off to a great start! Last November, the third grade students at Explorer Elementary learned about pen pal letters and started their first exchange with the children at the TunaHaki Foundation in Africa. After spending a great amount of time creating their beautiful letters, the students handed them off to Doria (Outside the Lens Staff), who carefully packed them with her all the way to Tanzania, Africa. When she arrived, she spent two days with the TunaHaki children providing Outside the Lens Workshops and explaining the pen pal project to them. When she finally returned to the states a few weeks after, she had a whole set of letters, poems and pictures for the Explorer children to enjoy! After spending some time translating the letters from Swahili to English (thank you Anne!), printing all of the self-portrait photography from the TunaHaki children, and organizing their work into small packets by names-the 3rd graders could not wait any longer! We spent a few hours with the 3rd grade students learning about Africa. Our guest speaker shared her experience of living in Africa and even taught the students some Swahili words to use in their next letter. After this, the much anticipated event finally arrived, the 3rd grade students were finally able to look at the replies to their letters. They poured over the responses, pictures and poetry. Now eager to respond, they pulled out their writing materials and got to work! These works of art will again find their way to Tanzania, Africa in a small suitcase accompanied with pictures full of smiles and words of friendship and peace. 

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