Today has been about feeling the warmth of the sun outside (I got to sit out on the roof with just a t-shirt on soaking up the warmth, and felt a little sorry for the rest of my family back in Sweden where it is -17°C today). It has also been about observing the children at play.
|on the rooftop of the Freedom Theatre|
They seem to go around freely in groups... mostly groups of girls and groups of boys... sometimes together, but that seems mostly in the back yard and as a family group.
I have seen them playing with fire... looking for scraps to set alight... making lots of smoke, solving that problem and then finally getting the fire to work as intended... for warmth once the sun is gone/ the shade prevails). I have seen groups of girls doing clapping games and almost theatre like games... sometimes crouched in the middle of the road (around a puddle) to clap in a small circle.
Groups of boys picking up stuff and throwing it against a wall to see it smash... and there really is a lot of junk lying around to pick up and test... some of it was making pretty impressive sounds.
|as you can see there is plenty of rubbish lying around|
The children seem to have a free range sort of play... at least from these first early impressions. They are roaming around the neighbourhood and testing stuff as part of their play. Would they call it play? It would be interesting to know.
We took a walk (me and the family I am staying with) to one of the supermarkets in town... children passing were interested in saying "hi" and seemed quite pleased to get a smile and a hi back...
When we were out playing... and I became one of the free range children... then the children were coming up to me all the time to ask where I am from... luckily the two preschoolers I am with can speak enough Arabic it ease the conversation a little... but it is still one filled with pauses. I am still working on feeling comfortable with those kinds of pauses... it IS a strange feeling not being able to communicate with words as you are used to... but it does push you to exploring other methods of communication - body language being one of them.
In the fruit and vegetable shop the men working there were interested in knowing what some of the fresh herbs were called in English, they brought coffee... and it is GOOD coffee here, they invited the children to take an apple. You are made to feel welcome.
In between all these moments I have been sitting at the computer, reading more about Piaget, Ibn Sina - and will continue to read more this evening...