Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills
Activity at Huda’s Preschool in Hashem Al Daraj
Independence Day – Meitar crossing was closed in the direction of Israel. Leaving Israel - no problem. There were soldiers at each intersection. Mohammad also noticed the (seemingly) hidden presence of some soldiers. We saw settlers and their families out on day trips. On the narrow road to the preschool, a convoy of on-coming settler cars forced us to drive on the edge of the road. Road 317 was adorned with Israeli flags, including entrances to Palestinian villages, no doubt ensure that the villagers are clear as to who rules the Occupied Territories.
We drove to Huda’s preschool. The topic of the day’s activity was “butterflies” – appropriate for the season. This is a fun creative activity which also includes a story and recitation with play acting.
Huda, Chaula, and 20 children were present today. A mother and her two children arrived shortly after the activity began. The children ran to us happily, each one wanted to shake our hands. The children were enthusiastic and participated throughout the activity.
The first step of the activity was to finger paint toilet paper rolls that were to be used as the body of the butterfly. There was no hesitation on the part of the children to dip their fingers into the paint, which was a problem when we first began our activities at the preschool. But – there is no water at the preschool! We couldn’t understand why. Thus there was problem cleaning the paint from the children’s fingers. While the toilet paper rolls were drying, Chaula read a story to the children and we taught them to recite and act out the song “come to me pretty butterfly” of Pnina Bergstein (translated to Arabic by Suha Ibrahim). The next step of the activity included finishing the butterfly – coloring and cutting out a template of a butterfly, pasting it to the butterfly’s body, and finally pasting on antennae with sensors (pipe cleaners with pom-poms).
The children were very pleased with the butterflies because their wings flapped giving a real sense of movement. We concluded with a butterfly dance – every child ran around the room with their flying butterflies.
About the activity – it is fun but a bit complex. Cutting with the scissors and pasting was difficult for the children, perhaps because there have not been enough creative art activities this year.
Huda and Chaula are no longer upset by the messiness of the activities. The children also helped to clean up the classroom. It seems to us that the classroom is kept clean all the time.
As has become a tradition, we ended our visit by drinking tea with Huda and Chaula. We discussed the future of the preschool, salaries, and tried to understand (without much success) the internal dynamics among Huda, Chaula, and Amna.
Pictures of the activity – in the April 19 2018 album in the album gallery of Gan Huda: