Our activities in Monze were divided into two distinct phases during the day. The morning was dedicated to the children of the “Sacred Heart Preschool”, aged 2 to 5 years. Our first day was a moment in our lives that will not be easily forgotten…just as we passed through the gate of the school, the children ran to meet us, jumping like rabbits and hugging us. In that moment they conquered us, with their smiles, their bright eyes, their cries of happiness.
The activities primarily revolved around play, but through games we helped them to learn colors and numbers in English. Then time to twirl, run, jump, play ball games, but the most marvelous feat for them was blowing bubbles; this charmed everyone leaving them speechless.
The afternoons instead were spent with children aged 6 years and older. Our activities were always held outside in fresh-air open areas of the school and we took turns in two parallel shifts playing basketball in a nearby area without grass. These children who were a little bit older were a little more shy, peering around timidly to see what we were doing, but with each passing day more and more children joined us in the activities.
With these older children, the activities were more focused on education and sharing. We brought English books to read aloud or alone. The children loved these, they read and reread them. Before leaving, we cataloged and left the books to start a small library. We also left sheets of paper, notebooks, pencils, crayons, sharpeners and erasers for drawing and creating origami.
Even though we spent each day in the same place, no two days were ever the same. They always amazed and surprised us with their openness and warmth and joy.