Favourite things

IMG_9107The school where I do my voluntary creative writing workshops throws up a whole new set of interesting challenges. Yesterday the two major challenges I had to contend with were that firstly the lighting was really, really poor in the classroom, reliant on the natural light that filtered in through the not-very-large windows. Secondly, my sense of hearing was also challenged as the walls are so thin in these school blocks that I can hear about three other teachers talking loudly to their students (actually, shouting would be a more accurate word. I think a great deal of shouting goes on in Kenyan schools and on top of that all the teachers are trying to out-shout the others just to be heard!)

Despite the above however, I had a great session with a group of 25 ten year olds. We worked with a beautiful poem called ‘Lauren’ which was, incredibly, written by a nine year old English boy called Barry Turrell. In pairs, the children made notes and discussed all kinds of their favourite things, ranging from their favourite place to their favourite clothing. They then wove their favourite things into a poem written in the second person; in other words, a poem written to their favourite person. I absolutely loved some of their responses. Here are a few extracts, the last one in particular which just blew me away:

You are a new moon

in the sky

You are the happiness

I feel

You are the bubbles in my soda,

you are the air that I smell.

By John Njambia


Your hand is as warm as

the wool I sleep on every night.

You are my happiness every time

I’m sad.

You make me feel

like I’m at home where it’s safe.

When I race with you, I feel

like I am racing with God.

By James


You’re the colour blue 

that represents

the sky in the day.

You’re the sweetness 

in my mango juice.

You’re the drum that

keeps by heart beating.

When I sleep close to you I feel

like God is holding

my hand.

You’re like a sunrise after a 

lifetime of


By Joseph

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