Graffiti and Literature

What an excellent trip! I’d never been to the Southwest before; I’d never seen any of the American deserts, or cacti growing like oak trees, or rattlesnakes (I still haven’t seen a rattlesnake) and it was all beautiful. Arizona is neat!

When we arrived at Santa Rosa Boarding School Tuesday morning, none of us had much of an idea of the sort of work we’d be doing. With students arriving the following day, we were just in time for the hustle and bustle of classroom set-up and campus preparation! We gathered in Sister Val’s room to delegate tasks and although I’m certainly not computer savvy, I somehow volunteered to set up classroom computers. Geoff and I started in Mrs. Roger’s room with a jumble of cords and computer parts and set to it. It wasn’t terribly long before another teacher stepped in to see if we could do hers as well! Only months earlier it had taken me the same amount of time to assemble my single desktop that it took us to assemble ten that day.

The downside of assembling computers is you have to play inside, and who wants that when outside looms an amazing desert sun and the possibility of critter sightings? With that in mind, Tuesday night I decided that each possible moment on Wednesday would be spent outside.  So naturally on Wednesday morning when Sister Val asked what we wanted to do and “play outside!” was my eager response.

Damara and I set to work picking up the early childhood playground and were disappointed to see graffiti painted on the equipment. We went to the office to ask if they had anything to clean it with and they sent us back out with an aerosol can of paint thinner and disposable sheets that are stored and removed like diaper wipes, but are covered with paint thinner — AMAZING.

Once we set to it we saw little progress, which just fueled our need to remove it entirely. We scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. Eventually, Sarah Lynne came out to join us and we scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed. After lunch Damara and I returned for more hours of scrubbing. Hot, sweaty, tired, and SICK of scrubbing Damara sighed, “I wonder what would happen if I threw some of my water on it.” *Splash.* “OMIGOODNESS!!” we yelped as the graffiti dripped away. We were able to clear everything we’d been scrubbing away at for hours in only a half-hour! Knowing the trick, I wandered through the rest of the playground to find all those sneaky places we wrote bad words when we were kids.

Thank you, Santa Rosa Boarding School and NCFL for this great opportunity. We had a wonderful time!

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