Hello again.

Last moments in my hotel now. All packed up and ready to move. Back to moscow this afternoon.

Yesterday was epic. I really grasped the value of the work. We all gathered in the ‘great hall’ of school no 1 – the whole school and parents and teachers and everyone had something to show.

First we were all introduced and everyone clapped for us. Then we saw all of what our team had been working on over the week. There were exhibitions of – mosaics, kites, batik, lanterns, paintings, photography and then in-between shows of clown, hula hoop (mine!), Ossetian dance, spanish dance, egyptian dance, hip hop, russian traditional (with a may pole!) and mine & guillaumes clown act (which went down very well!!!).

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It ended with us all dancing freestyle on the stage and Maria was awarded a certificate of some kind, as were the old students who are now apart of Maria’s children. Every second you had a child throwing themselves at you for hugs. The amount of joy in that room was overwhelming. So beautiful.. and so deserved. The love we feel for being here is so much. The teachers look at me with an admiration beyond what I feel I deserve. It’s amazing how far just simple connection goes. It’s not about doing anything! It’s about being here. Simply being here, still. 12 years on. reminding everyone that joy can still be had amongst the grief and that we may be strangers but we care and admire them.

Maria has been doing this since the terrorist attack and from being here for so long has changed the lives of many of the students. Especially the group of students who were around 9 years old and held hostage and lost family. These children are now apart of Maria’s children crew… they go to big summers camps in moscow with orphans, they are weaved into the fabric of this beautiful family energy Maria weaves around her. Countless stories have been told about their transformations from not talking or smiling to being their loving happy selves now. You can obviously still see the pain and how they hang on to each other like their life depends on it. But they have a beautiful network around them.

‘We have three mothers, our mother at home, our head teacher maria and you’. The children chanted to Maria.

I might have to agree already. What a woman.

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So we got showered with presents and this is my name in russian on a cup cake. 🙂

My poem for Beslan. This is the sculpture in the grave yard. We took flowers to all the graves. This symbolises the mothers holding up their children.

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Beslan 

I feel like Alice

filling a room full of tears

for beslan

 

my three red

flowers

my hands sweat

my mind wonders

 

the mothers

 

how do the mothers

hold their arms up

and not tear the sky

apart?

 

I feel so held

by the women of beslan

like their child

their eyes

joy and grief in all

that is

their eyes

 

who’s grief

mine?

yes.

why is it not

mine

it is now that

i love them

 

the angels are present

in beslan

 

you see them in the twinkles

of eyes

 

you feel them in the

pull of their

hugs

 

I met many angels

in beslan.

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This is one of them!

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