Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1000 Origami Cranes

There's an ancient Japanese legend that says; Somebody who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. However, it isn't that simple. One must complete the cranes within one year and all must be done by that person in order for the wish to come true. Sadako Sasaki, a girl who developed leukemia when she was 12 due to being exposed to radiation at the age of 2 during the time of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Hearing this legend, she tried her luck and tried to fold 1000 cranes in hopes of recovering. Sadly, she died before completing her goal and only managed to fold 644 cranes.
Carrying the cranes on mobiles
A "1000 Origami Cranes" was a long-term project carried out by our art teacher and involved both students and teachers in the creation of the cranes. The aim of this project was to grant the ill children's wishes, giving them a sign of hope.
At first, I was selected to be one of the folding experts in 2 assembly, specially dedicated to make the cranes. As an expert, I had to guide other students, explaining step by step how to create an origami crane. I found it difficult since my first group consisted of 20 oblivious students who didn't seen to care much about whether they are folding correctly and because I'm quite shy and quiet it was hard for me to control them. On the second assembly, I was lucky to get a different group who was more attentive and remembered most of the steps from last time. We managed to create about 20 cranes when the required was at least 10 per expert. 

Hanging the cranes

The last part of this project was delivering the cranes to Mulago hospital in Kampala. When we arrived we were surprised by the size of the hospital and by the amount of patients occupying (the patients were also surprised by our visit) it and thus it was decided it would be better to hang the mobiles at the entrance and at the children's section. We were divided into different groups and were in charge of different areas. The hanging of the mobiles required team work, one holding a mobile and passing it on to the person on the ladder who then attaches it to the ceiling. It required patience and caution since the mobiles are very delicate. Cranes kept on falling from their strings and I almost damage an entire mobile when I moved the ladder.
Overall, I felt that this activity has engaged me in issues of global importance and encouraged me to work collaboratively with others. 

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