I can’t believe it. Two weeks have come and gone and somehow I was not only crazy enough to try and teach animation from scratch in a mere 14 days but I also found students crazy enough to learn and create animation in such a short amount of time.

Below are students yesterday in the final crunch-time, trying to finish up their projects for today’s final critique and presentations.




We met this morning at 9AM sharp and they uploaded all their work to my computer so we could play the animations on the large screen.



We spent a full FOUR HOURS after that presenting and discussing the work. I was extremely proud of what they were able to accomplish in a limited time frame and even though many of the works were still in progress, all had solid concepts and ideas, and all communicated their messages from beginning, middle, to end with sound, visuals, movements, and text/credits.

Some people went even further and were able to spend a lot of time perfecting their images and fine-tuning the movements as well, but at the very least everyone who wants to continue building upon their projects can do so with the solid foundations they presented today.

I especially am happy that they all individually had their own styles and ways of communicating through animation. Some people hand-drew everything, others used video as a skeleton to draw over, and others still animated using digital paintings or stop-motion animation to express their ideas.




So I’m basically a bit wiped out now. I came back to the hotel and just plan to catch up with writing as well as (gulp) finally start my Christmas cards. I actually had them ready in early December but never got a chance to write anything since all my energy went into planning for this trip as well as every last detail for my family to manage while I was gone.

Tonight I am going to celebrate with the students at a music hall called Mama’s Kitchen. They have amazing live music and dancing. When I was doing a million things at The American University of Rome I used to be a tad jealous of the Adjunct Professors because they had time to actually hang out with the students. I felt really un-fun trying to attend to all my millions of responsibilities running a program, teaching, and being a good wife and mother. Here, I get to indulge a bit and remember that in fact I AM fun and I can actually take a moment to connect better with my students, even if it’s just for a day.

So after two very intense weeks I am officially OFF DUTY. Tomorrow I will play the role of traveler (not tourist hopefully) and take a short trip to the intact rock-hewn church of Adadi Mariam, believed to have been constructed by the famous king Lalibela. I’ll also visit Tiya Field where 36 ancient Obelisks live. Maybe I will acquire some magical powers while I am there?

And then that’s all folks. Back to my hotel and I fly out at midnight tomorrow. I have done my best not to blather on about how much I miss my four men (husband, two sons, and cranky cat)  but that has been the hardest part of being here. I hope the next time I visit Africa they will be with me.

OK. I owe you one last Afri-mation tomorrow night. I’ll also make a compilation of all the student work in the days/weeks ahead and post that as well. Thanks for reading!