Today was the first day with the students of classes 4, 5 and 6. Instead of our usual approach of discussing the theory and teaching the exercises, we started with asking the children questions about their feelings. “How did you feel when the earthquake happened?” They answered “I was afraid” “I was scared” Then I asked “What happens to you when you hear a loud noise or feel a little tremor?” They answered by showing me a gesture of “shock”.
I also asked “What happens to you when you have had an argument with your friends?” “What happens to you when miss your family?” They answered “I cry!” “I cannot eat!” “I cannot sleep!” “I feel guilty!” I asked “What happens to your body then?” They answered “I get a stomachache!” “I get a headache!” “I vomit!” They are indeed feeling a lot.
When I saw their faces at the first day, I noticed that many of the older students furrowed their brows. While the small kids are very giggly and smiley, the older ones seemed less so. It could be something to do with their sensitive age, but the older ones must be feeling a lot in their day-to-day life.
Although many of the students said that they were no longer afraid of an earthquake, many of them said they were missing their families and sometimes cry for them. Although it was said that none of their families died in the earthquake, their home villages are very far away, some too far to walk back. None of them have gone home since the earthquake.
As part of the TRE evaluation, we asked the students to create a picture of the human body in order to identify places where they felt pain or discomfort after the earthquake, then asked them to put stickers of different colors on places where they felt tremors after each session.
They had so much fun drawing a human body. Some in the group drew a woman with long hair, some a male and some drew a skeleton!
They also made a chart that listed their feelings, to describe their positive and negative feelings. After the TRE session they put stickers on the chart to compare their feelings after the earthquake and how they felt after the TRE.
Now the training materials are ready! We will start with the oldest group and continue with 6 more classes, ages from 7 until 18.