Two weeks ago I took individual photos of every girl and had them printed in Managua. It was an entertaining process to get the girls to pose for me, but we all ended up having a good time and laughing quite a bit. It was an even more incredible process to find the hard-backed board I wanted to mount the photos on. I had to take a bus to a neighboring town to find a large Styrofoam piece one might put in the trash. The workers at a Refrigerator store were glad to hand over their extra packing material. I painted the board red and pasted the photos of the girls in order of youngest to oldest. Below every photo I wrote ADENTRO: and AFUERA:. I brought the poster board to the home of the Yahoskas, and was immediately surrounded by smiling faces and screeching voices saying, “ENSEÑA!” (which means show me!). After every girl got a good look at the poster I began the two day process of discussions.
I discussed what I thought was beautiful inside and out about the personalities and faces of every girl. We talked about how the media often emphasizes outer appearances, and how it is important to realize there is more to a person than the clothes they wear or makeup they put on. A few of the girls blushed and smiled nervously as we talked, but eventually they all warmed up and enjoyed talking about their favorite personality traits and physical features. A few of the older girls became a bit teary. I think it was refreshing for them to be able to express their love for themselves to someone who truly cared. With the older girls I emphasized how much I loved it when they were positive, and I told them how important it is to maintain their positive attitudes (although much of the time the girls are grumpy or whiney). They need to receive encouragement and positive feedback as much as possible.