Thursday, August 12, 2010

Music for Life Camp; Day 1

We finally found our team yesterday after some waiting. It was generally a joyous meeting, however two of our team mates had their passports stolen on the flight here and they are now stuck in London! We hope we can connect with them this weekend.

We asked the local volunteers many questions and they asked many of us. They took us to see the facility that we'd be using for camp. It is a primary school that is currently out of session. This is the reason that we are doing camps during these 3 weeks. In the matter of about 2 hours we gained a clear idea of what we needed to do to make these camps a success.

To prepare for camp we packed 5 large suitcases from Canada stuffed full of supplies. We packed enough craft supplies, sports equipment, drama materials, paper, toothbrushes, and science activities for 100 kids for 15 days of camp! Since two of our team members got stuck in London, 3 of our supply bags got stuck with them. We hadn't even started yet and we were already missing 2 team members, all of our sports equipment, our curriculum, half of our craft supplies, and all of our science, health, and wellness supplies. We had time for a quick meeting last night to completely revamp our plans and get prepared for camp using the people and resources we had.

I am happy to report that today was the first day of camp and it went fantastic. 94 kids showed up! We began with an opening where we introduced ourselves, the local volunteers introduced themselves, and then we shared songs with each other.

We split the kids into 4 groups and then each of us took a group to a classroom and taught them the story of creation. "It was good!" every kid had these words drilled into them, and it truly was good.

At lunch time we all marched over to another primary school where a few ladies cooked for us all. The kitchen facilities are difficult to describe: as far as I can tell there are 3 cauldron sized stone holes where fires could be started and a few dirty jugs which supposedly contain clean water. Somehow, over 100 people were fed here and although the adults ate different food than the kids, I heard no complaints, only content chewing.

In the afternoon we split into 2 larger groups; one group did sports while the other group did music. In a matter of 45 minutes Allison and I had taught the kids 4 songs and had them singing a round in 3 parts. Of course, Greg had a backup soccer ball and had the kids playing football in no time.

The local volunteers have been very impressed so far and we are feeling content with the job we've done. We are about to have a meeting to debrief about our day and plan for tomorrow.

Other news:

We are staying in the nicest place we've been in since arriving in Africa. It is a convent. The nuns ride motorbikes and talk on cell phones but are always wearing their habits.

Listening to the local volunteers jam gives us all goosebumps.

Greg has played about 5 matches of soccer in less than 48 hours.

Don't assume! One of the local volunteers is a mzungu.


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