Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, March 12, 2010

A new Choir!

Today Emma and I made the hot trek across Shimoni Village and through the usual crowds of goats, chickens and screaming toddlers as they welcomed us with multiple calls of ‘Jambo!!’. We were making the nervous journey to the only Christian school in Shimoni, Matunda Bora.

Now we were not nervous about the children at the schools, who every week welcomed us with smiling faces. Nor were we nervous about greeting the resident teachers, who always received us warmly. Though the lingering thought of hot chai with the headmaster, as he giggled at how much we sweated over the ‘refreshment’, did sit restlessly at the back of our minds!.
We were nervous because we were about to sing!!
Today was Matunda Bora’ first official choir practice!

Matunda Bora Choir

We met standards one to seven behind one of the teaching blocks. Faced with the whole school before me I quickly realized they seemed as anxious as us!. Once everyone was put into height order and everyone introduced choir practice began with a cough!. Once voiced were cleared we worked our way up the scales with some informal la la la’s!!. As the children relaxed I found that I did too. This wasn’t so bad, infact there was no reason to be nervous at all, I was having fun!. Even Emma was smiling as she sang along with the school, despite her earlier protests of sounding like a drowned cat, she was actually pretty good!

We taught the school two songs, ‘If you wanna be somebody’ and ‘I will follow him’, both songs from a musical obsession of mine…Sister Act!. As we were without a blackboard, being outside we went with the sing and repeat method!. I sand a line, waited and the children actually repeated. They were smiling, me too! When we started singing even more children appeared round every corner followed by curious teachers carrying chairs. They made themselves comfortable, surrounding us. I was truly mortified at all this extra attention, Emma giggled!. I turned back to the sea of smiles; we took a deep breath together and performed for our audience.

Choir practice

As we drew to an end of practice we finished with an old favourite or the schools, ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’. I was all fingers and thumbs and after a few more giggles and what I can only describe as a light speed rendition at the end, Choir was over. The school headed back to class after a very formal thank you and goodbye from one of the eldest boys.
As the class reformed I left in a mass of high fives and hugs beaming from head to toe. One the way back home, Emma and I agreed that today had been a great day, I can’t wait till next Monday!

Gemma Beach, community teaching volunteer