Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday......

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just In!!!!

Just in from Fanuel........ He must be excited to be up this late!!

The Music festivals were yesterday and today. Our choir competed and won in 8 of
the 9 items they had presented. They will be going for the district
competitions later this month. Thanks for the funds you gave us we were able
to go through this first step for GPS. The competition for WHS will start on
18th and 19th of this month.

Do ya'll think we can send them to the next round????

Tami

Getting Ready!!!!!

Holly's Back!! & Music Fest Update......

Hello Everyone,

I'M BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm still VERY tired, haven't unpacked or done laundry but I'm alive and well and back in the U S of A, (and already planning my return trip)! I had an absolutely INCREDIBLE time and am so in awe of all the wonderful changes that have taken place since my last visit!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's because of EACH of you that GREAT things are happening in the Kayole-Soweto community!!! What started as one man's dream has become a reality for 100s of children and their families. It is SO amazing and inspiring.

Since the subject of this thread is Music Fest 2009 let me start with that. Whenever I visit Kenya I set aside a sum of money for special projects/emergency needs. This yr., prior to my departure, I received an email from a sponsor asking if she could contribute toward MY travel expenses. I said 'sure' and she sent me a VERY generous donation of $500 USD to use at my discretion. After watching the kids practice and seeing what the chance to compete means to them I decided to donate the entire $500 for the music fest.

While in Kenya I got to observe long hours of practice, put in after an already full day of school, Mon - Sat... and then again on Sunday!The kids practiced until night fall when there was no longer light to see by then made their way home, some traveling a long distance, all on foot. They have no stage to practice on so their coach tries to get them to imagine one by marking out the boundaries and borders in the dirt. As they practice little kids call out and run through their space, goats bleat, roosters crow and neighbors gawk and gossip. Community life continues in the middle of and all around the practice. When school is out they are able to practice in the space outside the classrooms, if it's not raining and the ground is not muddy. Other times they practice inside classrooms, where they are elbow to elbow, or out beyond the school where the ground is uneven and rocky and borders a garbage dump and a very polluted river.

On past trips I've had the opportunity to watch our children compete at the local level. When they are at the venue and dressed in costume nobody would know that these children come from the slums. They look like kids anywhere and perform as well if not better than many :-) After seeing all this for myself I am more convinced than ever in the value of these competitions for our children and I applaud the efforts of each of you are committed to seeing that our kids have this opportunity to showcase their talent.

Holly