Monday, 18 October 2010

Monday 18th October

After Monsoon weather through the night and Mr Yates being thoroughly petrified we left for our respective destinations across Freetown. Those not teaching at the Ballanta Music Academy left armed with skipping ropes, books and clothing departed for the primary school, JT Reffell. We were greeted by the pupils and teachers waiting for us with a welcome banner. We were sent to different classrooms and were immersed straight away amongst the excited children. George and Mr Meally were given the challenge of teaching 54 10/11 year olds complicated maths which proved difficult for a certain English teacher. After one case of diarrhoea and a satisfying and rewarding day of work we left the JT Refell School and headed across town to join the others at the Ballanta.

On the other side of town the musicians taught all day, finishing with an exhilarating African dance class. The day was packed with people of all ages coming to have lessons and watching others being taught all eager to have as much time as possible. Some students even came back in the afternoon for a second lesson! When we first arrived we were given a provisional timetable which was abandoned within an hour and left to us. After finding out there were organ master classes scheduled, Alice and Sophie left the Ballanta soon after arriving and travelled to a nearby church. There Sophie taught for the morning and then formed a mini hymn-singing choir with Alice and the help of five other Sierra Leoneans. Miss Arrowsmith met us and then we visited a small primary school en-route back to the Ballanta where we were nearly mobbed, and the teacher had to use sticks to get the children back! We then returned for lunch. Meanwhile Emma, Rosie and Iona taught all day, having fun meeting all the different people of varied age and standard. The JT Reffell group met us and we then recorded a jingle for the radio to advertise our concerts. However Mr Yates and Mr Ladley spent the afternoon at the Ministry of Finance trying to chase up the computers that have been stuck in the port!

Finally the African dance lesson proved amusing for all, and two members of staff who wish not to be named even took part (Mr L….. Mr Y….)! A dive in the pool was very much appreciated after the sweat, blood and tears that were put into the dance class.

When we arrived back at IMATT we discovered that the electricity was down so an evening of candles and cooking at Captain Rocky’s house was in order! To a week of candlelight!

A de go

Sophie and George