Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Wednesday 20th october

Today we set off in two groups off to the relevant places where we would be teaching for the day. The Balanta works on a ‘drop in’ ‘drop out’ basis and some people just don’t ‘drop in’ at all! There is no problem with this except for when you don’t get a lunch break as people come for a lesson just at the wrong moment. This morning comprised of a lesson with Egerton (the young man who came to Wells last term) and a shy girl, Esther, who turned out to be surprisingly good. Originally from Nigeria, she is working towards taking her grade 3 theory exam in order to be able to take her next singing grade and has the overall inspiration to become a presenter, hence going to university to study media communications.

Lunch break was surreal as within the space of 30 minutes the 6 of us had had at least 35 marriage proposals. We managed to find our regular jewelers and therefore spent 1000’s of leones (about 1 pound each) on bracelets and necklaces. The afternoon was spent with more pupils one of which could sing up to a top top c and he is a man… it was so natural for him! This evening we are going to the Bristish Council to watch a concert, it should be great.

After a slightly later start than yesterday, we set sail for our first day without Mr Ladley- aka ‘The tall man with the silly hat’. Morale wasn’t dampened in the slightest after having sat in front of the Sierra Leonean News for an hour the night before, waiting for footage of us to come up on the screen- perhaps it’ll happen tonight.

The musicians carried on with instrumental teaching, whilst the Reffell team spent the morning teaching lessons, particularly sports and the Nativity- teaching Christmas carols in African heat is a surreal experience, and ‘Little Donkey’ will never be the same again! The different pronunciations of our feeble Western names have proved hilarious- Polly is ‘Auntie Colin’, Liam ‘Uncle Lyon’ and I ‘Auntie Jwanna’. The children sang goodbye to us with traditional African songs after our sports session, where the hula-hoops were a massive success, although the same can’t be said for the Frisbees. Liam did an admirable job of goalkeeping for all the boys, who took it in turns to have their turn with the football, and our stomachs are all sore from the extensive hula-hooping. We walked back from the JT Reffell back to the Ballanta, avoiding some massive potholes and drains on the way, and took the minibus back to IMATT.

As I write, the African weather is proving itself varied as ever- after baking hot sun this morning, I can now hear the monsoon rains outside. We are now a little more acclimatised to the heat, and the girls have racked up a fair amount of marriage proposals between them, although we still can’t find our African trousers. Tonight we are watching a concert in the city, an evening that will distract us from the paranoia of ‘Assassins’- the essential question of which is, who is Rosie supposed to be killing?

A de go- wi go tok bak.

Johanna & Polly