An early start for the group was followed by a scenic mountainous drive through the trees toward the first stop of the day: a chimp sanctuary. A short walk up a hill took us to the lodges, where we were taken by the guide to the chimp areas. Seeing the animals play together was a very enjoyable experience. It was something we could've watched for hours. The sanctuary takes in stranded and orphaned chimps and rehabilitates them so that they are ready for the wild. Seeing this process in different stages as we walked round the sanctuary was highly fulfilling as it showed the progress that can be made, even over short spaces of time. After this we returned to the hotel for some lunch, including some tasty chicken wraps.
After lunch the JT Refell group returned to the hotel and relaxed for a few hours by the pool. We talked over our plans for the rest of the week including lesson ideas for when we get to the school. The group is relishing the idea of interacting with the kids from the school and experiencing a contrasting education system from our own. We hope to teach a mixture of outdoor activities and indoor crafts, depending on the extreme temperatures!
The musicians took the bus to Buxton Memorial church for a rehearsal with the Buxton gospel band. After attempting some Anglican choral music we switched to a more exciting 'Amazing Grace' arrangement for singers, saxophone, drums, bass and keyboard. Then the band performed two of their own compositions to give us a flavour of their gospel music. Eventually, we returned on the bus to join the others for sweet and sour rice, and rehearsed some of our jazz pieces for an outreach concert.
Rhodri and Dillon