Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tuesday 25th October

 25th October 
Today was our first proper day teaching at the JT Refell school. We decided to split into two groups of three; Olivia, Rhodri and Freddy together and Joe, Lydia and myself [Angus]. Splitting into groups proved to be a good idea as it meant that we could meet and teach more children. To begin with we did a book reading of "The Hungry Caterpillar" - however it was in French. We kept it interesting by using group inclusion show and tell. Once finished we told the kids (aged around 7) to draw what their favourite food in the book was. They warmed to this idea of imagination and individuality and produced wonderful drawings of fruit and sweets (mostly ice cream). After this activity we took the children outside and thought them how to play the drama warm up game - SPLAT! This activity proved extremely successful and was unsurprisingly very popular. By the time we had payed a few games in small groups and one large game as a whole it was break time and thus our first day of teaching was over.

Today was our second day at the Ballanta Academy.  We all had 2 or 3 1 on 1 lessons as well as a few group sessions. Several people had lessons with more than one of us on different instruments. Dillon had a pupil who had never played piano despite his age. We started jamming with James, the pianist of Groovy Colors and we discovered that we made a really nice sound (with me [Bertie] playing a traditional African drum!) and decided to play in the open mic night later that night.

The original plan after teaching  was to go and perform at a local orphanage.  However, whilst on route to the outreach we had the unfortunate mishap of the engine in our bus failing. We were lucky enough however to break down near to a petrol station and opposite a very welcoming restaurant - which would come in handy. We ended up waiting in the scorching hot bus for 2 and half hours. 

This was a very tiring ordeal however the owners of the restaurant kindly let us in to their building to get out of the sun. Finally the bus started again, we got petrol and we were on our way. We arrived back at Ballanta ready to play and listen to Groovy Colours. They started with some instrumental music before we all went outside to listen to some Sierra Leonean music and some kids danced for us. It was all really exciting. Their singer then sung some UK pop songs like Adele and Bruno Mars but with a reggae twist. They continued to play music till the sun went down.

Albert and Angus