Thursday, 26 October 2017

Day 4: Beautiful faces, beautiful voices

On the first morning when it wasn't belting down with rain, we arrived at Ballanta Academy to find eager students ready to be taught along with one of our own sprawled across on the chairs like a fallen soldier (don't worry we won't say it was you, Chloe). We proceeded to teach the students 20 minute lessons each, we expected one on one lessons although due to our undeniable popularity our rooms became flooded with new and old students.
Meanwhile, after a slow start to the day due to Mrs Cairncross' prominent social media presence, the JTR group began another day of lessons on the hottest day so far. We decided to teach some of the children 'Here comes the sun' by the Beatles, which they performed with great enthusiasm. The Ugly Duckling and the realisation of just how morbid the story really is, went down swimmingly with the children. Eli relived  his days of year10 drama performing 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'The Three Little Pigs' with Dulcie, meanwhile Pip, Hannah and Leila were being given the creative nicknames of 'Pipe, Annie and Linen' by the overly affectionate year 5. 
After these long and exhausting 3 hours of teaching we had our delicious, if ever so slightly cardboard tasting, Nutella wraps, which of course brightened our day tremendously! We then took a quick excursion to the Sierra Leone national museum where we learnt of the interesting history and culture of Sierra Leone (and seeing a native statue with feather dusters for hands). So far we've had one confession of love, half a marriage proposal and countless questions about our marital status from the students. 

Later on in the afternoon we all went to The Milton Margai School for the Blinds where we performed a heartfelt and very emotional concert to the children. We were astonished by the realisation of how incredible their sense of sound, smell and touch was; when we entered the school I heard a child say "I can smell the visitors' spray". The happiness on  all of the kids 
faces made every one of us smile with joy and really touched a soft spot in people's hearts (some say even Mr Bowen was spotted shearing a tear with one of the children bouncing on his lap). We decided to sing a nursery rhyme all together making the crowd jump up with excitement as we sang along beside them holding their hands to make it clear that we were there to sing with them not just to them. After we performed our music they returned the favour and sang some amazingly beautiful and touching songs with their own choir, and also their incredible pianist, Ali, who is also blind and played astonishingly well and fast. All in all today was full of emotion and opened our eyes to see things that we have never experienced before. 

Dulcie & Hannah - JTR
Katie - BAM

On another swelteringly hot day, all students really delivered! Some amazing teaching in both schools, and as the girls said, a lot of emotions at the MMSB- beautiful faces with beautiful voices.
Over and out for now.