Thursday, 16 May 2013

Maghabeni School - Sunday (Part 2 - the workshops)

The group were all brought together outside in the glorious heat. After a hearty rendition of 'There was a moose' led by Anton the group shook hands with everyone, exchanging names, hobbies and what they thought of their country. The hobbies were largely dancing and singing, which was proved by how they interacted with the games later on. Everyone from St Mary's commented on how their favourite thing in South Africa was the weather.

Then the group split into 2, taking half the group in the garden to work. The groups started very similarly with small ice breakers and games to get the group talking and sharing together. They took to the work so well and were very open and receptive to new things. They particularly liked the games where they were allowed to dance or sing. Quickly the group started teaching us new songs and games. My Teddy Bear and  My Jingle were particular favourites as well as some much harder to learn Zulu versions. All the singing games seemed to have the same theme - give everyone and action and everyone their few seconds in the centre of the circle. We threw ourselves in with aplomb - what we lacked in rhythm we made up for in enthusiasm. 

It became quickly apparent that they wanted us to feel welcome - no matter what we had planned, no matter what Lu had said about the area or the township, this group wanted to play and they wanted us to feel like they were learning from them. Ok, so maybe we didn't get to a lot of the more structured Drama exercises we had planned. Maybe we planned for 4 hours and only did 1, but we learned some valuable things. 

1. You can't plan. You can be prepared but you have no idea what may happen. 
2. The group want you to learn. 
3. There is just as much enjoyment and learning to be done in chatting and listening
4. Timing is never what you expect. Dinner at 11.30 happened at 1. 'South African freestyle'.
5. Music is infectious. And the group were much more used to this as part of their culture than we may be. 
6. If you wear sunglasses expect them to be taken........

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