Thursday, 16 May 2013

Maghabeni School - Sunday (Part 3 - saying goodbye)

From all the times I've worked with new groups I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a group when you've grown close to them. They find it hard to express their feelings towards you but also we leave knowing we will probably not see these people again. The more you travel and work the easier it gets, but the first time is really tough - and we felt it. 

After lunch, playing games, chatting, hair braiding and more singing the pupils again wanted to share their offerings with us. We were treated to a piece of Drama by a local Drama group about a child who wants to join a Drama club but her father forbids it, until he hears her sing. There was a lot more poetry with some poems discussing our visit as well as the poems they have written in class. 

But the most startling and staggering thing was the effortless way they moved from song to song - beautiful voices and harmonies that didn't feel like a 'party piece' but just a very entrenched thread in their culture, religion and heritage. Not only that but this was how they represented themselves as a community - they joined in with each others songs and encouraged each other to continue and share more.

Of course, tears started to flow. The students were truly overwhelmed, as they should be, of what was on offer to them. Even more, how appreciative they were of us coming to them and being there - we felt like the pleasure was all ours. Some became more attached to some than others - Tom was a particular favourite with the ladies, or one lady in particular. Some children looked at English money and were thrilled to find out that one coin could be over 10 rand. And, as quickly as we arrived we left - still squashed in but feeling decidedly different. 

Tonight we go to Harding and stay in the house of the principle who runs the schools we're working in for the next 3 days. We've taken a lot from this - personally as well as in terms of the Drama, so move on happy and relaxed.

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