Since we have a new round trip Wednesday ferry twice a month, we decided to take advantage of it and introduce a little music instruction to our curriculum. This is Mike Bennett. He has spent many years studying West African drumming and percussion in Gambia. How weird, since that is where Mr. Finn spent two years in the Peace Corps. So, yes, they were both speaking the obscure West African dialect, Mandinka, to each other. Bizzaroworld.
Mike came out with one of his assistants and they brought a TON of goodies with them.
In the background is another visitor, the copy guy. We were very happy to see the copy guy because we've been waiting for over a month for him to install our brand new copier. As a teacher, I have to say that happiness can be equated to the state of your copier. We're really happy now. Mike is playing the ballaphone. The echo chambers underneath are gourds.
Mike also brought drums and lots of 'em. Djembes are the traditional West African drum, though he brought several other kinds. He taught everyone the basic techniques and we got to work making some big sounds. I mean BIG sounds. We had all the kids, our principal and her assistant as well as the copier guy's mom. No kidding. He brought his mom, Loretta. She was getting down on the djembe.
Why, you may ask, are the kids soaking wet? And why, pray tell, is it so dark in the school? Well, it just so happened that our big plans were nearly foiled by the dreaded "Island-wide Power Outage". Everyone and their mother was showing up on Wed. We'd had it planned for over a month and THEN got the memo that we would be without power all day. Determined to persevere, we borrowed a generator. How else was the copy guy going to fix the copier?! (Big thanks to Jay, Jackie, Charlie and Paul for their generosity and help.)
So, yes, it was a little dark, but that didn't stop us from pounding on our drums.
Oh, did I mention that Ursula, our guidance counselor, was also out? Like I said, it was a BIG day. And, even darker downstairs. Ursula was a good sport and took the downstairs to work with the kids.
Then for the finale...everyone got a chance to drum together and we made some great rhythms.
There's Loretta in the background banging away on her drum. Such fun!