In July and August we held two Taste of Guinea Soirees to celebrate the 2007-2008 Guinea trip with Karim Koumbassa and to raise awareness about Guinea and the fundraising work that Guinea Kids Education Fund is doing.
We had live Guinean music and dance, we ate yummy African fare Guinean-style (all around large platters with our hands!), we shopped at the marketplace, listened to stories about Guinea, and danced!
Here is an excerpt from my story and some photos.
“About four hours out of Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, into the lush forest region on a bus packed with chickens, food, luggage, an entire kitchen, drums, chairs, instruments, and about 20 people singing and making music, We found ourselves in a magical place called Kindia. Land of tree giants, waterfalls, thick vines hanging lushly everywhere and ancient-looking broken stone patios, pathways, and stairs leading through the trees to more waterfalls. This is where we held our dance and drum classes each day of the 3 or 4 days we were there… with the mist of the waterfall at our backs and the wonderful smell of a jasmine-like flowers in the evenings.
One day I took my book and my journal and went looking for some solitude. As I climbed the stairway through the vines and trees, I noticed two boys following me. I sat down and they curiously came closer. They did cartwheels and showed me their monkey-like climbing abilities. They were bright and curious and began to talk to me and ask me questions. There was something in they way they presented themselves to me that as a teacher I recognized and I could just tell that these children were attending school. So I asked them about it and they told me about going to school. They sang me songs they had learned. I wanted to sing with them, as I do with so many children, so I asked them if they sing the ABC’s. They sang me their version in French and I sang them my version in English. I think for both of us it was a moment of connection across our vast globe. I wondered at what new awareness of other places that exchange may have brought to them.”
Wontanara (We’re all together),