This morning, we went to another school out in “the bush”. Again, I brought my wireless speakers and the girls were fascinated with them. We created dance routines together, but I noticed that for the most part they wanted to imitate my dance moves. I had a difficult time getting them to spread out and give each other space to move because they were so eager to be close to me. At certain points, they would grab the leg of my pants, my shirt, my arm, and even my hair. Since many of them have never seen long hair before, they were very eager to feel mine. This seems to be a trend among the Masai, an infatuation with my hair!
As we were dancing, this young woman, Lillian, caught my attention. She had a great sense of rhythm, a lot of energy and incredible enthusiasm. However, many of the girls have rhythm because they are taught to dance as a part of their culture at a very young age. But something about Lillian was outstanding. She was spunky, polite, attentive, and all around a very unique individual. Before we left I gave her this hat so that she will have something to remember our time together.
The girls loved the idea of having a “dance off”. Here is Silvia and I dancing to “Beat it” by Michael Jackson. They had a great time singing along with the chorus. I was surprised to realize that even out in the bush they knew a few songs by Michael Jackson, Rihanna, and Shakira.
Their favorite song to dance to was definitely “Waka Waka, This Time for Africa”. The song is well known all over Africa and when I played it their faces lit up. In fact, we danced to it four times in a row! I was finally able to get them to spread out while they were dancing, but it didn't last more than about 30 seconds before they were crowded around me again!
In the afternoon, I went to the classroom to do an activity with the middle school children. I gave them a prompt asking them to write a paragraph and draw a picture of something special that they enjoy doing and what they would like to be some day. Although this may seem pretty basic for middle school-aged children, my intention was to get them thinking about their future and make their goals more realistic by sharing them with one another. They were a little bit shy to stand up and share with the class, though. I explained to them how important it was to be able to get up and talk in front of people in order to continue being successful in life. The sad thing is, realistically only about five out of that class of 40 kids will go on to high school.
The kids love to have their picture taken! There are about 30 more pictures like this one on my camera.
While I was dancing with the girls, my dad was teaching the boys how to play baseball. The boys were so enthusiastic and eager to get their hands on the equipment. Before we brought this sports equipment (baseballs, bats, and soccer balls), the school only had one ball for all 250 kids.
As we left, the children longingly stared at our truck, waving the whole time we pulled away. I felt my heart being pulled as I left them, knowing I would likely never see any of them again. They touched me in a way that words cannot describe. Today was a beautiful experience that will stay with me forever.
On our way home, we stopped in town. This is Mercy, one of my grandma’s favorite little girls whom she often sees with her mother at the local fruit stand. We gave her 120 shillings (about $1.50 USD) to buy biscuits and juice from the convenience store. She was absolutely precious!