Surprise talent show at a remote village in Kenya – guess who has to perform!

Blog entry created by: Teresa

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We just arrived in the Nyumbani Village in Kitui, Kenya.

Nothing like Nairobi – very little electricity, no running water…and our modems don’t work here most of the time!

The village cares for children who have been orphaned by AIDS.

Africa has so many children who have lost both of their parents to the disease, that there is a great need for this type of project. Nyumbani’s goal is to make the village self sustaining and self-supporting, so that the model can be replicated in other parts of Africa.

Soon after we arrived, we went to an assembly hall where the children and shoo-shoos (grandmother’s) performed dances and songs for a group of high school students who were visiting from Ireland.

These children have a lot of talent – take a look:

The shoo shoos will not be outdone by the kids!

Uh-oh – we had no idea we were going to have to be part of the talent show

The person who was coordinating the assembly then asked the Irish students if they wanted to perform something. They went up and did a beautiful Irish step dance for everyone. At this point, we knew what would be coming next and – lacking a traditional “American step dance” – tried to think of SOMETHING to do. The Irish girls were on their second encore performance…why hadn’t we taken some dance classes or something???

Cotton Eyed Joe, anyone?

We figured that we would not impress anyone with talent – which we were sorely lacking – so we decided to try to win them over by making them feel like they were a part of our performance. We chose about 15 children to come up with us, along with another American volunteer, John Mike, who is very popular among the group and began to teach them “cotton eyed Joe”.

Yes, I know, it’s a pathetic choice, and not the best America has to offer, but everyone was so busy watching John Mike and the kids learn the steps – most of the attention was diverted away from us! It worked out well and many of the shoo shoos and staff were laughing as John Mike joked that he, “was just about to get it”, and “Sure, sure, it looks easy from the audience, Sister, but it is actually a very complex dance.”

We had a lot of fun at the social hall during the welcome performance. Then we took a tour of the village and were utterly impressed! It was so much more than we had imagined…

Read our next post to learn more about this incredible village that will be our home for almost a month.

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Posted on: November 1, 2010 | Categories: Blog, Global Issues, Health Care, Kenya, Poverty, Traditions, Water, Well for HIV+ Village- Kenya



  • David Manglass says:

    What? No hokey pokey?

  • Teresa Teresa says:

    What if the hokey pokey IS what it’s all about? Well, then we will have chosen the wrong dance to represent America ;-)

  • Emily Dwight says:

    The hokey pokey is definetly what it’s all about baby!!!

  • Tom Sides says:

    Teresa You and the children are doing one of the most courageous things in the world that I could ever imagine….quitting your job (or is it a leave of absence??), getting the entire family out of their comfort zone and traveling to both familiar and unfamiliar remote parts of the globe. All the while doing charitable acts of kindness and helping other less fortunate souls to have a better life. While I have followed the blogs intermittently, I am compelled to comment how envious I am of your adventure and am awed by the diversity of places you have visited and done good deeds. How are you loving Africa, hokey pokey aside?? I have always admired you, but now you are my hero!! You have set a high bar for things that Judy and I might attempt when I have retired.

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