Today a similar event was scheduled for a community center way the heck north of here so I planned my bus trip, got all the route info and hopped on board bus 32. As we passed from the museum district the houses got shabbier and shabbier. Many of the buildings looked ready to topple over at any moment and yet there would be people sitting out on the sagging porches. It made me really sad and at one point I thought about never getting off the bus and just riding it until it turned around. After about 20 min we got to our stop and I made the decision to get out anyway and proceed to the community center.
At the community center we heard another African story teller who was even more lively than the last one and ended up getting almost half of the audience on stage in her story about how every has their own rhythm. There were rhinos that stomped to the beat, monkeys with egg shakers, Zebras that did the Salsa. Throughout the song we all kept singing "Everybody's got their own rhythm, everybody's got their style ..." At the very end of the song she started to tell about the poor giraffe's that couldn't''t feel the rhythm and couldn't dance and felt left out. I swear she was looking directly at me (as we were the only white people in the audience). I tried my hardest not to die laughing!!! The story had a happy ending though as the giraffe learned to dance gracefully to it's own rhythm.
After a bit of a break a bunch of boys and men came out in some traditional costumes and performed with their drums. It was very overpowering and loud and exciting. I'll see if I can upload the little video snippets I took with my camera when the dancers came out but there they were, probably ages 8-12 dancing like crazy in a whirl of color and frenzy and energy. Eliannah turned to me at one point and said excitedly, "It's so loud Mommy!" (check out the strap that's holding his drum)
After several different dancing groups came out a huge masked stilt-walker came out and danced just as ferociously as the women and children had. It was amazing and a little scary. He had a mask over his face and Eliot's eyes just got bigger and bigger until he leaned over and said, "Is that God?" After I assured him that it wasn't he seemed to enjoy it more.
I think after this week of eye opening expiriences I'm going to have to read "American Apartheid" to hopefully understand the great disparity that I'm seeing around me.
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