We HAVE Arrived…

May 17, 2007 at 1:20 pm (Amanda, Trip 2007)

Before leaving Boston, the idea that we really were going to Africa hadn’t quite sunk in for me yet. The idea that all of our hard work was finally going to pay off and we would see and feel what we had been working so hard for seemed awfully distant, even though we were about to step on the airplane. Thoughts going through my head mostly consisted of things like ‘Am I really going back!?’ ‘Will any of the children remember me?!’ My life has taken an interesting turn, and I never would have dreamed before coming to Berklee that I would set into motion a trip such as the one we are now in the midst of.

When we finally arrived, after a very long, very grueling trip in very small seats on very large, very crowded airplanes, it suddenly felt right to me–not unreal like the first time, just very right. Walking through the airport and seeing Samite and smelling the air right after the rain had memories from last January flooding back to me. We got to our hotel and were met by the incredible African hospitality that is always wonderfully surprising (especially coming from Boston where people avoid eye-contact on the streets!!). A few of the staff members have remembered me already and have asked where Mama Amanda is… (I tell them how much she wished she was here)

What an incredible opportunity for me to return here with my close friends and such talented musicians. Honestly, it feels amazing to be out of Boston after such a stressful year. I hope this trip will help me wrap up my experience living there and allow me to begin re-embracing new places, new people and new ideas.

After an amazing breakfast (mmm mango juice) we had a meeting with Samite and set off for Nyumbani. Although most of the children were in school, we were able to meet with a few of the little kids who were still there. They had so much music to sing for us! We traded off singing songs for one another, and the kids were always on top of it– they would come up with a new song before we could think of our next one! (Sheryl– little Faith, your Faith was there… she’s beautiful as ever and was singing the loudest of all the kids! She’s such a leader.)

Tomorrow we go to Shangilia. I am so excited for that, and am just waiting with anticipation and excitement. We’re still planning out the schedule as we go– we met with Don & Njeru and they are excited about what we will be doing and will stay with us after Samite leaves for Uganda. Don will try to arrange a trip for us to the village where Nyumbani is doing outreach work with community children. That would be an amazing experience.

The group dynamic is wonderful– and we all sound so beautiful singing together. I’m excited to see where and how this trip unfolds. I will write more later. I love you all!

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3 Comments

  1. Jane Maestro-Scherer said,

    Oh Amanda…

    I an so happy to read your first entry. I’ve read all the others as well. Just came back from our MWH Board meeting and even there, the spirit of your journey is infecting all of us!

    Maria told us that Mr. Njenge of Shangilia wrote her that the kids are going to New York in October to perform with the Harlem Dance Company! Of course the first reaction was … why couldn’t you all perform with them and Samite? Wouldn’t that be awesome???!!!!

    Sheryl was so thrilled to hear about her little Faith. She is so J-E-A-L-O-U-S!!!

    Also, Samite is going to do a fundraiser for MWH on June 2 (in the Ithaca Festival). It’s going to be called Samite’s Dance Party. I’ll be designing the postcard to send to ClubFlyers by tonight or tomorrow. You’re going to be here! And we’ll be dancing to his music! Does anybody else want to come?

    Give my embraces to the kids, Don and Njeru.

    I love you…
    Nanay

  2. Sheryl Sinkow said,

    Hey Amanda!

    I was thrilled to read your update and of course so happy that Faith is doing so well. Did the kids get the photos I sent with Samite? There were quite a few of Faith – I’m sure she’s so grown up now! There were many photos of you too!

    How’re things at Shangilia? Can’t wait to hear more and of course I’m sending you lots of love and give hugs and kisses to all – big hug to Njeru and Don!!

    xxoo,
    S

  3. mariam said,

    Hey Amanda,

    It’s so nice to hear from you…yuor days sound so rich and wonderful I can picture all the you have written in this blog..Amaing I’m glad you have arrived saftely and that your having a great time. Give my regards to Spencer and treasure every moment…Love Ya
    Mxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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