Music is Life

May 27, 2007 at 9:17 pm (Amanda, Trip 2007)

Today was amazing, beautiful, inspiring and bittersweet. It was our last day at Nyumbani, and it was a day that I really, really saw music working it’s magic to connect.

We started the morning off by attending mass with the children at Nyumbani. Music and dance are so intertwined with their everyday lives and it was so beautiful to see the children so engaged and alive. The service was beautiful; many words about unity and connection between people of different cultures, societies, worlds. I was so moved, and felt honored to be a part of everything.

The day was so full. We stayed after the service was over, and started playing music with the kids immediately. They are always so eager to sing with us, and I know that it’s the catalyst for our connections. I ended up with a little girl named Anne, who is new at Nyumbani. She is about 3 years old and doesn’t speak, make eye contact, and generally seems pretty withdrawn. However, when I started singing with her, “I want to sing sing sing, I want to dance dance dance, I want to sing, I want to dance all day long!” and moving with her and bouncing her up and down, a bright grin spread across her face and she started giggling and laughing and making eye contact with me. Then she really started to open up and began really dancing with me… it was really moving and I really felt something click within me during that moment. I have no idea what traumatic experiences she has been through, but I was able to reach her and tap into the child within her in that moment, and it was beautiful.

Summer, Wyndy and I wrote a song a few days ago called “I Dream of Tomorrow Today”. We decided to record the kids at Nyumbani talking about their dreams and what they want to do in their futures. It’s amazing, because these children have such BIG dreams, and many wouldamanda11.jpg assume that since they have HIV or AIDS that they wouldn’t. It amazed and moved me that so many of the children wanted to become doctors. We’re going to put their voices into a recording of the song that we’re planning on doing when we get back to the states, and I can already feel how moving it will be.

Another thing that I was able to do today was work with Victor, who is 19 years old, and is a rapper. We worked together on Garageband and I helped him put together a beat, and we then recorded his song. It was amazing how different he was before and after the music. Before we worked together, he was withdrawn, very shy, didn’t make eye contact and would disappear often. The transformation was so drastic while the music began to unfold. He started opening up to me, joking with me, and talking about his future. He said that he does want to be a musician, but he also wants to be a doctor, because he has seen so much sickness and so many people who have not been helped. He also told me he wants to get his phD someday. I know he will if he’s given the opportunity.

What we are doing here is beyond the reaches of my mind to comprehend right now. We’re really making an impact, in a way which I didn’t think was possible. I KNOW it is because of the music we are sharing, and I KNOW that the connections that we make would not be as deep and meaningful without it. It was so difficult to leave today and to say goodbye to the children, however, I know we will all be back, and I think the children really believe that too.

What an amazing adventure this has been. Asante to everyone who has been with us every step of the way.

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