Music, Music, Music!
Wow, it's been one hell of an awsome week. I would say this has probably been one of the best weeks of my entire service (I seem to be saying things like that a lot lately).
Basically, the Pangea music program has been amazing. I've heard, seen, done so many new and awsome things. I met lots of really cool people, including just about every big name music artist in Niger. Also it was a whole week hanging out with some awsome fellow volunteers.
One of the things that happened everymorning was that Sheena would lead a yoga class. Now, I've never been particularly enticed by yoga, especially all the "harnessing your energy" type of mumbo jumbo. So the first day I just drank my coffee and watched. But the second morning I figured, what the hell. Wow. I tell ya what wow! I can't remember the last time I gave my body such a beating. It felt amazing. I'm sold. My body hurts all over and I love it.
Though yoga's definately not the only reason for my soreness. Just about every night, some kids from the local schools would come to hear some of the artists we invited to come play. Now, concerts here are not just to sit and watch, they are participatory. You are expected to get out there and dance. And so we did. Kurt and I were out there everynight learning new dances from the kids and trying to keep up. It was freaking exhausting. But it was awsome to feel so included by the kids. They were so thrilled to have us out there with them and they showered us with praise for our efforts after the concerts. I'll try to post some pictures later.
Between yoga and dancing, there was lots of music to be played. We would jam with the random people floating around all the time. It was great when we'd get upwards of five musicians all sitting around jamming on drums, guitars, banjo, and traditional instruments too boot. We also taught some classes on western instruments (compared to traditional counterparts) and American styles of music. At one point at the end of Kelli's pop music class, she put on Metallica - Enter Sandman and Kurt, Kelli, and I demonstrated head banging and moshing. They aren't acquainted with metal here in Niger, so it was a trip for them. Afterward one of the locals asked me if it was a traditional sacred dance in America. To them it probably looked like one of there spirit dances where people get posessed. So I tried to explain white middle class teen angst to them. I don't think they got it.
I also got to watch a guy rock out to Metallica on his Goge (traditional one string violin) during my class comparing it to modern violin. And it sounded good. It was crazy.
I can't even begin to explain all the awsome things about this week. I'm exhausted and ready for a rest, but I definately plan to spend more time hanging out at the CFPM when I'm in Niamey. I'll try and upload some pictures from this week at some point.