Monday, December 03, 2007

Public dancer

My roommate, Sophie, arrived after breakfast and settled into our room. At the morning camp choir rehearsal, Rob & I had our first experience learning music by sol-fa notation. The choir director, Charles Lesia, had composed a piece called Badisa which we would be doing the premiere performance of. The lyrics are in Shona.

This morning, I attended my first Afro-fusion, contemporary African dance class, led by Thabo Rapoo. Wow. It was awesome, in a painful, exasperating way. I was in tears by lunchtime. My initial reaction was one of dismayed horror at what I had gotten myself into. I was way out of my league, felt like I never should have been allowed to sign up for the course. I was torn between feeling guilty for being so inherently incompetent under the tutelage of someone who was obviously a national treasure and feeling blessed with the gift of a cultural experience so rich that I couldn't bear to let go, even at the cost of my own pride and physical comfort. My final reaction, after a day of processing and sporadic weeping, was that I couldn't let this opportunity pass me by. I would dance.

Each day, we had an appreciation class of about an hour. Today, I appreciated segaba, Rob's new instrument. It's complicated. I'll have Rob explain it.

After the evening's entertainment, more traditional dancing, I went exhausted to bed. I had been going to use a sore muscle soak that I had picked up in Gaborone (impulse purchase) but discovered, much to my chagrin, that the tub in our dorm was inoperable, missing faucet handles, big bugs crawling in it and having a drain clogged with sludge. So, I rubbed a little peppermint everywhere that hurt, which was everywhere.

To stave off mosquitos, even though we were told that there was no malaria locally, we rubbed Purification oil on our exposed areas and took garlic oil capsules. Seems to work.

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