I’m writing from my brother’s home in the Netherlands. I was in Africa only a few days ago, but being in a Western country makes it seem a lot farther away than that! I am so glad that I went to Kenya. It was amazing to see these kids at work. They learned to play the violin so quickly, and we were all impressed with how hard they worked. I would say that 90% of the kids learned a proper bow hold, posture and bowing on the A and E strings. About 60% of the kids were able to put down their fingers on the A and E strings with control and regularity, and about 15% of the kids could get through the A section of Twinkle with a lot of prompting. That is very impressive for only 6 hours of instruction!
Anne Ogren is in Kenya still, working with the kids and training Boniface. She has given us an update that a schedule has been set, with class sizes of no more than 12 at a time. This is a great precedent to set for arranging classes in the future! Anne has said that the classes don’t always meet, due to irregular schedules at the school, but anyone who has worked in a public school understands these kinds of obstacles.
The real test happens when Anne leaves Meru. Luckily, Boniface has a large support network, both in the States and in Kenya, that wants to see this project succeed. I look forward to seeing how this program continues in the future. It will require some real dedication from the American community by providing instruments and repair until there is infrastructure for a self-sustaining solution. I also hope that this small string program will not only develop into a larger program (and maybe a full orchestra by the time these primary school students reach high school), but also provide these kids with the enjoyment, outlet, outlook, growth, and maybe even revenue source that music can provide.
I have added a few new albums, which will probably be the last albums I will post publicly:
|Pictures of us!|
Fun fact: We saw a LOT of interesting signs, from business signs to billboards. They would pass so quickly that we couldn’t take photos in time, so we decided to write them down instead. Here is our list:
Beauty Salon and Butchery / Banking on Women / Winners Butchery / Seagull Park and Wedding Gardens / Fast Lane Rooms / Saba Saba Hotel / Joy – Step Hotel / Prime Age Beauty and Fitness Center / Texas Housing Development / Happy Church /
Spice Girls Salon / Gatangle Hardware / Photo copy gas / Update Investments / Thinka Road Animal Feed / Red Bull Butchers /
Great Princess Bar and Restaurant / Amazing Funeral Services / Learn to Skate / Young Turks Furniture / Brilliant Hair and Beauty College / Highway View Motel / Mobil Talk Shop / Uppways Hotel / Clean Deal Motors / Bush furniture Enterprises / Join the Tribe with Allcatel / Beef Up Your Sukuma / Simba Oil / Highway Medical Clinic / Blue Star Pub / Sanford and Daughters / Ya – Maa – Ha / Peakay Guest Hotel and Butchery / Gotta Love Pork / Whizz Photo Ltd. / To Life Bar / King Kong shop / Kenchic Inn / We are K “Kuku” about chicken / Mombaswa Road Hyper / Tire and Carpet Center / Shooters and Dips
I hope you have enjoyed this blog! If you have read this blog, please send me a note! I’d love to know who has been reading it, and also any thoughts you may have. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am planning on returning to Meru for the entire summer. Thanks to the kindness of our hosts in Meru, I will be able to afford my living expenses while I am there. I will not however, be able to easily afford my airfare. If you would like to donate, you can click here to reach the PayPal button that will allow you to do so. You can also send checks to my address: Andrea Yun, 554 S. 1st Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
Thanks for reading!