It was rainy season, our summer time, but not so in Addis Ababa. This is a time when cold comes, inside activities replace soccer, running outside only happens after the downpours, until the next one occurs. With the every other day of “on and off” electricity, it makes for a pretty boring time for the 100 plus population of students.
Another day we had the honor of having the group “Celebration” from Atlanta, Georgia come in and perform for us. They were headliners for the Sheraton and took time out of their busy schedule to come and sing. It was a magical time at Layla. The dining room was packed with children and adults alike. During their performance, staff from around the compound were stopping by and peering in the windows to see our famous guests. At one point the group began to sing “Amazing Grace”. To their surprise the students all joined in. The looks on their faces, hearing our children singing to them, were touching. The gifts our children gave back to these guests were certainly tenfold. It was evident by their tears.
We ended our camp with a presentation of songs that we learned during camp, some wonderful solos from students, and from this teacher’s view a stronger understanding of music and the importance of it in our daily life. I have a few favorites of the week such as the “Deep in the Jungle” song that the entire student body performed with homemade musical instruments and puppets and the “Act Naturally” song with the teaching staff line dancing during the instrumental part - Cowboy hats and all! I can honestly say that teachers and students alike had an amazing time! The dining room was full of songs and laughter and we teachers are all looking forward to next year’s camp with a new group of students, as these beautiful ones will be in their homes in America with you all soon!