Whats it all about . . .

My name is Rachel Talbot and from September 2011 to July 2012 I will be Volunteering for Project Trust, a charitable organization which sends young adults from 17-19yrs overseas to do charitable work in a range of projects. I raised 5000 pounds for this opportunity through a range of events and would like to thank everyone who donated! This year i will be working in a center for children with disabilities while immersing myself in all things Mauritian! Hopefully i can update here what i am up to, may not update religiously . . . Thanks for visiting :)

Saturday, 30 June 2012

English week and Music day at CEDEM

Two of the worlds international languages are food, and music.
From the 17th to the 22nd of june we have the biggest event at school going. Forget the Olympics or the football, we had English week and Music day. The children were encouraged to speak English for the whole week, that lasted about ten minutes. Thursday was the national music day with concerts around the island to celebrate the vibrant music scene we have here in Mauritius. Each day at school we had a different theme of music/culture. Monday was “European”, Tuesday “Typique Seggae”, Wednesday “Indian” and Thursday “Chinese” then on Friday the big concert .I feel lucky that coming away from home to experience another culture I didn’t just get one culture to experience but ultimately three, Indian, Chinese and African/creole.

On Monday I was wearing a typical English dress, a silk creamy dress you would of worn to a wedding three sizes too big . . . and we waltzed to Adele and did karaoke to Michael Jackson. We had old classic games such as musical chairs and ‘danse sur la journal’ where the couples had to dance on a piece of paper which kept being folded and getting smaller. All the kids dressed up in dresses and suits and looked very daper to say the least J

On Tuesday I was kitted out in a full sega outfit, a full length billowing skirt patterned with yellow and blue flowers and a shirt with extra yellow ruffles. We dqanced to the' Maravanne' rattle and ‘Ravanne’ drum and unluckily one of the kids got my horrific dancing recorded on camera . . .  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that us foreigners can’t swing our hips like the creole girls from here, it just isn’t in our genes. but i gave it a shot an dhad a lot of fun! We had groups of sega singers and some of the kids did solos. Here is a taster of some of the sega songs that are popular right now . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jO7XzPKLDk

 I have absoloutly no idea who is number One in the Uk charts right now but I can sing you every word to the sega hits over here!

Wednesday brought Indian culture. I was dressed in one of the teachers saris which I still don’t know how they wrapped around me! As pretty as It was I won’t be swapping to full time saris anytime soon – I don’t know how the women move around to cook and clean and going to the toilet is a nightmare!! We danced Bhojpuri which is a type of Indian exclusive to Mauritius that was created here. I just followed the other teachers and threw in a typical pat the dog while screwing the light bulb move and ripped off some moves I’d seen in bend it like beckham. . . after the demsonstration we had a little disco where I ended up hitching up my sai doing the highland fling for the kids to copy!

On Thursday I was dressed up in some funky Chinese cut off trousers and a red silk waistcoat. We did thai chee with the kids ( I had to change out of my trousers as I was in danger of ripping them!) and we practiced for the big concert the next day!

Unfortunately the big sega artist who had been booked to play on Friday cancelled at the last minute but we had another acoustic band come in to save the day “One destiny”. The day was set up kind of like a stars in disguise with different acts from the kids. Kids did hits from Bollywood films, some hip hop with awesome break dancing and lots of girls doing sega dance routines. It still surprises me how here it is one of the only places where the kids of the country actually like listening to the traditional music of their country and not just bland dance songs from america.  Us teachers did a number – a Scottish dance which I choreographed and we practice in one day!! I mixed in highland dancing with ceilidh dancing and pretty much everything in between. Most of the teachers were tired out from all the jumping about but they all enjoyed doing it – it was nice to be in a kilt dancing aogn to some bagpipes! We had a school disco after. As much as I would of loved to gone on the dance floor and messed about with the kids I kept having to remind myself I was a teacher and was supervising cleaning up and getting food and drink for the visitors! All the kids dressed up again had a really good time though and it was a great day to top off a fantastic week J

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