Time is picking up speed now, as we reached the halfway point of our project this weekend.
Sessions with the children progressed well this week, and our trainees are starting to lead games and exercises for themselves. Their ‘homework’ is to think about one therapeutic goal and an exercise that might encourage it… and to bring a short melody that might work as a ‘hello’ song. I’m hoping someone uses ‘Tik tik tik ya em sleiman’ which is a Palestinian children’s song I really like! It has a catchy little rhythm and a repetitive tune that will work well with any group. I might adopt it and bring it home…
Our second day at Hope school, Ramallah was as successful as the first. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we were able to take them instruments purchased in Bethlehem, which everyone was delighted with, especially the tablas! (not Indian tabla. But here, all drums are tabla and I think they may be that for me forever now.)
Getting the instruments was an interesting experience… we went to Bethlehem to buy them in a shop called Valentine’s, having visited previously and now armed with a list of what we wanted. In the centre of the shop floor we amassed our selection, then gently engaged in a little bargaining to reach a good price… Pleased with our success, Teleri went to a cashpoint to withdraw the 2,000 NIS agreed. After rather longer than expected, she came back to say that she’d only been able to withdraw a certain amount and was having no luck finding another working cashpoint. So the lovely music shop owner loaded us and our unpaid-for instruments into his personal car, and drove us to a further 2 cashpoints in Bethlehem. Not only would the charity’s card not work, my personal card wouldn’t allow withdrawals either! So without further ado the man drove us to our home, took the amount we could offer him and told us to bring the rest to the shop on Saturday, or Monday. He didn’t take our names or ask for anything in writing, just unloaded the instruments and even offered to help carry them to our door! I love these people.
It transpires that sometimes, the cashpoints run out of money at the end of the month. ‘Don’t worry’, I said to Teleri, ‘we won’t starve here! We’ll just go and say to someone, please feed us… people will probably queue up to make offers.’
On Wednesday we attended a concert at Dar al-Kalima called ‘Brass for Peace’ which is an initiative by German musicians. Lovely music, interesting setting – the school playground is a kind of natural amphitheatre – and friendly atmosphere. The concert was informal and good natured, with a brief appearance by the children who had made ‘elephant trumpets’ out of a piece of hose, a funnel and a brass mouthpiece. Bravo! Lots of people took part, children and staff as well as the visiting musicians.
We took our postcards to Bethlehem post office on Monday, so hopefully our sponsors will receive one before too long. However, my mother reports not having heard from me yet, so it may take some time!
Hazel and Teleri.