December 4th 2010
Any day that involves a zombie breakdance battle is a good day in my opinion. Today marked an event we have been getting ready for for a while, a big party for the children at NFC and several other orphanages and schools. We got more than 200 people in for an afternoon of games, an evening of dance performances, food and a dance party! Watching the children throughout the event has made me incredibly happy. They scampered around with new friends, playing musical chairs and soccer and alternately blowing up balloons and going on search and destroy missions for them. It was great fun trying to play ‘Simon says’ in a language I don’t speak, and being cheered on by my students while playing musical chairs.
But the best part was the dance performance. The older NFC kids and some children from another school did a number of dances and songs for everyone. The dances ranged from an ultra traditional, elegant and subdued blessing dance, a coconut dance, and of course the break dancing! Most of the dancers are in the class I assistant teach in the mornings. Seeing them on stage, having fun and performing confidently in front of over a hundred onlookers made me incredibly proud. A number of them really struggle in class, and watching them excel is the most incredible thing I can imagine. I must find some way to bring the confidence they have on stage into the classroom. If I can do that, if I can unlock a belief in themselves I know they possess, I will have succeeded.
The best moment: during the evening dance party the elfin seven year old Syna gathers flowers leftover from the performance, and runs into the midst of the dancing to throw them into the air. It rains white petals on all of us. She shrieks with glee, and runs to me, throwing her tiny arms around my waist. Today is the happiest I have ever seen her.
Tomorrow I leave to spend four days in Seim Reap with my friends Niamh and Tim! Expect blogs and incredible photos later this week. I will try to get photos of the party up later, but right now I need to pack. I am so excited! Even living abroad I get insatiably itchy feet, and this is the first adventure outside Phenom Pehn sense I got here.