Before I left for Rwanda, I saw the HBO series of Angels in America. I had heard about the play from my theatre classes and am fascinated with stories that touch on the AIDS epidemic and the LGBTQ community, so I figured that I had to see it. Additionally, I heard that Andrew Garfield was nominated for a Tony Award this year for his role as Prior Walter in the revival. Likewise, Nathan Lane was nominated for portraying the role of Roy Cohn. I don't really follow the Tonys, but when someone who has not received an Oscar yet gets nominated, I do. To my delight, I woke up that Monday to jump out of my bed with joy. Both thespians won tonys.
Needless to say, I was in a good mood already. However, the day got even better when we paid a visit to a different school in Muhunga. Once we pulled into the parking lot, we were swarmed by tons of children. They kept reaching their hands out to me all at the same time. I wished I could have had more hands. Better yet, like Roy Cohn, I wanted to be an octopus at that moment. I felt like a celebrity. Not to the extent of a famous person, but someone who was new and interesting.
With my partner, Reuben, we observed a classroom that was taught by some of the teachers we trained in Drama based education. It was remarkable how they could apply everything we taught them. They did warm ups, built a cow machine, and they built a chicken machine. Their students committed fully to the session and reflected what they learned. I did not want to leave that school. It was so magical.
Afterwards, we had a great lunch and paid a visit to Mama Arlene at Urakundo. Her story is truly unimaginable. Everything seemed to fall into place for her in regards to going to Africa. She was a nurse, has great grandchildren, and came to Africa the first time to clean up after the genocide. Her staff gave us a tour of the grounds, followed by us performing Jack and the Bean Stalk for her. It was our last night with the kids, so we played football and basketball with them and had dinner too. What seemed like 3 weeks ended within a matter of 3 days. We built up a bond with the kids. As we were talking with Mama Arlene, she mentioned that her dad was a coal miner, so she was like Loretta Lynn. This has inspired today's song Coal Miners daughter by Loretta Lynn herself. Lynn wanted to fulfill her calling and be more than just a wife and a mother. She achieved that, but never forgot her background. Mama Arlene did this and since I am graduated, I will have to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. For now, I am enjoying every moment of the present.