Sunday, July 25, 2010

Graduation

Well, the graduation of this specific class of scholars from Educate! (which, as a reminder, is a two year leadership program that includes a Social Entrepreneurship Club) may have topped UVM's when it comes to time! And this was only for about twenty students! That said, it was a pretty good time. The students fundraised all the money for the celebration and set up fancy looking banquet tables (separating the S6 scholars, S5 scholars and the Educate! staff/mentors/school administration. As a side note, S6 is the last year of high school, and S5 is the second to last. The S5 scholars are currently in their first year of the Educate! program).

Anyways, two very charismatic S6 scholars played MCs at the event, while other students were charged as DJs, cooks, servers, etc. However, despite their various duties, they all seemed to be having a fabulous time. It is a boarding school/day school, so all the other students who weren't part of Educate! were gathered close by outside to keep up with the festivities. There were many speeches made and generally they were very long, drawn-out speeches that ended with "well, I don't have much to say.... but" and then they would launch into the next twenty minutes of talking.

In between speeches, the wonderful MC would call on two or three students (usually the same couple kids again and again) to go to the center of the room and dance. So we had some very entertaining dancers and everyone voted for their favorites. But what I thought was even more hilarious (in a good way) was when they called up the same students to "mime" (or as we would say lipsync) to great R&B songs (both American and African). Those were hilarious--imagine high school boys imitating Backstreet Boys or Boyz II Men... yea, hilarious.

After many, many, many dances and mimes, we finally had lunch... A lot of lunch... They served matoke (the banana dish I've told you about), rice, spaghetti, potatoes, chicken, beef, groundnut sauce, chipote and fruit. So ok yea, that sounds like a lot of food, right? Now imagine that each one of those would be enough for a whole meal on its own... Then put all of it on one plate... That's what we had! But it was pretty delicious (and no, of course I didn't finish it all. I don't care what country I'm in, I'm not going to literally explode my stomach just for the sake of manners.. Plus the deputy of the school didn't even finish his).

After eating, we had a few more dances and mimes and speeches and finally they invited the guests (yup, that includes me) up to dance, which they found hilarious, of course. We finally left and it took about an hour to get home.

On that note (transportation), it was pretty neat driving into the city this morning because I just felt the air of an important event around me! As I think I've said before, there are just military and police men lining the main roads. So. Many. And every once and a while (a few times a day) a huge convoy of cars will drive by with police sirens in front and in back, and clearly some important head of state is in the car in the middle. Apparently the President of Mexico is here, Eric Holder is here, Gordon Brown was or is here, and lots of the presidents of Caribbean nations are here. And obviously, it goes without saying, almost all of the African heads of state are here (excluding Egypt, because he cancelled... ill health). I haven't seeeen any of these important folks, but it's pretty neat to be in the same city anyways.

Well, that is all for now! I'm off to bed to rest up for another productive week!

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