Face-to-face (F2F) meetings are incredibly valuable for establishing context.
Without them, we are just words on paper or sounds thru a pair of earbuds.
Today at the Upper Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) the Project Happiness students from three continents, representing the cornerstone schools for Project Happiness, met and shared each others’ cultures for two hours, then had dinner together to complete the day.
As hosts, the Tibetan students first performed a number of dances.
They created a mixture of traditional pieces combined with a hip-hop flavored dance. The TCV environment serves to both preserve the Tibetan culture and prepare these students for the modern world. TCV is an open campus, with visitors all over the place. Before the performance began, while waiting for everyone to arrive, some of our group played basketball with TCV boys on the playground that’s kind of a main focus and entrance for the school. Several ten-year-olds congregated and asked me to take their photo and send it to them.
For the performance, we sat in an auditorium on plastic “patio chairs” (they’re so versatile and quite commonly used here for seating), with the honored guests in the front, the visiting students behind them, and lots of kids from the TCV community taking up the rest of the auditorium. A few smaller kids sat in a corner on the stage during some of the numbers. A small dog came in and observed from the front row halfway thru.
Our camera crew was shooting most of the performance, and yet you’d never get the full “information load” thru the lens. The mix of performers, loudspeaker sound, the small dog, the kids on stage, the audience whooping and clapping for the hip-hop/Tibetan dancers, was just priceless. The performance was attended by the school principal and the TCV education director.
Mercy Bisi Olatunji performed three renditions of a native song (in three local languages), dressed in very stylish local dress.
And the Mount Madonna students sang both an invocation from the Ramayana and Jeremiah was a Bullfrog.