Posted by Zoë Condliffe, May 2012
On Sunday afternoon Mayibuye Cambodia had its first ever concert. Turns out a concert can be quite a turning point. It was an experience that none of the students had ever had before. Sunday morning we were at Sorya School bright and early to practice. We began the day with some hardcore Khmer dance lessons for the senior group, and then some outdoor practices with EVERYONE...50 littlies and 30 biggies, all practicing at once in the hot hot sun with the big big speakers on the trailer (Cambodia style). And the seniors stuck around till 12 bless them, diligently practicing.
We were ready. We were set. We were...oh no, it's raining. And this was supposed to be an outdoor concert. We had two hours for the rain to pass over. Monsoon season having begun recently, the rain usually comes around 1pm and passes over within a couple of hours. But today of all days the rain decided to stick around...all night. But this is Cambodia, these things happen, the show must go on. We migrated to the silk-weaving building. A few parents decided to wander in eventually. You know how parents at home get all in a tizz about going to see their special little ones perform in concert, or at saturday netball, or school choir, or whatever? Well, Cambodian parents are opposite of that...not so interested in indulging themselves in their children's performance successes. Oh well. The kids were just thrilled to be in a concert. 50 under-12s (many of which I had never seen before) came to perform, and WOW they did amazingly...they followed all their steps perfectly, with HUGE SMILES on their little glowing faces, all lined up and looking up at me attentively (tear). And their buzzy-excitingy energy permeated into everyones being and NOONE could suppress a smile at their cute little booty shaking in the "Hokey Pokey", or their unwavering enthusiasm in "Jai Ho!" And the seniors, so proud in their crispy new Mayibuye Cambodia t-shirts were appropriately nervous, and put on a very entertaining performance as they showcased a very impressive repertoir of dances they had sweated over all year. Well Done!
Oh, we were so so proud.
Thank you's to Mr. Thoeun, who was instrumental in the organisation of this, without whom we could not have done this. Also to Linden who helped make it happen and was disk jockey for the event. And to Julian for running around like a crazy man and taking the photos. And to Kim Nget for the translationing of invitations.