I knew it would happen! After four days I finally have been sought out to play music by the kids. They've figured out that it's something I can do and they are intrigued by the keyboard. Yesterday a young man of about 16 "named I." sat down with me and was fascinated by the music and the rhythms. He clapped and danced as I played and sang and as we went on a few more kids joined us. It was the inauguration of Ghana's new President Prof. Atta-Mills and most of the staff sat and watched it on TV. The kids had no interest so I stepped out of the room and just started working with whoever wanted to interact. Another woman joined us and actually sang along with the chorus of my song - we'll call her "B." Together about five of us sat and sang and danced for about thirty minutes. I was amazed at the sustained interaction! Feeling like it was time to bring things to an end, I turned off the music and stored the keyboard, said goodbyes and we all left the room. About five minutes later "I" came out to the lobby, grabbed my hand, walked me back to where we had just been and said, "sit," then "play" pointing to the keyboard which he had already taken back down and turned on. So we played one more song and I showed him how to start the auto rhythms that seem to delight him so much. Today in the afternoon after sitting with him through a reading lesson he turned to me and grabbed my hand and led me to the keyboard. This time he turned it on, found a rhythm he liked and sang "Happy Birthday." Pretty soon we had another group of boys dancing and playing the keyboard along with some of the centre staff. Amazing interaction and such pure joy! This was after I spent a good portion of the morning as the only adult on the floor with the kids while they played with dry rice and beans and empty water bottles. (I'll be digging rice out of my hair for hours) I think some of the staff are unsure of how to receive me, but seeing the interaction and reactions we got today seemed to get us all a little closer to a mutual understanding.
I've also figured out that i can walk to the internet cafe in the afternoon after work without too much trouble, I just need to be willing to get my feet good and dirty. Right now if I took off my flip flop it would look like a tan line. And with that image, I'll say goodbye!