It is rainy season in Liberia and the rain didn't disappoint as it hammered down for a couple of hours. The sun broke through late morning and Jm and myself went to see the old orphanage and the new orphanage just across from it.
The old orphanage was deemed unfit for habitation and when you see some of the shacks dotted around you understand how difficult it must have been for the children. The roof didn't keep much of the rain out and with the rainy season being for many months disease was a real possibility.
Brass for Africa has funded the rent for 2 years in the new orphanage and the improvement in their quality of life is massive. The home is clean and has solar lights, seperate dorms and each child has their own bed and mattress.
It doesn't sound like much but previously they were sharing 3 to a mattress. The home is clean and they have a cleaning rota that is strictly kept to. You can sense the children's pride in their new home.
An hour later we came back and took our first brass session. The children have had a couple of weeks tuition from some local military musicians and were keen to show myself and Jim 'Frere Jacques'. We the got them to play in a round which was very successful!
We had a good hour playing through new tunes, including 'When the Saints' which proved very popular.
I have written a 10 lesson plan especially for the coming months so that they can get used to having a structure when practising.
Like Kampala, their aural abilities are very good so it's a question of building on that and working on their notation reading.
Also like Kampala they are keen to learn new things and seemed to love being part of a band.
All in all a good first day, and the sun is still shining!