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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Je suis triste

In other words, I'm sad, even though I must confess I am ready for this project to end. The festival has been wonderful, I would even consider coming back to volunteer again, on my own. But this group hasn't had the same esprit that my others have, and I am not exactly sure why. I think part of it is that we are all going off in different directions each day, aside from the pre and post festival days. So there isn't the same group solidarity that there is when people are working more together.

For me, some of it has certainly been my run in with Laure. And in general, this project has been less well organized then others. Most of the volunteers seem to agree, although I am not sure how much they are referring to our group organization and how much to the festival organization. Not having food for breakfast for several days seems not to cool to me, and demoralizing it itself. It's hard to start the day off when there is no tea, bread, cookies, anything really.

With most of my other projects, I have kept in touch with some of the group. I even hope to see one or both of the leaders from last year, in Paris in the next few days. And lots of us keep in touch.

Speaking of cool, it is one of many English words that have been incorporated into French. I doubt that my fellow volunteers even realize that some of them weren't part of the language a few decades ago. I think the older French people may have given up on trying to keep English out of the French language. There are so many words, although I can't think of more than a couple at the moment. Parking, planning. And the phrase tres cool is very common. Does that ring a bell for anyone? Max, Carolina, are you out there?

A few more tidbits about the South Africans, and anything else that comes to my mind while I am writing. I've gotten to know several of the group, and especially Mighty, the leader of the group. And Kea, who I mentioned before, is very cute and sweet, but a real hot ticket on stage! A couple of nights ago, one of the girls, Caroline (pronounced like your name, Carolina, with the ee sound)asked me if I could buy her a drink at the cabaret. I said I couldn't, because I thought she was under age. Then I realized that she was asking because she didn't have any money. She told me she was 22, older than I'd realized. I then began to talk to Emily, who told me she was in her late 20's, and has a 7 year old daughter. She works as a waitress in a hotel,but is also in her last year of medical school. And she said that one of the boys, George, is in his 4th year of med school. Everyone in my group was surprised to hear how old these guys were. We had thought them to be more like 15 or 16. I wonder if it's a dietary related issues.

I am hoping to stay in touch at least with Mighty, the group leader. He and I really hit it off from the start. he is in his late 30's, married, and has 3 daughters. The oldest is 15. Two of the three dance, the other is more interested in politics he said, and sounded almost disappointed.

These guys were the stars of the festival. When they did their final performance last night, everyone was up out of their chairs, pounding on the boards with their feet, shouting bravo and hip hip hoorah and whistling. I told Mighty that I think it's their incredible enthusiasm and energy, and how happy they look dancing, that makes everyone love them so much. Even though they are incrdible dancers, there are many incredible dancers here, and I don't think any other group has gotten so much appreciation.

Mighty said to me, I think they like us. He wasn't being sarcastic, more humble than anything.

Well, Harold, the Belgium guy in our group, just poked his head in the door and said, on mange, ie, time to eat.

So, until the next time -

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