Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Cultural Connection

It’s official:  I've been in Grenada for a whole year and am rapidly approaching the half-way point of my service.  When I look back at the last year I cannot believe how much we accomplished, and how quickly the time went by.  Two years seem daunting at the start, but time flies once you identify your purpose.

I am thankful for my assignment and my community.  I love the village life and appreciate all of the support I've received from the community.  My students are really starting to progress, and seeing that change motivates me to continue to explore literacy in hopes of graduating them from the program.

Most importantly, I am thankful for the opportunity to explore culture in a way that I've never been able to before.  I knew before I started that I wanted to explore dance in whatever country Peace Corps sent me to, but I had no idea that I would get the opportunity to immerse myself to such a capacity.  Dancing and drumming classes have allowed me to form an understanding of what art and culture mean in Grenada.  Most movements and rhythms in Afro-Caribbean dance and drumming are so closely tied to life that it’s like your breathing through every beat.  The technique liberates while the music inspires.  

I am so excited to finally have enough of a grasp of the art to teach it in my dance classes.   These kids are extremely invested in creative exploration, continuously encouraging me to challenge them in ways they've never been before.  I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do together in the next year. 

Drumming at Jazz Night held every first Friday at the National Museum.
ps. Remember Grenada's Independence Day Celebrations from last year? This year, we performed during the festivities. So cool.