Recent Blog Posts

Post written by Gretel Schatz on June 4:

Today many of us rose early to attend a goat slaughter before breakfast and dress rehearsal. The goat was given to the Dagbe staff as an offering from the NMH students facilitated by This World Music. Our dance and drum teachers Odate, Mensah, Paul, Godsway, Jackson and George were in charge of the slaughter and the ceremony began with a libation pouring. 
Libation pouring
Betty Zhang '21 shares: 
"Two men lifted the goat by its front legs and back legs, taking small steps towards it with the knife held by another man. The goat howled desperately and hopelessly as he saw the inevitable fate falling on him. The next thing I know was that blood was dripping down from the neck, followed by feeble howls and kicking. After that everything sank into silence."

Processing the goat so that the kitchen staff can prepare it
This morning we had dress rehearsal in preparation for the final performance:
Baby Destiny watches the dress rehearsal
Dress rehearsal
After dress rehearsal, Mensah hosted us at the Kopeyia Bloomfield School where he is a teacher. 
School visit
Eliza Voorheis '21 on visiting the school:
"Going to the school felt familiar. The kindergarten class was reciting fun poems while the middle schoolers learned science and French. The kids were struggling to sit still under the watch of the teachers, and when some of the younger ones were finally let out for a break, a whole stream of little kids came running to greet us."

School visit
Sophie Zhu '21 found the school to have some aspects that she was familiar with from her experience growing up on China:
"We walked into this place lightened up by kids’ laughter, and saw those classrooms filled with wooden chairs and desks. There was no air-conditioning, no bright light, but to me it didn’t feel like a harsh place to study. But it gave me a feeling of home. Growing up in a middle class family in a small city is an experience similar to this; I remember before I went to a middle school, my primary school was like this place. We didn’t have fancy computers, no projectors, no air-conditioners and no heat in the winter. However, I don’t doubt that a place like this can be a good place to study. Because I’ve known from my past that, as long as there are passion and will to learn, there will be a way, even if the road is unpaved, the walls are unpainted, people enlighten themselves with knowledge. "

School visit
After lunch we were dressed by the Dagbe staff and the final performance began. NMH entered with the Gahu song, then played Gahu on the drums with Jude Spencer '21 playing Boba, the lead part. After drumming all of us danced Gahu and then Ben, Eliza, Via and Taylor dance Tokoe with Paul and Odate. The NMH performers were then able to watch the Dagbe staff perform their incredible pieces.  
Getting ready!
Trip leader Taylor King is all smiles before the final performance
Jude playing Boba, the lead drum part
Ben Van Winkle '20 shares:
"I was very nervous about the performance, especially dancing Tokoe, but as soon as we started to perform the nervousness left and I just trusted in my practice and I had a lot of fun."

Max Alphonso '21 enjoyed the performance:
"Our final performance at Dagbe was really fun and I let my body go full out in it. It was also fun to see the staff at Dagbe doing their really great dances after us."

Dagbe staff dancing at the final performance
Emily Pham '20 offers a reflection on her experience: 
"I walked into that dance performance not knowing what to expect and only hoping that my legs could last me through at least three variations, but I performed better than I thought. And if it weren't for the rigorous training of our Ghanaian teachers, I would've collapsed much earlier into the twenty minute performance. Aside  from that, Odate, Paul, Akos, Atsupui and Rosemary demonstrated spectacular dancing, blowing my socks off with their performance. If there's a reason for my next return to Ghana, it'd be to see it again."

Emily at the final performance
Dabge staff at the final performance
NMH in Ghana - Where will YOU go?!
After the final performance, Dagbe hosted a party. Jackson and Godsway were the DJs and a feast of chicken, rice, akble (sp?), rice, beans, cabbage and cold sodas were shared with the staff. After dinner, Dagbe was filled with kids from the village and the NMH students danced and played the night away with Ghanaian pop music blaring through the compound. 
Mamatoa presents the feast!
Stella Zhu '22 on dancing at the party: 
"The kids in the village were eagerly imitating my dance movements. When they got excited they gestured toward me and told me to imitate them. I could feel the dance genes in their bodies. "

Stella at the farewell party
Via Schatz-Allison '21 describes her time at the party:
"It was really fun to dance and play with the kids at the party tonight. Rita was teaching everyone her moves and telling me when to dance and when to stop. Even as the music was blasting and people were shouting to try to hear each other, Rita’s little brother, Maxwell, was fast asleep."

Dillon gets the party started
Next up: Wednesday we depart Dagbe Cultural Centre and head to Cape Coast.