A little jam session
Volunteer Louise came to us at the tail end of her exciting trip up through South America. After studying Spanish in Argentina and samba in Brazil, she came here to Costa Rica to mix things up and give our kids an amazing music workshop! Here, Louise shares her thoughts on her experience with GVI Manuel Antonio.
Welcome to Quepos!
I was given a warm welcome at the GVI camp by the fabulous team in March. I was greeted by the lovely interns Sarah and Zoe. I had no real expectations and was a little nervous as I had never done anything like this before and had very little Spanish. Everybody instantly put me at ease and I had a lot of fun living at the camp, getting to know the other volunteers, cooking together, drinking delicious local fruit smoothies, discussing lesson plans and enjoying downtime on the local stunning beach Manuel Antonio.
I was placed with the local school Damas, near Quepos. It was exciting to assist with the new ‘Jump Start’ teaching English programme, an initiative started by the Peace Corps and adapted by GVI. It’s been interesting to see how this has developed and evolved through a process of trial and error and it’s great to be able to contribute my input and thought on this project. All volunteers have an opportunity to really be involved in all aspects of the GVI projects. I loved helping to organise a fun sports day for forty children at Roncador School. It was enormous fun and the children looked so enthusiastic. It’s so rewarding being able to travel to a new country, with a new culture but actively be involved with building up a rapport with the local community like this.
Recycled Music: drums from bins and so much more
My ultimate highlight, besides making new friends, has to be my recycled music workshop for the Easter holiday camp at Damas. Music is one of my passions and I also love to create. I enjoyed brainstorming the lesson plan and sourcing recycled materials, rummaging through local scrap heaps and making original, home-made, musical instruments.
I really wanted to encourage the children to express themselves in new and fun ways, participating as a team through basic rhythm work and make them aware of the concept of recycling. There was a fun, artistic and practical side to the project too. I’m interested in the way music can influence children, for example, a more shy child might be more confident in a music class than say, for example, a maths class. I had real fun having a little jam session with the children at Damas. I could have done that all day.
I learnt a lot about myself in those two weeks. My only recommendation would be to stay longer!
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