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Summer Show Time

November 29, 2010

It’s Monday and I’m tired – good tired.  🙂

It’s been a long weekend, starting on Thursday with a fire show at President Primary (where Jean’s mom teaches) for the Grade 7 Farewell Dinner Party (Hawaiian theme) – so, so very sweet to see the kids all dressed up in their best.  The Grade 6 students performed for them Africa/island-style, dancing, shaking their asses to much appreciation and amusement.  Afterwards we firedanced outside on the field with the sun going down.  Then, leaving Grade 7 to their dinner we headed for the IDZ (East London Industrial Development Zone), arriving to a spectacular pink sky over the sea, meeting up with Kevin and Dave (djembe drumming and didg) and Hayden (filming) and Janine to firedance at the formal opening of Matla Solar Water Heating (funded by a Taiwanese investment consortium and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation).  From there to the other side of town, Footprints, Nahoon Beach – just delicious drumming, no firedancing.

Saturday we headed for the mountains, to the Amahlati Festival in Stutterheim, a tiny, tiny town in beautiful surroundings of forest, waterfalls and mountain.  After a quick browse through the stalls – mostly traditional wear, beadwork, jams, chilli sauces, hats, etc. – we went to find our campsite, The Shire, on the edge of the forest.  Alongside our site, hidden by indigenous forest was a stream – so pretty!  The stream had been dammed up to form a pool.  The boys wimped out but I swam in cold, cold water with a giant crab – well he wasn’t really giant but looked rather menacing and I didn’t so much swim as paddle around while the boys said, “How deep is it?  Put your feet down.”  “No, there’s a crab down there and I can’t see him,” having kicked up a cloud of fine silt in the previously clear pool.  After that and after fixing the swing hanging in the big oak tree we hung around in the shade, drinking, snacking (as you do when you’re camping), practising poi and hooping till Dave and Rymka (visiting from Holland) arrived.

Later, Gareth, lead singer of the rock band Southern Gypsey Queen and mates with Hayden and Jean, arrived.  Early evening we headed back into town to get ready for our first show, firedancing at the entrance to the entertainment tent.  A little 10-year-old, Elvis-impersonator performed, working the audience, then  Southern Gypsey Queen.  Originating in Molteno, Eastern Cape is their home and inbetween touring the country they come back to rock even small crowds like this.  We joined them, firedancing on either side.  It was great!  After the performance and a quick stop at the local pub we headed back to the campsite, staying up till 2.45am when Gareth had to leave to drive to Johannesburg for his next gig.

Sunday was a beautifully quiet day – waking, showering, relaxing, napping, packing, then coffee back at the festival, then home.  In the evening we had another show, first meeting up at Kevin’s house.  It was the “Switching on of the Lights” – the opening of the Summer season in East London.  There was a massive crowd and we parked some blocks back walking in with drums, didg and poi.  Earth Rhythms drummed and played didg on the Coca-Cola rig stage and we firedanced on the grass below, thankfully cordoned off from a huge, pressing crowd.  We had a lot of fun!

And I nearly forgot – another very special date on my calendar – I’ve been waiting for it –  on the way out of East London on Saturday:  the green Summer singing of cicadas!!!  I love it!  🙂  Summer – yay!!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bacon permalink
    November 30, 2010 8:27 am

    Makes me miss home even more!

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