Fabulous Footage

I have some wonderful videos that I have been meaning to get up on the blog . . .

The first one is of John at the aquarium in Boston. We were at the “petting zoo” portion of the aquarium and the children were so excited about it. They were all wiggling their way to the front to get the chance to touch the different sea creatures. But not John, John just stood their with his hands in his pockets watching the madness. I asked him why he didn’t want to touch the star fish, here is what happened . . .

Dance parties are hands down my favorite thing about tour! I just love them! We need more dance parties in life all around. Here is a recent dance party . . .

When we stay somewhere as a whole group it is sometimes difficult to get the children calmed down and settled for bed. This night it was particularly difficult. Right after the children had finally gotten settled in the staff gathered together in the far corner of the room whispering about what we should do with our free time. Only 15 short minutes after the children were in their beds Kari whispered, “Don’t you just want to wake them back up? Let’s steamroll them!” So we did, we woke them up and created mass chaos.

It’s not on the video, but right after I stopped filming I walked over to Gideon, who was just standing in the middle of the room, not talking or anything, just staring straight ahead. I asked him if he was okay and he said “Auntie, what are we doing!?!”

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November 25, 2009 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

Think About It

Only – days until the concert on my home turf! I hope that many of you will be there to enjoy the concert and see first hand what I have been rambling about for the past three months! We have several concerts in Ohio before reaching Marion, and when we entered the state today one of the kids loudly exclaimed, “we are in the state of Auntie Kirstin!!”

During the concert you will hear about the opportunity to sponsor a child. I thought it might be nice to mention this before hand so that you have some time to think and pray about whether you would like to support the choir in this way.

In addition to the money raised during the concerts (the freewill offering), each child that is in the choir is sponsored with $200/month until they graduate from college! The sponsorship program with ACC is sort of like sponsoring a child through Compassion, you pick which child from the choir you want to sponsor, you can correspond with your child through mail, and you will receive a story board with the child’s picture and information.

Obviously $200 a month is a big commitment, so you can decide to be a partial sponsor (which is what most people decide to do). You can decide to sponsor in increments of $50. Some children have four sponsors who all pay $50/month, some have one sponsor who pays $200/month, some have two sponsors who pay $100/month, etc.

Right now most of the children in our choir are only partially sponsored, so if you are interested in this long-term commitment to the organization and the children, please consider sponsoring a child.* You can either sign up to sponsor by visiting the table after the concert or online at the following link: http://africanchildrenschoir.com/help/sponsor.php .

Host families (you know who you are), you will receive a form at the meeting on Saturday night that will allow you sign up to sponsor a child should you choose to sponsor one of the children that will be staying in your home.

* I do have a selfish reason for wanting people I know to sponsor the kids. If you sponsor a kid you will receive letters and updates from them until they are graduated! If you share those updates with me I will also be able to know what they are up to.  After spending a year on the road with them I will want updates badly!!!! These are my kiddos!

Again, just wanted to throw this out there in case some of your are interested. Please come to the concert on Sunday, November 22nd at 7:00pm and the River Valley High School Auditorium in Caledonia, Oh.

See you there!

November 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm 3 comments

Sirius Update

Remember when we went to DC and performed at Sirius XM studios? Well, air time is just around the corner. . .

The show will air next week on channel 116, the Kids Place Live Show.

Air Times:
Friday, November 13: 9pmEST/6pmPST
Saturday, November 14: 9amEST/6amPST and 5pmEST/2pmPST
Sunday, November 15: 12noonEST/9amPST

Enjoy!

November 6, 2009 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

We’re coming to Ohio!

The choir is making it’s way to Ohio! In 20 days we will be performing in the River Valley High School auditorium. I hope that many of you will be able to attend the concert and see first hand what it is I am up to all year! The kids are very excited to visit my home town and meet my family and friends! Hope to see you there!

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November 2, 2009 at 8:19 pm 2 comments

Another video . . .

Kari, our resident teacher and product genious on the road, is from Montana. Chances are we will not be headed that way. But her family and her church wanted to do something to contribute to the choir in a more personal way. They are going to be donating bibles to each of the children, so they will have their own individual bible to keep with them at all times. The people who donate will receive a prayer card for the child that their bible went to. Pretty cool, huh? At least I think so.

Kari asked me to help her make a video for them to show at church to help promote it. Here is what I came up with . . .

I would like you to know that they are acting. We have smart kids, they know their verses. Some of them are pretty awesome little actors if I do say so myself!

October 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm 5 comments

Racheal

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I was sitting on a small bench in the church lobby waiting for all the children to use the bathroom. We had just finished eating dinner in the fellowship hall and were getting ready to go home with our host families. It had been a long day of school and rehearsals and I wasn’t feeling too great, so I was just sitting and staring into space. Racheal came out of the bathroom and quietly made her way over to the bench where I was sitting. The other children were getting their coats on and playing games or fighting over whose turn it was at the water fountain. But Racheal likes to be with the adults, so she sat down next to me, staring straight ahead like I was.

She eventually broke the silence by softly sighing and saying, “Oh Auntie, it will be so hard to go back.” I turned to her and asked her what she meant by that. “This is so different from my home. My people don’t get to eat so many meals. For breakfast we have bread or porridge and for lunch we have cassava and rice. But won’t don’t always have rice, because it is so expensive.”

“What about dinner?” I asked her.

“Oh, we don’t eat dinner. We just have tea. If we eat dinner we won’t have food for lunch the next day and my father has very little money.” Racheal comes from one of the more wealthy families in our group and she is one of the few in the choir with both parents.

“And the beds here are so comfortable. Back in Africa they are made of . . . what was the yellow things at the corn maze?”

I tried to remember what she was talking about, “Oh, the straw from the hayride?”

“Yes! That is it! The beds are made of straw.” She sat in silence for a moment before quietly saying, “Yes, it will be hard to go back.” Another moment passes before she adds, “But Auntie, let me tell you, my father works so hard and he is so strong. In the field he gets bit by the cobras, but he never cries! I miss my family so much Auntie, but I will miss all of my Aunties here too. I will miss you so much. And, ah, it will be hard to go back.” She takes a deep breath and leans back against the bench, “But ah, I know God will provide!”

Racheal and I continued to sit on the bench quietly, both of us lost in thought. Massive amounts of chaos surrounding us as the kids become restless to be picked up. She eventually says, “Auntie did I ever tell you my plan?”

“Your plan for what?” I asked.

“I am going to go to school to be a social worker. I am going to work so hard Auntie, and I will make much money to save. And when I have saved enough money, let me tell you Auntie, I will go to school to be a hairdresser. And I will be a social worker at the day and do hair at the night.”

“Wow, that sounds like a really good plan Racheal.”

“Yes Auntie, I think it is.”

Let me tell you a little more about Racheal. She is a smart girl, nine years old, and from Uganda. The chaperones constantly talk about how she is nine going on thirty. She notices everything around her and can read into people’s subtext (yep Mom, I said it) better than any nine-year old should be able to. She is a wonderful dancer and performer, easily one of the most polished performers in the choir. And she works very hard. She is in the forth grade and always performs well in school. She sits in the back of the bus, across the aisle from me. And she can always tell how I am feeling, and just like my twenty-something friends, always seems to know exactly what to say to cheer me up. I think it is appropriate that part of her speech in the concert is “we would like to go back home and make it better there.” I can certainly see her making Africa a better place.

October 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm 4 comments

Very Funny Video

This is what happens when we sit around waiting. The kids start making up games! The best one is Collins, he is so funny when he does this. Even Auntie Kari decides to join in on the fun!

October 28, 2009 at 5:32 pm 2 comments

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