Saturday, December 8, 2012

"The Lion and The Jewel" Drama Production

From the start of September up to December, our school's drama department was very busy in organising and planning a new play called "The Lion and The Jewel" by Wole Soyinka. The play's plot centers around how Baroka, the lion fights the modern Lakunle over the right to marry Sidi, the jewel. 
During the course of this time, I have done several activities concerning the play. 
I auditioned for the play but I didn't receive a speaking role. Instead, I've got the part of a dancing villager.
Here's a video containing parts of the dance:

 Learning how to dance West-African dance was a completely new skill for me. I attended a few dance lessons when I was younger but I wasn't committed to it in particular way and I didn't like it very much. Once I joined the play and it became a routine I found it really enjoyable and stress relieving to dance along side with my comrades. It was sometimes hard to grasp the new steps in one go, so we had to repeat the whole dance until all was perfect. 
The last week of rehearsals was the most stressful. We stayed at school until 7 each day and we practiced our dance on location rather than in the drama room, which was a bit confusing and hard to get used to at first. There were always so many things to be done and be fix and the clock was racing. However, in the end "The Lion and The Jewel" was the best play KISU has ever presented! 

Dress Rehearsals
Performance Day
Another task I did for the production was to produce a poster;
The drama department were looking for somebody who will create a poster for the production of the play "The Lion and The Jewel" and since art is one of my favorite things to do I immediately agreed to do so! With the help of 2 year 10 students who did the lettering and the graphic design we managed to create a great poster!The girl in the poster represents Sidi, the mask on the left represents Lakunle and the mask on the right Baroka. Her crossed arms symbolizes the choice of who is she to marry?
The poster took about a week to be prepared and then had to go through several adjustments since I tried to do hand written lettering but I made mistakes at some words. Through this I had increased my own artistic ability since I created an image which aimed at telling a story and had some mysterious aura to it to draw the viewers attention.

The last activity but not least, was to take upon the job of marketing and financing the play. The drama department lacked money since they wanted to create a well organised play. My friend and I took the responsibility to raise approximately 4 million Ugandan shillings with our fundraisers. We held several bake sales but our greatest fundraiser of all was our auction! An auction wasn't an easy event to plan. First, we had to go around collecting items, for instance asking for vouchers from restaurants and the art teacher to sell her work. After that we had to ask permission from our secondary head to book the assembly hall on a Tuesday (usually assemblies are on Mondays)! 
We went around distributing the posters and we were responsible for selling the tickets. Together with some sponsors help, the money from the fundraisers and the tickets were enough to cover for all the costs!
All in all, this was a challenging experience for me that required commitment, working collaboratively with other, developing new skills, increasing my own areas of growth (art and business) and planning activities.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Learning How to Play a Guitar

When I first started this activity I set myself a goal of learning at least one song on the guitar. I was on the verge of finally learning one after a period of 3 months, but couldn't. This was mainly due to not practicing enough during other times except when we have the club (the club was once a week). After we completed the stage of learning the chords, we started learning the beginning of songs such as "Sweet Home Alabama", which were appropriate for players at our level. 
Even though my goal wasn't completed I felt that I did learn some new skills and developed a lot of patience since playing requires great concentration and tolerance (fingers hurting from pressing too hard on the strings) for a beginner such as me. 
I hope that in the future I will show more commitment when learning how to play a musical instrument and actually fulfill the goals I set myself. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Run for Fun, Run for Hope!"

On November 18, I participated in the 5 km walk of The Hope Ward - Fun Run 2012. Hope Ward is a charity within Kampala International Hospital and their aims is to help and improve the lives of those who cannot afford medical treatment. Most of their patients suffer from cancer or HIV\Aids and are victims of the war in Northern Uganda and acid attacks.  
I arrived at Kololo airstrip at 6.30 in the morning and was thrilled by the amount of people who are keen in participating in such an event and making a change! And of course all the money collected is for the treatment of needy Hope Ward patients. It was a great experience since I haven't done something like this before. I'm hoping to participate in a Fun Run again, but next time I'll be fitter and will be able to do the actual run and not just the walk.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CAS Initial Self-Review

1. What is your greatest accomplishment so far? How has this affected your life? What did you learn from it? Moving to Uganda which is very different from my home country, Israel. And why do I consider this as my greatest accomplishment yet? As I had to leave everything that was familiar to me and undertake the challenge of going to a completely new environment and study in a language which was taught to me as a second language. Still, I don't regret a thing! During the past 2 years I've been spending in Uganda I met new friends from all different countries, improved my English rapidly and even manage to learn French! At my previous school there were about 200 students in our year and 40 in my class and so I didn't experience the same closeness I have now with my peers and teachers. I learned how to swim, play football and basketball and even got a chance to study art. What I have experienced in Uganda changed my perspective of different cultures and me as a person. 
2. What are you really good at? Art - whether it's drawing, painting or just going crazy with your piece.
3. Name one skill you have always wanted to develop in your life but that you haven't yet. Play an instrument.
4. Name one activity that you would like to try but that you haven't yet. Why would you like to try this? I would like to learn Japanese because I am a huge fanatic of Japanese animations and comics.
5. Name a person you admire right now. What qualities does this person have that you don't? I admire the current Israeli president Shimon Peres. I admire him since he is inspiring and has won the Noble Peace Prize in 1994 with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the peace talks between them. I think it takes great courage to participate as the topic of peace is very delicate. I would like to not fear taking risks and stand for what I believe in order to achieve my goals. "I was learning, as I did in the Ministry of Defense. I never knew, but I always learned."
6. What's different about you now compared to what you were like when you were 10 years old? I am wiser and more focused.
7. Describe the kind of person you think you will be post IB. I'll keep my cheerful and playful personality but I'll know when to be serious and work hard. I'll become even wiser thanks to learning my chosen subjects in depth and experiencing CAS in IB. I'll be open-minded and a risk taker in order to gain more knowledge.

And here's a song to make the reading more enjoyable! :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

The IB1's Trip to Wobulenzi Town Academy

The IB1 class went for a 5 day trip to Wobulenzi Town Academy in Uganda. About 3 weeks before the trip we planned a workshop which we would carry out for 3 afternoons at the school. My partner and I wanted to create a mural regarding animal conservation. The Saturday before our trip, we went to shop for all the necessary equipment and worked on the lettering. On our mural it was written "An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language" by Martin Buber and this quote was related to our theme of animal conservation. We have created another mural which allowed the students to draw or write whatever they wanted, and they particularly liked to do hand prints. However, we didn't begin with the mural right away. We brought along a poster and a couple of fun facts in order to bring out the issues. When it was time to start drawing we asked the students to think about our quote and express their feelings, thoughts and opinions on the mural.
We had 3 year groups; S1 was our first group and they were polite and quiet, and the challenge with them was that they were too shy to participate. Towards the end of our activity we played a game which actually brought us together. So we learned our lesson and decided that the workshop with S2 will start with a game, and then discuss the issue of animal conservation. Although, the S2 were more confident and more social they found the game more fun than the actual activity. S3 were the oldest of the three and were the most engaged as well. This time we used a different ice breaker, and instead of a game we danced the "chicken dance". It helped us warm up and prepare for the activity. 

Apart from the workshop, our class has done activities to help the school such as, painting a new building, cataloging books, digging and planting.
We were separated into 3 different groups and on the mornings of the 2nd to the 4th day we were working extremely hard. My group was the first one to catalog books. We were very excited of going through the book piles and manage to do a lot in only one morning! Our next mission was to paint the ceiling of the new building and it was a tough job with paint splashing on our faces and sore hands. The last but not least was digging and planting, where we had to even the ground near the poles for planting to create a hedge. I found this to be the most challenging since I had never dug before and there was some areas where the ground was as hard as concrete. 

On the 4th day I was lucky enough to try and play netball with the school's girls team. It was fun, although I think that we were pretty useless players but it's the participation that matters. The event which concluded this whole trip was the assembly on the 5th day. We had to create an assembly for the whole school in which we reflected on our stay at WTA. Standing in front of 500 people made me nervous and I was scared I wouldn't be able to say a word. In the end it went well and we even danced the "chicken dance" again!  
Overall, this trip was a wonderful way of starting CAS. Through this trip we met all the 8 outcomes, experienced and learned many things, for example, that teaching is not easy as it appears and a lot of hard work does pay off in the end.