X Ray 5 (AKA X-Men) arrived in Achuapa yesterday afternoon after 2 days travelling to Nicaragua to a massive welcome from Julian and the Charlie groups and the community of Achuapa including the community leader, Brigido Sosa. As we were just in time for the Achuapa Music Festival, there was plenty for us to do!
The music festival in Achuapa is an annual 2-day event which aims to raise awareness of global and local issues such as climate change, water supply and sanitation and environmental awareness, and how people can become more sustainable in order to tackle them. It´s also an opportunity for the community to get together and have a good old knees up.
After preparing the festival area then having meetings for the music committee, kids´commitee and bloggers´committee, we planned and practiced our first group song before heading off to bed at the end of what was a very long day. We also had to deal with the news that we would be performing our song on Saturday night! But not before we performed some other duties - day 1 of the festival would see us judging the singing competition and playing football with the locals.
Here´s the blog on the singing comp by Moy...
Three Raleigh Venturers and one ICS participant were bestowed the priviledge of judging the English singing competition in Achuapa this morning. The room was filled with the family and classmates of the participants. After a welcome speech from our hosts, first up on the stage was Santo, Holy and Holy from Los Caraos School. The trio impressed the audience with their English and singing abilities and set the bar very high in the competition.
Rafaela and Herrera were the second act up on stage to perform. Their song choice was familiar with the Raleigh Venturers sat in the audience. They offered their own rendition of “Chiquita” by ABBA. Both performed with confidence and passion. Offering an acoustic rendition of Tracey Chapman´s “Baby Can I Hold You” was Jay and Estiana. They offered an original take on the classic song, and impressed the audience with their singing and guitar skills.
Taking us back to the 90´s with the classic Backstreet Boys song “Larger Than Life” were Betsy, Alisson, Adda and Joselyn from Instituto Rodolfo Reyes Toruna. The girls worked the stage with their choreographed routine and singing performance. Last and by no means least was the final performer Susana Daraly Talaua Romero from San Sebastian School who performed Whitney Houston´s “I Will Always Love You”.
After a few moments of deliberation the judges announced the winner. Susana´s performance impressed the judges so much that she was crowned winner of the English singing competition. The judges decisión was well received by the audience who responded with a raptuous applause. A few of us even shed a tear!
A great experience and insight into the community in Achuapa, and proof that a future star can come from anywhere!
And here´s how the footie tournament went, I (Leanne) felt the pain first-hand...
“Gimme an R! Gimme an A! Gimme an L!” etc etc etc…
We began the Achuapa Music Festival 5 a side football tournament with a tin of orange paint, creating the boundaries within which we would play for our lives (or at least our Raleigh pride)…
Our boys were up first - Tomas, Chris, Emmanuelle, Ben and Istvan. Definitely 'outstripped´ in terms of outfits, they were up against an opposing team kitted out with a slick red and black kit with matching socks!
And the strip was evidently a representation of the slickness of the team (not any reflection on the quality of our side of course that we failed to score once in a game of many goals…) The boys did us proud however with massive smiles throughout for the onlooking schoolchildren and for being excellent runners’up!
The X5 girls then stepped up – a little intimidated by the sight of our opponents strapping up their legs with duct tape and giving each other motivational punches on the arm…but we held our nerve and gracefully kicked off the game.
We didn´t score one goal, despite a free kick for a terrible tackle on myself resulting in a big bruise on my posterior. We came off the pitch happy however having worked off the morning´s breakfast of rice and beans and having made a positive impact on the Achuapa community both with our happy ‘have a go’ attitude and the fact that we let them win (OK, maybe that second part is a porky pie…)
An awesome experience for all. Time for a shower!