Last performance 6/26
After a hectic morning at their hosts’ residence, the members of the Groton Chamber Orchestra busily packed away their instruments for the final performance of the trip. We were all both sad and excited that our last performance was so imminent. As soon as we arrived at the elderly home, we set up in a small conference hall. Despite a few problems here and there and an unexpected, unfortunate descent of a music stand upon a cello player, the performance was successful. The orchestra received numerous compliments from the audience and was rewarded with delicious fat cakes made by the wrinkled but skilled hands of the ladies at the concert.
Our next destination was a nurturing house for disabled children. Before we entered the institution, DJ warned those who are very emotional that what they will experience may be overwhelming, so they may leave the building if necessary. What we witnessed was truly disheartening. Every patient we met was severely disabled: either mentally or physically and often times both. Although the institution is officially for children, there were several patients whose ages were well over thirty. The eyes of the patients were often aimless and the limbs were tense and twitching. We were once again reminded of the bleak fact that there are still a considerable number of problems that we will have to solve.
Today was a day of mixed feelings. We were freed from the pressure of concerts and performances but also realized that our days in South Africa were very limited. We met new people and bonded with them, but also learned about one of the many problems we will have to face. We will cherish the remaining time here in South Africa and never forget the lesson we learned.
Peter Nam ’15
Rising fourth former