Saturday, August 6, 2011
The next morning was devoted to the cultural appreciation portion of the camping trip. The theme this year was South Africa and every troop had prepared a traditional South African dish and put on South African costumes. One by one, I went around with Pablo and Katia and some of the other caminantes and watched as each troop recited facts they'd memorized about South Africa and told about the food they had prepared. Meanwhile the caminantes did an activity where they had to build a fire and cook eggs, potatoes, and plantains without using and pots, pans, or utensils.
Next it was time for lunch, after which we all went down to the river, where Flavia gave everyone a lesson in lifeguarding and water safety. That evening, we had "Patrulla con Ritmo" (Troop with Rhythm) where each troop got up and gave musical performances they had planned and practiced. Right as it was beginning, I took a call from Sabine that wound up lasting about an hour and a half. Luckily, there was a four-way tie and I arrived just in time to watch all four finalists give encore performances so the judges could pick a winner.
Upon my arrival, it was announced that I had to dance in front of everyone. They even had a saying along the lines of "If you want to join us you have to dance." Luckily this is not a problem for me. Alvaro and Flavia laid down a rhythm and I proceeded to get down with my bad self to the delight cheers and laughter of all. Near the end of the evening, the scouts worked themselves into a frenzy again. They now insisted that I sing for them. This time I was at a bit of a loss. After a few minutes deliberation, I settle on "Summertime", an old standard I had learned years ago in high school choir. I decided to put on a show, playing up the jazz singer schtick and throwing in hand gestures and even a bit of soft-shoe. It was a hit. Everybody went nuts. Some of the kids began calling me "el cantante" (the singer) and peppering me with questions about my favorite music.