A little white Chico standing still on the roadside in the middle of Joburgs buzzy five lane highway, just standing still, not moving in between the speed ; stuck on M1 on its way to Soweto. Inside the car are two Norwegian chicks and Bongani singing the click song while watching the white taxis and expensive automatic cars pass by. A little frustrated, a little disappointed, but with good spirits, patients and not at all surprised they call Andes their saving angel. Andes is as usual (this has happened before) prepared and soon (being soon according to South African time) a big orange tow truck, Andes and armed security arrives. The chicks and Bongani are now safe and the Norwgian chicks, being us, Randi Margrethe Mathiasdatter Larsen and Lisa Katrine Svendsen are properly introduced to the Joburg culture and way of life.
After this bumpy start to our first week with the PULSE project we are now exited and looking forward to the next weeks in our new fancy rental Toyota that Andes fixed for us. Of course we feel certain sympathy for the sick, old and dying Chico, but we really didn’t have that good chemistry, so clearly it was best for us all, both the Chico and us to take our separate ways. Despite all our car problems the city and the Field Band Foundation has been at its most beautiful and welcoming. Our new apartment is in Rivonia, luckily within walking-distance to the head-office. On Monday we had a wonderful day joining the Project Officers workshop on Life Skills. Here we got to meet project officers from all the Field Bands Provinces witch seems to be an inspiring, happy and engaged bunch of people. With Anne and Aleksander (the Parys team) we got to perform Aleksanders musical composition inspired by Norwgian folk-tunes called Lørdagsdans (Saturday Night Dance). After this we presented ourselves and the Pulse project at the workshop.
Otherwise the week has gone by with reading and preparing for the coming weeks and of course enjoying the vibrant Joburg Jazz scene at night. This first week has already given us many wonderful musical experiences and we have come to know many friendly and musical South Africans. Next week the new rental Toyota will hopefully be able to bring us to the different field bands in the townships of Alexandra, Soweto, Springs, Mammilodi and Cullinan. Finally we will get the chance to see these bands, that we have heard so much about, perform and practice some good music and dance for the up and coming Nationals, a national competition between all the best Field Bands in South Africa. To be continued………………….