It was Loud
Gordon McQuerry, a local musician, and his friend Justin and the refugee kids rocked the pastoral Pompanuck Farm Retreat today, Gordon and a friend came to teach music and sound, he brought a full music studio with him, and they sand and drummed (he set up a drumming circle, paradise for teenage kids).
Gordon was wonderful with these kids, so was Justin, they ended up having lunch with us and coming back in the evening to oversee a game of Capture The Flag.
He thought them some notes, how to use a microphone, how to get the most out of a drum. He gave them ideas about careers in music and they all sang some rap and rock and roll.
These children were going all day – hiking, swimming, playing soccer, tag, singing. Mandy Meyer-hill , a massage therapist and healer in my town, came by to show them muscle-stretching exercises and breathing to help with stress.
I don't know how anybody was standing. I am barely standing.
When we left a fine pizza dinner at Pompanuck around 9, the kids were still going. Some other teachers came to help Ali, and he got to take a nap. I'll be honest, I couldn't make it through another fireside story session. I'm going in the morning – this is their last day – and will do a story-telling workshop if there's time.
I loved having my community behind me for this retreat, they really came out in support of the kids.
I've set up a Children's Refugee Fund to help these children acclimate to America, to get some tutoring if they need it, to take one day trips to the beach and parks in the summer, to get some spiffy soccer uniforms, to celebrate birthdays and special event so they can stay together in their very powerful and supportive community.
I'm going to try to negotiate an arrangement with Pompanuck for the children to come on Saturdays three or for times this summer – just for the day. We'll see what happens.
They love this place, I can see it, they feel free and safe there, hour by hour, I see them opening up. Tonight, after dinner, I told stories of my farm and dogs for a half-hour or so, I am connecting with these kids, they are open and loving and bright. It took a while.
I've opened a special bank account to collect donations for these children, so I can separate them from my stuff and account for all of the money.I'm calling the account the Children's Refugee Fund, and I hope the Army Of Good takes to it, because this is a good and worthy cause. A little bit of money goes a long way with them.
If you wish to donate to my project, you contribute by writing to my post office box, Jon Katz, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. You can also contribute via Paypal, Friends and Family, my ID is [email protected]
Thanks. More later. I am struggling to keep from nodding off. Tomorrow is the last day of the retreat, the kids will be leaving after lunch and clean-up and a final circle. I miss them already. The dogs will certainly miss them.