Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Karate Lesson!

What a day! Despite having just recovered from malaria, we ended up being somehow obligated to have Adam give a karate lesson to “a few kids.”

Of course, about 20 people ended up showing up... for the lesson... with another crowd of 40 or 50, smooshed unceremoniously with their faces crammed through the bars on our windows, trying to see what we were doing and participate as much as they could.

And it was a madhouse, but Adam performed brilliantly, and I couldn’t have been prouder. We had Cleve translating into a mix of French and Lingala, and amusingly trying to demonstrate various karate techniques too!

The guys were all incredibly eager to learn, though sometimes not the quickest to note what they were doing differently or wrong.

Mr. Eyebrows, the imposing figurehead of this whole event, would go around to his friends and children, scolding them firmly for deviating from the example.

“Your feet should be flat! In push-ups your butt should be farther down!”

It’s not hard to imagine that he used to be a serious military guy.

Everyone was sweating at the end of the hour, and Adam was feeling less well than when he started, so we told people we would contact them when we came back from the forest to schedule the next lesson.

Despite their clear eagerness, Adam is worried about giving them twice-weekly lessons since there’s only so far he can teach them without eventually needing falling mats. Which we, obviously, didn’t bring in the suitcase.

But it was indeed great to see, the collection of people inside and out, eager to learn anything he wanted to teach them.

I would have perhaps been less distracted had some people outside not had an agile mangabey as a pet, a tiny orphan baby, that continually screeched in displeasure everytime they displaced it from one spectator to another.

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