I started my day workshopping with a group of teenagers who weren’t real familiar with storytelling. It worked out really well. We ended up doing the storytelling together, the entire group, on stage. I was proud of my little group of novice tellers.
There was one thing that made me pause and take notice. The young men and women kept responding to me with, “No sir,” or “Yes sir.” It was like taking a time machine back to when I was a kid and we didn’t dare attempt to treat adults as equals. I thought this type of behavior was a relic of an ancient past. I have to admit, I rather enjoyed that level of respect. Thank you Jamaica! You are doing an absolutely amazing job with these children.
After my workshop, I had a brief “introductory” performance on an outdoor stage. Many people, mostly Jamaicans, had been telling Ananse Tales. Anyone who knows anything about Jamaica knows that, other than Ghana West Africa, they own Ananse Tale (Lock, Stock and Barrel). It would take a guy with lot of moxy to get up in front of a large community of Jamaicans and tell an Ananse story.
Do you know what type of tale I told?
Yeah… I guess I’m that guy… LOL.
Anyway I told a short Ananse tale and it was well received. There was laughter where laughter was necessary. There was rapt attention from the youngest in the crowd and the resounding applause was all I needed to affirm my choice of tales.
I think I hugged and shook hands with more people in this one day than I have in the last year.
If I may be allowed to generalize for a moment, “Jamaicans are chill!” The mood and temperament here remind me so much of Africa that I’m starting to question if I’m really in the Caribbean.
We headed out from Kingston and took a bus to Ocho Rios. We just got in about 10 minutes ago and I whipped out my laptop to blog as promised. It is after midnight and I’ve got to be up and out of here early.
Stay tuned. More exciting adventures of BABA THE STORYTELLER (all caps was meant to sound like one of those cool echoes that major movie stars get when their names are said in theaters) coming your way.