Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Young Street Mission

Storytelling at YSM over the months, to a great group of seniors has brought many storytellers to the fore. I began during the winter regaling the seniors with stories and songs and of course the drum, all the time with the aim of getting their memories awakened and their tongues telling. From an uncertain beginning after lunch on Tuesdays or Thursdays, we began to explore personal stories of all kinds, folktales and humourous short stories and jokes. I often began by singing, and followed up by telling folktales. Most of the seniors from the Caribbean recognized Anansi stories. Then I began to work in the personal stories and if anyone was counting they'd be amazed at the stories we shared. I learned three songs from the seniors and I taught them about five songs. We even danced to our songs and also to the drum.

Today the children from the homework club were invited to share stories, song and dance with the seniors. The many who had never heard a story from a grandparent did so, as well as a poem, two dances, a chant and a rhythmic song. Such a blast. It was pleasant to hear a good story from one of our young guests today. It was a story she had heard from her grandfather. I will be putting the stories together for the seniors soon. I am grateful to them for allowing me to observe the workings of story in their midst!

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