Monday, November 20, 2006

Drumming with Saku

Mt. Victory Camp is one of my favorite places in St. Croix. It is nestled in the rainforest hills at the northwest end of the island. Here's how Outside Magazine described the camp in 2004 when it was named one of the top 10 eco resorts in the world: "... a 15-acre back-to-the-earth outpost, complete with chickens, horses, and 300 fruit trees. The three platform tents and two bungalows are positioned for ocean and hillside views and built of hurricane-felled teak and mahogany. Each has a kitchenette, and guests share a central pavilion for lounging and a bathhouse with hot running water. "

Throughout the year, owners Bruce and Mathilde host events for the local community, and yesterday's drumming circle was one such event. Olu and his two young companions led the drumming and offered spare drums and an assortment of percussion instruments to the rest of us who showed up without our own drums. My friend Kim and I were eager to join in the drumming despite our lack of training. Olu showed us the way and we were off, beating on those drums with all the passion we had, and grinning in amazement that we could keep up with the beat.

While Olu kept the beat steady, it was his youngest companion who would venture out with new rhythms, like a fearless explorer charting out unmapped territory. He wore a green headwrap and an African tunic-type shirt, and he carried himself with the self-assurance and dignity of a much older person. I asked him his name. "Saku," he said.
"How old are you?"
"Fourteen."
"You play very well. Is Olu your teacher?"
"Yes, he is my teacher." He pointed to his slightly older companion and said, "He's my teacher too," and then he gave me a beautiful smile and said, "And so are you."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Martijn said...

What kind of drums do you play there? Yambee?

Greets MArtijn

7:03 PM  
Blogger jamila said...

Yes! And what fun it was! Olu told us there are two weekly sessions (tuesdays and fridays) here on island, so Kim and I are planning to drum on fridays.

6:45 PM  

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