imageI saw a post this morning on Facebook from our housemate’s blog and it reminded me that I never posted anything about the first big jam session. Between getting sick and dealing with the neighbors late night voodoo rituals – I was distracted.

While we still in Nashville, we decided to order a bunch of instruments for the kids at the orphanage. We knew that they loved music as much as I do, so it seemed like the perfect thing to bring. Somehow, during our packing up the house and getting moved, we never submitted the order. We tried again in Atlanta, but nothing could ship in time. Rhiana was on a mission to make sure that we had instruments for these kids. We went EVERYWHERE and couldn’t find anything. Either the selection was too expensive or they didn’t have enough for everyone. She was really upset about it and then God intervened. It was the night before we departed and we passed a dollar store. We pulled in and guess what? They had just enough instruments for all the children…and they were affordable.

This past Friday, we were all exhausted from unpacking the 30abes food boxes. We decided that it would be the perfect day to have a music day. I have to admit that I saw the event going differently in my head, but the way it turned out was magical.

We passed out the colorful harmonicas, recorders, whistles, and tambourines. Instantly, the noise began to escalate. I grabbed the guitar and quieted them for about 30 seconds until it was chaos again. I didn’t care. It was awesome – they were letting out emotion through music and having a blast. One boy was right in my face blowing a recorder at about 100 decibels – he is the only one that I asked to please calm down….it was brutal. (don’t worry – I did it with a smile)

imageThey wanted to sing their favorite song which is “10,000 Reasons” as well as “Jesus Loves Me”. After that – I asked them do you want to sing or make noise. They all yelled make noise.  It wasn’t all noise though. Some of the kids were very musical and were playing along with me.  There is a set of triplets that are amazing drummers. I saw a video of them months ago and promised myself that I would get to jam with them. I asked them to turn their harmonicas into drum sticks and keep beat. They did and it was awesome. As with any great jam, we ended it Kurt Cobain style where some of the kids smashed their instruments, dropped the mic, and walked out of the room like the rockstars that they are.

I have been blessed to jam with some of the best musicians in the world. I have shared the stage with numerous stars and this was the pinnacle. I started playing music for fun, and then it turned to my escape and outlet. It was the only way that I survived some very dark years of abuse and depression. When I saw the joy in these kids faces while they made music it reminded me how holy music really is. That gets lost when you monetize it and use it as a career. Another lesson learned here in Haiti.

**I started writing a song that afternoon that I hope to finish tonight**

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