Josh Reiter shares his thoughts about our guests from Kenya for the Kenyatta University/University of Cincinnati Exchange.
During the Jewish Holiday, Passover, we sing a song called “Dayenu”. Dayenu roughly translates to “That would have been enough.” The song lists the things that God had done for the people of Israel in an if “blank” then “Dayenu” fashion. For example: “If he had brought us out of Egypt, that would have been enough”, “If he had split the sea for us, that would have been enough”. Dayenu.
The Kenyatta University/University of Cincinnati Exchange has been one Dayenu after another for me.
On Sunday, I got to meet our Six Plus One Kenyan guests as I finished an audition for a play for next semester. I was greeted with seven smiling faces that I had seen before in pictures and heard so much about. We politely and happily made our introductions. There was excitement, there were pictures, and there was so much laughter. That would have been enough. Dayenu.
(Josh Reiter and Jean Akinyi, Kenyatta University meets the University of Cincinnati:
Photo bomb courtesy of Professor Zippy Okoth)
On Monday, we gathered in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre and shared work with each other. We played Kenyan music and something unfamiliar took over. Suddenly, dance was added to our vocabulary within our polite and happy discourse. We danced for an hour, took videos, and ate cupcakes. That would have been enough. Dayenu.
On Tuesday, the Kenyan students shadowed us, the sophomore class. Austin, Babu, Christyn, Eric, Jean, and Muriithi spent the day with us as we did acting exercises, jumped rope, and explored subtext through different languages. As the day went by, something amazing happened. The polite and happy talk began to shift into meaningful conversations where hard questions were asked and answered and a melding of cultures began. We went to an AMC in Newport, Kentucky and as I rode in the back of the van, I felt connected and supremely disconnected at the same time. That would have been enough. Dayenu.
On Wednesday, they all spent the day with the Juniors and I did not get to see any of them.
On Thursday, we danced. We danced again. We danced a lot. Zippy, the amazing professor that came with them, led an African dance class. I moved in ways that I did not know I could move! We laughed so much, there was an understanding in the room, we relaxed into each other through movement. It was hours of joy, butt shaking, and bonding. That would have been enough. Dayenu.
Today is Friday. We have had an amazing week. Dayenu. Tonight we will embark on the second annual CCM 48 Hour Film Festival together. Dayenu. We will create art that can live forever. Dayenu. We are joined by Seven Kenyan Guests. Dayenu. Dayenu. We are joined by Seven Kenyan friends. Dayenu! Dayenu! Dayenu!
Let’s do this!
-Guest Contributor: Josh Reiter, University of Cincinnati, Class of 2018
This entry was published on November 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm. It’s filed under Culture
, Random Thoughts
and tagged Actors
, Beautiful People
, CCM Drama
, College-Conservatory of Music
, Department of Theatre Arts and Film Technology
, Kenyatta University
, University of Cincinnati
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