The following is an entry written by an FAF participant who went on a performance tour with us to Asia. Enjoy!
It was just another busy day at O.R. Tambo International, but the 5th of July 2010 was the beginning of what would prove to be a spectacular journey filled with unforgettable memories.
Arriving in Taiwan after what must have been nearly 24 hours of traveling proved to be the first of many highlights as confusion with our visas caused the group to suffer a 9 hour delay. We were saved from a full weeks wait by the efficiency of the FAF staff, most notably Yin-Chu, who managed to get the whole choir plus the entourage past the customs gates and safely into the viscous air of Taipei.
Taiwan, the first leg of the tour, was an incredible experience which saw us visiting the Joy-Land Theme Park, shopping at various night markets and ascending Taipei 101, as well as giving two sold out performances to crowds of 2,000+ on our Absolutely African Tour.
The next part of the tour was Japan, where the main novelty was the food. We took in many different sights and smells as we spent a night in Tokyo, performed in Hamamatsu, spent a day at a Hot-Spring-Water-Park and drank in the views of Mt. Fuji as we lodged in a traditional Japanese-style hotel. This was the culmination of our Japanese experience where we sampled many traditional meals sitting in Kimono’s, drinking green tea.
A performance later and we left Japan, off to Shaoxing, China for some serious work. This was where the World Choir Games took place and it was here where we, as the worlds best Folklore choir, claimed a gold medal, a score of 91% and a silver medal in the Folklore and Music of the Religions categories respectively.
As a group we are indebted and extremely thankful to Yin-Chu and her FAF colleagues for the most incredible experience of such a diverse region. As South Africans we were proud to represent our country, and it was thanks to the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation that we were able to do so.
Thank you so much FAF for all that you did in helping make this tour a success.
– Deputy Head of Kearsney College Choir 2011
Below is a video of the Kearsney College Choir performing.