Kim Shares Songs in South Africa

$4,440 of $3,880 goal

Raised by 82 people in 22 months
Last fall, after three years of deep personal (and significant  financial) losses, I joined the fabulous chorus Sharing a New Song. It's rocking not only my world, but the world! Our mission is to share songs with people of other countries, faiths, and ethnicities, and this August we're doing that in...South Africa! We'll be touring this amazing country and performing everywhere we go to learn and share music and inspire love, hope, joy and many, many smiles.

I've been granted a generous scholarship towards the $5,000+ cost of this 3-week musical mission, and I'm raising the rest through contributions large and small from people like you who believe in dreams, cultural exchange and the power of music to heal and build bridges. The funds need to be in place by July 11.

I'm so excited to join my talented chorus mates on this trip, during which I'll be performing a duet of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart." How perfect is that for these times?

And speaking of love, I'd love to offer special donation incentives. For a donation of $50 or more, I'll happily perform a sing-a gram for you or someone you love. For $75 or more, you can chose between a Deep Listening/Coaching call or writing/editing/strategizing help to craft a piece of personal correspondence or prepare for an important conversation. If you want to donate "just because," that's completely wonderful, too!

I'm so very grateful for this opportunity, and your help. May your dreams come true, too!

Blessings,
Kim
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I'm back, safe and sound, and full of gratitude for each and every donation! The trip was truly marvelous. I attempted to send each donor a trip report with photos but my messages appear to have bounced back as "undeliverable" for many of you. So sorry! Here's what I wrote - below, minus all but these few pics I can attach here on GoFundMe:

We departed Boston on Sunday, July 30, and landed in Johannesburg on Monday, July 31, just in time for dinner and settling in at the swanky Thaba Eco Hotel on the outskirts of the city. There was a faintly smoky smell in the air from burning brush, and we arrived during a winter drought, but the grounds were full of interesting flora, fauna and local animals.

On Tuesday, August 1, we went to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, which chronicled in detail the creation and dismantling of that deadly, evil system. That evening we were serenaded and schooled in local tribal songs, costumes and dances at the U. of Johannesburg in Soweto with the Imilonji KaNtu Choir - fun!

Wednesday morning we had breakfast at the hotel before heading to the Drakensberg Mountains. Here’s where I should say that we, the members of Sharing a New Song, took every opportunity to serenade South Africans with their own songs – from airports to restaurants, prisons and schools. The response was very enthusiastic, with South Africans running over to join in, dance, and capture us with their cell phones.

Our next stop was the Cathedral Peak Hotel in the breathtaking Drakensberg Mountains, where we were met and serenaded upon arrival by the hotel staff choir, with whom we later performed. The views were stunning, and we saw baboons and impalas on the hotel grounds (and in my room – stealing my blueberry tea!).

On Friday, August 4, we left the Drakensbergs for Durban, an eastern coastal city on the Indian Ocean (I put my toes in that warmish water). It’s home to the largest Indian population outside India. Once there, we ate dinner, went to bed, and rose the next morning at 3:45am to fly to Port Elizabeth. From there we took the lovely Garden Route on the southern coast of South Africa – and Africa, itself - to make our way to Tsitsikamma National Park, with its big waves and charming cabins. We were greeted at the park by the George Choir, beloved friends of our chorus who met us singing. We later performed with them at a small church in the township of Themba Letu, which means “our hope.”

From George it was on to the coastal town of Hermanus to see breeding whales (no pics, alas, but we saw some fins!) and then to Cape Town, a beautiful city on the southwestern coast of South Africa/Africa. We toured the city and the landmark Table Mountain, enjoyed the waterfront, stayed at the posh Commodore Hotel, and visited the gorgeous Cape of Good Hope and the African Penguins on Boulders Beach.

While staying in Cape Town, we had an incredible experience. During a benefit concert at St. Oswald Parish, Bishop Desmond TuTu and his wife showed up and sat in the front row! We got to shake his hand and gush like groupies - AMAZING! This great pic of the archbishop was taken by my friend Bill Torcaso. One recipient of the concert proceeds was the wonderful Amy Biehl Foundation – check it out.

From Cape Town, we drove to Stellenbosch for a private organ concert by Zorada Temmingh at the second oldest church in South Africa, and then to wine country in Franschhoek. We also stopped to sing Siyahamba (“We are marching”) at the Long Walk to Freedom statue at the last prison Nelson Mandela stayed in.

At this point in the trip (August 10), I began to succumb to the upper respiratory infection that was traveling with/through us, uninvited! My solos went downhill from there, but my spirits remained high. Our next stop was Picketberg, where we met more old friends (SANS has been to South Africa many times and developed close musical friendships). We sang at a beautiful church with the Berg River Choir and a youth orchestra.

August 11 we visited a nursery school and a prison in nearby Porterville. We were serenaded and also sang in both places. The prison was an especially moving experience, but no pics were allowed there.

From Picketberg, it was a brief return to Cape Town, where we hit the waterfront to shop and eat, and then went on to the airport for our flight back to Johannesburg.

We next stayed at the Garden Court in Sandton, the wealthiest section of Johannesburg, and enjoyed swanky mall shopping, a visit to the Hard Rock, and a super special private workshop with Soweto Gospel Choir!

While in Sandton, we made a trip to the Vlakfontein High School in Mamelodi (to sing and be received like rock stars) and took a tour of the famous Soweto township.

Our last formal concert was with the University of Witwaterstrand (WITS) Choir in Johannesburg, where a lovely group of students sang beautifully and treated us to dinner and wine. We were tired, and grateful. The next day we drive to Kruger National Park, to see the game and stay at the Berg-en-Dal rest camp for a luxurious three nights and sightings of elephants, zebras, giraffes, a lioness, leopard, and more!

Finally…a very cool moment as we prepared to board our last in-country flight back to Johannesburg. After clearing security, we serendaded the airport workers with Shosholoza – a miners’ song. They joined in, danced, and grabbed their cell phones to record us. Heart-to-heart moments like this are why SANS does what it does. Thanks for making them possible for me. I’m so grateful.

God bless South Africa, and you.

Sharing songs and love in South Africa
Yes - Desmond TuTu came to our concert!
Airport workers thrilling to our songs
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We leave on Sunday - at last! Thanks again for your generous support and good wishes. I bought this water bottle for the trip. Its message? "Love the journey." I plan to! Blessings to you on yours, too!
Love the journey...yes!
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My first trip to Africa was Zimbabwe in 1996. As I prepare to return to the continent, I tell about the powerful moment on the flight over that indicated I may have lived in Africa before: http://kimchilds.com/to-africa-with-love/
Me at Victoria Falls, 1996
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We started pre-trip rehearsals last night with the South African national anthem, sung in several of the nation's languages. We'll be singing many South African classics, and some American ones, too! I write here about my own rich history with Africa: http://kimchilds.com/to-africa-with-love/. We leave July 30!
We'll be singing this a lot!
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Read a Previous Update
Laighne Fanney
19 months ago

Wishing you the best journey of your life! Love!!!

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Cynthia Kirk
20 months ago

Lovely.

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$4,440 of $3,880 goal

Raised by 82 people in 22 months
Created April 25, 2017
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MC
$75
Mom and Dad Childs
19 months ago (Offline Donation)
RJ
$100
Ramona Jones
19 months ago

Sing your heart out my beautiful soul sister. I love you!!!

$100
Anonymous
19 months ago
RB
$25
Rachel Brown
19 months ago

Go Kim!

LD
$5
Lisa D
19 months ago (Offline Donation)
MS
$5
Margaux Skalecki
19 months ago (Offline Donation)
MD
$100
Melissa Dailey
19 months ago (Offline Donation)
EB
$50
eva bigonet
20 months ago

Yay Kim - almost there! You go girl!!

Laighne Fanney
19 months ago

Wishing you the best journey of your life! Love!!!

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Cynthia Kirk
20 months ago

Lovely.

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