Nils Landgren Funk for Life

Day one 20.11.11

Left Stockholm for Arlanda airport at 4.30 am

Picked by Andy, Magnus and Schiaffino, met up with Dan and Peter and all the boxes of instruments.

Checked-in without any problems but, due to heavy fog, we missed the connection from Amsterdam to Nairobi. Landed in Amsterdam at around 11am.

Spent the whole day at Schiphol, waiting for the evening flight but again, due to the heavy fog it was cancelled as well. Another long wait to get hotel vouchers and new boarding passes. Dan did all the work for us, he is one of a kind.
Shuttle to Crown Plaza, arrived at 9 pm.
Checked in. Got some lukewarm food from a quite sad buffet.
A glass of red wine.

Funk for Life returns Kibera

Slept from midnight till 3 am, woke up briefly and went back to sleep
Woke up ten minutes before wake-up call, felt good.
Deja vu: Shuttle to the airport
Passport control.
Waiting for boarding.
Security check.
Left almost on time.

We are on our way to Kibera, 24 hours delay but still.
Here we come!

Landed almost on time, waited forever on the luggage but very little did show up, all five boxes and two suitcases full of instruments stranded in Amsterdam.
Magnus is lying in a corner of the airport, sick like a dog. A Nurse shows up , rolls him out in a wheelchair to give him a shot.

While waiting, I picked up my trombone and played a little for anyone interested is some jazz late evening at Jomo Kenyatta.

I thought I would be arrested but everyone just smiled and tapped their feet, even the customs officers and the two Policemen guarding the arrival hall. When we finally left after having waited for Dan and Magnus, one officer said to me with a big smile: You play good sir. Welcome to Kenya! And then we were out and on our way to the Belgian MSF´s guesthouse on Suguta Road where Nancy the housekeeper was waiting for us.

We talked for a while, she told me that she got meningitis and was close to die but made it. She is tough! Her kids came and said hi, it felt like old friends although we only knew each other from the first Kibera trip.

Andy and I found some red wine and wrote a cute song just like that, was really a lot of fun!
Slept ok.

Funk for Life returns Kibera

Day two 22.11.11

Woke up just before the alarm at 7.30. Had a piece of toast and a coffee, then to the first briefing at MSF. Met Kumar for the first time, a wonderful man from India, him leading the work in the Clinics
Me, Andy, Kumar and Dan took of to meet Pastor Jane and all the kids at Wings of life,
Magnus felt ill stayed at home. Wings of Life is located in one of the twelve villages of Kibera named Shilanga.
Jane showed us around; let us meet all the classes from baby class to 5th grade. After that, everybody wants out in the backyard to sing and dance for us. So touching to watch all the kids perform, what a powerful tool music is! At the end, Andy and I played along, great fun.

After that, Jane invited us to her own home. She was so proud over what she had, offered us a coke and a homemade bun to eat. So generous of her!
We slipped our way through the mud of the main street to our driver and went back to MSF-Headquarters. Andy and I just chilled, practised and made friends wirh the staff.

Went to dinner with the gang plus Monique and Richard from MSF, happy hour. Located in a Brewhouse, the Beer was made on the spot and had to be drunken in big glasses. Yeah!

At 8, Dan and I went to the Airport to try to find our lost stuff. Everything was there except the two suitcases with clarinets, reeds and 10 mouthpieces, Happiness and disappointment at the same time. After reporting the missing bags, we tried to sneak through customs with the boxes and we almost made it. Stopped at the last second, we had to explain what we had and when we said charity concert and MSF, they let us pass. We made it!

Took all five boxes to the guesthouse and landed in a recording session. Magnus had done his homework and Andy just finished some guitar overdub. I played a solo, had a glass of Simba and went to bed.

Funk for Life

Day three 23.11.11

Up at 7.45 a.m. Took a fast shower and was served fried eggs by Nancy. Gave her all my money, she needs it, with three kids to take care of all alone.
And the, off to Kibera to meet all the kids and to distribute the instruments.
One school after the other rolled in and soon we had a whole bunch of kids to take care of.

We all gathered around the big tree behind the clinic, greeted everybody and started to hand out the horns, on school by one.

Trumpets, Saxes, Trombones, flutes and a few guitars were packed up, without almost anyone knowing how
to assemble the instruments, nor how to produce a tone.

I had to explain that a lot of instruments that was not playable as the reeds and the mouthpieces still were missing. The clarinets to so I asked the kids to have some patience, praying that the last two suitcases would show up before it was too late.
As we were doing this, some guys approached the tree carrying a big sound system, which they placed in front of it and assembled the parts, getting power from the clinic.

It turned out to be guys that peter and Schiff had met the day before, then playing hand drums. They were asked if they wanted to join and so they did but not in the way intended by our friends.

At the same time as one of the schools started an amazing song and dance performance for us, the guys started to do sound check, so I had to ask them to stop. They did so and then a man in full zebra stage outfit turned up, apparently the singer. Nobody really understood what was going on but after a while we decided to let them perform for a short while, just not too loud. They asked for 2000 Ksh. I paid right away, knowing that I bought time to get the suitcases to arrive while they were playing. And, I got the idea to get all the kids to play along. What a great jam it was!

After a while I had them all to stop and offered everybody lunch, provided by MSF.
Perfect timing, while the kids got food, we got our bags.
We unpacked the missing things and when the kids came from lunch, we had all the missing pieces in place and we could end the workshop with a complete setup of instruments.

Andy and Magnus started to teach the kids the song we had recorded last night,
” Nakupenda Sana Sana” After 15 minutes, we got all the kids to play their new instruments and sing together and it was a magical moment for us all.

To see all the kids proudly walk away from us with their instrument in hand and a smile on their faces touched all our hearts, a great day was had by all!
Bye-bye Kibera, Nakupenda Sana sana!

Thank you MSF and KLM/air France for making this dream come true. Lets continue !!!