Positive mind, positive dance

by Eliane

2015-12-16 16.05.05I was and I still am proud to be part of the actual national anti-stigma campaign “Hiv uit de kast”. To be honest: I did enjoy all positives reactions coming from all over the world. I was happy and also looking forward to my annual performance on Sunday 13 December in the local festival “Gluren bij de Buren” in Amersfoort. Here I would play my traditional Burundi instrument, made from cow horn, and dance at traditional African music.

But on that same day my mood changed completely when I learned what happened the day before in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. The place where many of my family member live. Innocent youth died in their homes in a big attack. My heart felt shattered in a thousand pieces. No one could pick them up, except me. It felt as an overwhelming emptiness in my heart. I had so much emotions I was confused on what to do. My country is a source of worries. One part of me wanted to abandon the plan for the day. But the greater part of me stood up and decided to go on and do the performance.

What gave me courage in that moment? What made me decide? I have been thinking about it and want to share it with you.

My performance was programmed in Amerpoort, an institution for of handicapped people. But the performance was open to other people as well. Everybody was welcome to the Indonongo singing and dancing, as this is what the local festival is all about. The moment I saw people walking in and responding to my smile, my inside voice was telling me: “Eliane, you can bring more joy to these people. That is what you are here for!”

At that point the whole game changed for me and I introduced myself. I heard people telling me: “Hey, we saw you on a poster on the road! Oh yeah, that’s the lady on the poster in our pharmacy! You are a brave woman, thank you for the good work!!
It was as if they gave me the adrenaline needed to start my performance. I was so aware that in the room there are people knowing that I am HIV positive and they still admire my performance!

It was a great and joyful moment when I saw happy faces of children, parents, elderly and young people, dancing full of energy. A lady told me that my music is as full of energy as I am and that my energy is very contagious (in a positive way)!

I got a lot of positive feedback on how I run my show and I was asked to come especially for the handicapped people living in that institution and to make music with them. It was the first time they were singing and dancing in their wheelchairs on African music.

After all it turned out a successful day and I am glad I listened to my inside voice and did what I came to do, instead of keeping on mourning about Burundi. My country is part of me and it is always in my heart. But the people around me here and now in Holland are equally important to me.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Sister Love,
Eliane

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