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Matsiko

Matsiko

Read stories, see pictures, and get up-to-date on whats happening with the Matsiko World Orphan Choir tour!

Matsiko Shake! 

 

The new Matsiko WOC2 takes a break from pratice to give us a good laugh! 

Become a Friend on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/matsiko


Follow Matsiko on Twitter and Instagram @MatsikoICN


Check our scedule to see when Matsiko WOC2 will be in a city near you!  http://www.icnchildren.net/world-orpans-choir-icn/calendar#year=2013&

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Frequently Asked Questions

10 months of traveling, 24 states, 13 kids from Liberia and Peru and 578 gas station & bathroom breaks. How does is all work? Many people often ponder to themselves or ask questions about the logistics of all this Matsiko madness. Well here are some fun and interesting questions and answers that you to may have once pondered!

FAQ 1: Where are the kids from, how old are they, and how many of them are there?

Answer: The children in Matsiko are from Peru (4 girls, 2 Boys) and Liberia (4 girls, 3 boys) they ranges from 8 years old to 16 years old. There are 13 total children in the Matsiko Choir.

FAQ 2: Where do the children stay while they are on their tour?

Answer: Every city we go to we find a school, church or community group who would like to host the choir anywhere from 1 day to 1 week. They then will find host families who take on average one Matsiko leader and 2 Matsiko kids. The families give the choir a place to sleep, food to eat, and many fun memories for the choir to take back home with them!

FAQ 3: What types of food do they eat?

Answer: For the most part they eat EVERYTHING and lots of it. Who eats the most you may ask, well Alonso (12 yrs Peru) once ate 8 burritos for dinner, and William (13 yrs Liberia) once ate 15 eggs for breakfast. Don’t be fooled by those cute little girls either; Jessica (12 yrs Liberia) has eaten a large pizza and even little Sarah (10 yrs Liberia) had 4 plates piled sky high of nothing but rice and chicken at a church potluck. Where does all the food go? We are still trying to figure that out :)

FAQ 4: How do you travel around the country?

Answer: They kids travel over to the United States in planes (obviously) but when they are here the choir travels in three twelve passenger vans. Each child is assigned to a van with a seat. The kids have grown to love being in the vans, it’s the only place they can sleep when they want to, be goofy with friends and not have to worry about putting on a show!

FAQ 5: Are the children schooled on the road?

Answer: Yes they are! It is just like home schooling. When the children travel over to the United States they bring with them a years’ worth of school curriculum. Whenever the choir has free time, it is spent with their noses in books. But who teaches the kids? Their brilliant leaders of course! Every leader has a student they work with and tutor throughout the year.

FAQ 6: Who are the leaders, and how do you pick them?

Answer: The leaders of Matsiko are all Volunteers who have given up a year of their lives to travel and take care of the choir. Each leader has a job they do working in the trailer, selling the merchandise or driving a van are just a few. The leaders are chosen based on personality, flexibility and the want to help children who have come from all walks of life. The leaders all are very disciplined and very committed to traveling and Matsiko. All the leaders must have thorough background checks that must be approved before traveling with the choir.

FAQ 7: Are all the children in the choir orphans?

Answer: No not all the children are orphans. Some children live with their parents but they are so poor that they cannot afford the basic needs of life. They are what we call at-risk children. The children who are orphaned live in an orphanage where they are well cared for or with a guardian or relative.

FAQ 8: How are the children chosen to be a part of Matsiko?

Answer: If a child wants to be a part of Matsiko they will join the choir in their home country. They then get chosen to be in the choir based on their discipline, independent study, performance in the choir, and all around character. It is a very hard process chosen the best fit children to be in Matsiko.

FAQ 9: What is the main purpose of the choir?

Answer: They main purpose of the Matsiko World Orphans Choir is to bring awareness to the 6 hundred million orphaned and at-risk children around the world. At each performance Matsiko sings songs of hope and shares stories of the importance of education through sponsorship. Sponsorship covers the cost of school fees and any basic needs for that specific child (food, clothing etc.)

FAQ 10: What are some things the children learn while in the United States?

Answer: While the children are here traveling they learn many so things about the American culture, have met so many people, and do so many fun and exciting things. The most important thing to children gain from being on this tour is the realization of self-worth and hope of becoming someone important in the future.

FAQ 11: How YOU making a difference in these children’s lives?

Answer: Without people like YOU who are sponsoring the children, coordinating choir events, host housing them, making their meals, and providing clothes/hygiene products and many other things you so graciously do for the choir, none of this would even be possible. We the Matsiko Choir would like to thank you for all you have done for the choir!

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass

 

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

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Become our friend of Facebook too!

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Spend 5 minutes with the very cute Peruvians Zulmira (12) and Alonso (12) as they share about their time here in the United States!

 

Spend 5 minutes with Zulmira and Alonso as they share about their time here in the USA!!

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Spend 5 Minutes with the very cute sisters Sarah and Alvina!

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       Matsiko Watches Ice Skating for the First Time!

         The sun was beginning to set in Sun Valley Idaho and the fun and excitement was just about to begin. We all sat on the bleachers starring at an empty ice rink just waiting in anticipation for the show to begin. “Jessica, do you know what ice skating is?” one of the Matsiko leaders asked Jessica as we waited for the show to start. “Um I think I know a little bit?” Jessica said unsure of her statement. Many of the children in Matsiko had never even seen ice skating, and hardly knew what it was. They were in for a big Surprise!

        As soon as the upbeat music started, the flashing lights came out, and about 15 performers glided across the ice everyone perked up to see what was going on. Spinning, Jumping and mind boggling tricks the Matsiko team was now mesmerized at the talent of these figure skaters. Jennifer (14 Peru) could not keep her eyes off the show “OH WOW!” she said many times throughout the performance, and when Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysecek appeared on the ice she could not contain her excitement! “How does he do that?” Jennifer asked herself out loud many times. “Wow I love his skating!” She said as he exited the stage.

        Followed by Lysecek there were many world champion figure skaters that performed in the production. One in particular made the whole crowd nervous as the partner skaters lifted and toss each other in the air with such grace and elegance. “Oh my goodness!” Prince (16 Liberia) Shouted as the girl was tossed a crossed the ice doing all sorts of twirls. “Hey be careful!” Alonso (12 Peru) said as anther trick was be performed. And as soon as we knew it the finale of the show was being performed.

        “I could have watched that all night! I wish it didn’t end.” Zulmira (12 Peru) said as we climbed down from the bleachers. Just as we were about to leave another surprise! Not only did we get to watch this amazing ice show, but we had to chance to meet these figure skaters as well! So we all scatter to find our favorite performer and get a quick picture and autograph. As soon as everyone had a picture and a signature it was time to head home and get a good night rest.

Matsiko is so thankful To Papa Pawan and Helen Ma Mehra for taking us to this wonderful show! Thank you so much we LOVE you!

 

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

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Become our friend of Facebook too!

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Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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Be the first to see the newest blogs and Spolight Child of the Week by suscribing to the choir blog!

 

 

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We were in Park City, Utah and the weather was great. Thanks to miss Jen Hardman (channel 5 KSL News), a fun filled day of adrenaline for the whole team was set up at the Lagoon amusement park!

It was an early morning and a long day! But we of course couldnt leave without a cooler that could fit a whale inside, for all 27 lunches! And on a tuesday at 11am, amusement parks dont tend to be as busy... Lucky for us!

As we arrived at the park, and divided into our groups, the kids with their swimsuits on were ready for not only the roller coasters, but the water park as well. Especially in the scorching hot weather!

It became apparent that the giant roller coasters would be the popular rides for the day. While some kids wanted to experience every ride they could, like Sofia (13yrs, Peru), others wanted to repeat the ride as soon as they found a good one, like Ezekiel (14yrs, Liberia). "LETS GO AGAIN!!" he exclaimed, after returning from the park's famed "Wicked" roller coaster.

After playing for a few hours, the harmonious grumble of tummies suggested it may be lunch time. So we set off for the parking lot to retrieve our delicious yum yums from our crazy neon vans.

A picnic in the grass was just what we needed to hydrate, and re-fuel before we spent the rest of our day on the water slides and swimming areas.

When the day was dying down, there was one task left at hand... A western style picture of all the kids to remember our wonderful day! Nothing could beat such a wonderful day full of shrills of joy.

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Matsiko Celebrates the 4th of July

" It's Americas birthday today!" Jessica ( 12 yrs Liberia) said excitedly as she climb into the van. Soon after Jessica had said this statement all the children began singing happy birthday America and we began our journey to Seward  Nebraska for their big 4th of July Celebration. For the Matsiko team there was a long day ahead and everyone was excited to get started!

After our hour and a half drive to Seward it was time to get set up for one of three  performances for the day. The kids were preparing and putting on uniforms, merchandise was being set up, sound was being tested, and people were piling in to all see Matsiko! And soon the performance had began.

After 2 performance back to back it was time to relax and devour our lunch. But that's not all! There was pie and lots of it! After getting the OK to eat this sugary substance the whole team ate pie and continued to eat until it was time march in the parade.

" Oh a parade like at Disney land!" Sarah ( 10 yrs Liberia) said excitedly and all the girls gave a cheer! Waving, smile and dancing down the street the parade had soon come to an end. " I liked it so much though I didn't want it to end!" Sofia ( 13yr Peru) said as we all gathered at the end of the parade.

After marching in the scorching hot sun everyone was ready for some ice cold water. But our day was not over yet! After eating our delicious dinner it was time yet again to set up for just one more performance. " When can we watch fireworks?!" Julio (11 yrs Peru) asked right before going one stage. " After this performance." answered his leaders.  After the performance had ended, speakers were put away and the merchandise was packed away it was finally time for what everyone was looking forward to. FIREWORKS!

As everyone kicked back and watched the beauty of the fireworks we all realized what a busy day we had! " 3 performances a parade and then fireworks! Good job guys!" Zulmira (12 yrs Peru)  said to her teammate as we all made our way back to the vans for our drive back to host families. " Today was very long and hot" William (13 yrs Liberia) said while putting on his seat belt. Then added " but is was a lot of fun!"

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

www.twitter.com/MatsikoICN

Become our friend of Facebook too!

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Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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Be the first to see the newest blogs and Spolight Child of the Week by suscribing to the choir blog!

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With not a clue in our minds as to what we were getting ourselves into, the 13 munchkins hopped into the vans one by one to set sail for the City Museum in Saint Louis, Missouri.

If you have never been to the "museum," and you have children under the age of 13, you are truly missing out. Many of us agreed this place should have been called a playground, or maybe a fun center. It was less a museum, and more a jungle gym of tunnels, ladders, slides, and rides!

                                      

As we arrived and parked our matsiko-mobiles on the side of the road, we were kindly greeted on the sidewalk by a young employee who then lead us into our performance area, where the crazy concoctions and architecture would take our breath away.

It was hard to hold back climbing over and under everything in sight, but the kids knew as soon as work was done, play would begin. So they rushed into their costumes, and as they were changing their shoes, a problem arose.... Somebody forgot theirs!

One pair of flip flops, and 12 pairs of shoes?! No way! Our solution... Everyone goes barefoot! Good thing these kids know how to go with the flow.

                                      

And the show began! A half hour of pure magic as usual, then it was time for the real fun to begin. After they were back in their street clothes, it was time for rooftop activities.

From the two giant slides, to the giant ferris wheel located on the edge of the roof, it was impossible to choose what to do first!

Chaos erupted. Matsiko kids EVERYWHERE.

There was julio and sofia inside the school bus that was cleverly placed hanging halfway off of the corner of the building, and luciana too scared to actually slide down the slide once she got to the top... and of course jessica, sarah and ezekiel on the giant ferris wheel. The next two hours were spent taking turns exploring every nook and cranny of the place.

                                     

There was a sadness in the air when we had to leave as we all wondered why saint louis isnt more popular. From the zoo, to the museum, to the cardinals baseball game, it seemed there wasnt anything this city didnt have to offer!

DON'T FORGET!

Follow the choir on Facebook: Matsiko Children's Choir

Follow the choir on Twitter: MatsikoICN

Follow the choir on Instagram: MatsikoICN

Subscribe to our YOUTUBE channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MatsikoChildrenChoir/Videos

............to book the choir, contact Jennie Windham: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Matsiko takes a journey to Wall Drug South Dakota

 

It was a long journey from Mankato Minnesota to Rapid City South Dakota and it seemed everyone on the team had fallen ill to cabin fever. " How many more hours?" Yelled Alvina (8 yrs Liberia) from the back seat of the van. "Around 4 more hours" and a series of moans were soon heard. Along the way about a mile apart from each other were big tall bill boards advertising what seemed to be the greatest place on earth: Wall Drugs. "Free Ice Water" " Water Park" and of course the Matsiko leaders favorite sign " 5cent coffee!" It was soon clear that the Matsiko team needed to see for themselves what this Wall Drugs was all about! ( and a good excuse to stretch our cramped legs!)

As the 3 colorful vans rolled in everyone rushed out, and our mission began as we tried to find all the sights that were promised threw all the advertisements. There were so many fun and exciting things to see! A giant rabbit with antlers, a gorilla playing a piano, and even dinosaurs!

As we walked through the old western town going from store to store the kids were becoming a little bored and restless. "I'm so hot!" Alonso (11 yrs Peru) mentioned as we walked outside. "I'm becoming so tired! When we will be in Rapid City?" Alvina (8 yrs Liberia ) asked as we walk into anther store. It was becoming clear that although Wall Drugs was very entertaining it seemed the bill boards may have stretch the truth just a tad :)

After exploring all the stores and trying on cowboy hats it was time to find that free ice water and head back to the vans. As we climb into the vans Sarah (10 yrs Liberia) said " That place was so cool! I'm sad we are leaving!" and many of the kids agreed with Sarah. All in all Wall Drugs was a great pit stop to cure our cabin fever, and give the team energy to continue to our destination.

 

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

www.twitter.com/MatsikoICN

Become our friend of Facebook too!

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Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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Thanks to Joe and Lisa Vander Haal, 8 members of Matsiko got the special opportunity to attend a cardinals baseball game! Leaders, Jason, Beth, Don, David W, David G, Kylie, and Jenai, and kids Zulmira, Alonso, and Ruth.

At first arriving at the game, we were welcomed by the uproaring of the crowd cheering and yelling for the first play of the day. A Home Run! This was gunna be a good game. The sun was so hot, that it was borderline unbearable to sit in our seats. After twenty minutes of watching the game, half the group left on a mission... For ice water.

After aquiring and downing approximately five cups of ice, and four snow cones, the children realized the discomfort wasnt as high in the shady seats..... So sneaky sneaky they were, each child with their accompanied chaperone, walked confidently into a section of empty seats, perfectly placed in a haven hidden from the sun. This was of course, AFTER the girls got a picture with the mascot! 

                                

"Aaaaaahhhhh. Much better!" Ruth (12yrs, Liberia) said as she slumped into her seat.

It was a matter of minutes before one of the childrens' wildest dreams was about to come true... A first time for the kids, and an odd experience as well. The opportunity had finally presented itself. Seeming to walk in slow motion towards Zulmira, she stared longingly at the fluffy treat packed tight in the merchant's hands. Cotton candy. The only exception made for the no sugar rule. "I guuueeessss!" Don said, as he ordered three packets for each of the kids.

After ripping and tearing off the chunks of sugary cotton, the facial expressions were priceless. After experiencing the candy so quickly dissolving on the tongue of each kid, they didnt know WHAt to think.

"It's so strange!" zulmira cried, with a look of horror on her face. Yet her actions seemed to contradict her expression as she continued to pop piece after piece into her mouth.

                                  

Ruth took a different approach, periodically taking the candy back out of her mouth to examine it more closely. "How does it do that?!"

After nine action packed innings, and a ten to seven win, everybody was sad to leave the stadium... Or should i say sauna. That is... until they saw the fire truck raining down a storm of cold water! Without hesitation, the kids darted through the fire truck hose screaming and laughing like they hadnt seen rain in years!

                                 

After successfully getting drenched, and leader Jenai (seattle, wa) absent mindedly ruined her white shorts with her never before washed red cardinal shirt, the group laughed their way back to the van, reminiscing over the wonderful day they had.

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This is Ruth


 

Isn’t she dazzling?

 

Ruth is 12 years old and from Liberia West Africa

 

Since Ruth has come to the United States out of all the kids she has grown the most! She is now SO tall!

 

Ruth marches to the beat of her own drum! She doesn’t care what people think and she LOVES to entertain others by telling funny stories or doing a silly dance.

 

Although Ruth is by far the silliest child we have, she takes school very serious and always stays on task when it comes to school work. She is a very bright girl!

 

When it comes to meeting new people Ruth can be very shy. “I don’t know why I’m shy!” Just give her a day or two and she’ll be singing and dancing for you in no time!

 

Ruth recently learned how to swim! She can even dive of the diving board!

 

Ruth loves animals! When the choir took a trip to the zoo Ruth was mesmerized by all the interesting animals to see.

 

Ruth is a great helper! Whenever anyone is in need of help Ruth is always one of the first to volunteer and she enjoys helping out with whatever is needed!

 

When it comes to performing Ruth always gives 110% no matter what! She really enjoys sharing her love of singing and dancing with the world!

 

 

Ruth enjoys learning new facts about the places we go and the sights we see. She loves to learn new information to expand her knowledge!

 

When Ruth grows up she wants to be a nurse and help people all around the world!

 

 

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

www.twitter.com/MatsikoICN

Become our friend of Facebook too!

www.facebook.com/Matsiko

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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Be the first to see the newest blogs and Spolight Child of the Week by suscribing to the choir blog!

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Spotlight Child of the Week: Jennifer

This is Jennifer

Isn’t she pretty?

She is 14 years old and from Peru

Jennifer has a BEAUTIFUL singing voice, and she loves to share her talents with other people.

When it comes to school, Jennifer takes her studies very serious and even does school work in her free time!

If there is any down time during the day Jennifer likes to make friendship bracelets and experiment with different deigns.

Jennifer is very talented when it comes to art work, she loves to draw, paint, and sketch all the time!

Jennifer like all the children is very active. She loves to run around and be silly with her teammates.

Jennifer loves to hang out with the girls. You can always spot her chit chatting with her gal pals.

During a performance Jennifer always gives 100% and is all smiles!

Jennifer recently just got her chipped tooth fixed and loves to share her beautiful white smile with the world!

When it’s your birthday you better watch you back! This girl ALWAYS has something sneaky planned! (Silly string, smashed eggs, BIG MESS J etc.) (When it was Jennifer’s birthday the team had a little revenge!)

When Jennifer grows up she wants to be a singer and sing for people all over the world!

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

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This is Avlina

Isn’t she a sweetheart?!

Alvina is 8 years old and from Liberia West Africa

Alvina is loaded with personality! She can be sweet, sassy, and a smarty pants! (She is very fun to trick and play games with)

Like all the girls Alvina loves to be girly! She loves to paint nails, do her hair, and pick out fun outfits!

 

Alvina is the undercover translator. She always knows what the other kids are trying to say…. Even when it’s in Spanish!

 

Because she is the youngest and smallest Matsiko member, Alivina is always being lifted, tossed, and carried around! (Of course she loves it! Who wouldn’t love it? J)

 

After a performance Alvina loves to work her charm at the merchandise table. She is very great with all the people and knowing products!

 

During a performance Alvina is always hamming it up in the front row! She is VERY fun to watch!

 

When it comes to school Alvina stays on task. She is a smart cookie! She recently just learned her times tables!

 

Alvina loves to share stories from home. She is frequently swapping stories about her daily life in Liberia.

 

Alvina loves to try new activities. Although she may be scared at first she always give it a try!

 

When Alvina grows up she wants to be a nurse and work in a Liberian hospital.

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

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It was a first for many of the kids, like Sofia (13yrs, Peru) so the excitement in the air was very apparent. These kids were ready to see some lions and monkeys!

Our day started with a very early morning and a delicious breakfast of home-made banana bread (who's recipe has been passed down through generations to our lovely host mother, miss Lisa vanderhar). And our breakfast wasn't complete without some delicious home made smoothies for everybody!

We arrived at the zoo as soon as the doors opened,  promptly at 8a.m. While there were so many options of what to do at the zoo that is "second to only the San Diego zoo," the team decided to stay together for the beginning and later split into groups. With Lisa in the lead, we marched with purpose and plenty of gusto toward the sting rays.

As we all moved slowly into the exhibit, little by little... Washing our hands and arms one by one, we eventually made it to the giant tank. This will have been the third time the kids have had the opportunity to pet sing rays, and yet, it's like the first time EVERY time.

After ending our session with the rays, the team decided it would be a good idea to get to the petting zoo before they start charging money at 9... But that was in ten minutes! So we lasso'd up the kids, and scooted their butts outta there! Matsiko is our name, and speed walking is our game. As we arrived at the doors, we had 7 minutes to spare... I guess we didn't have to walk so fast...

The first and favorite part for most of the kids was the meerkats. "He's just like Timon!" Ruth (12yrs, Liberia) exclaimed. And the others ran up behind her, squeezing their way through the crowd to see Pumba's life long friend.

After making their way around the room, seeing the birds, guinea pigs, and foxes too.... It was time to pass out our train tickets (Thank you Lisa!) and get a move on.

While some groups took a sharpie to their map and planned their quest in advance, most teams decided to wing it. Then they were off! Each group in a different direction, and every group excited for the day.

At 1:30 we all reunited and passed out in the grass... It was a long day of walking, and rest before the museum was definitely a must. When asking what everybody's favorite animals were, little Alvina (8yrs, Liberia) said "I like the one that eats snakes!" ..."the mongoose?" David (23, Seattle leader) asked. "Yes. Because I don't like snakes."

Despite Alvina's disdain, it seemed the giant python was a crowd pleaser and with the end of that conversation, it was time for the art museum!

                                 

REMEMBER TO:

Follow us on Facebook: Matsiko Orphan Choir

Follow us on Twitter: MatsikoICN

Follow us on Instagram: MatsikoICN

...If you would like to book the choir for an event, contact: Don Windham ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Jennie Windham ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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This is Ezekiel

Isn't he charming?!

He is 14 years old and from Liberia West Africa

Ezekiel is a TOTAL boy! You can always catch him wrestling, playing soccer, or just being loud with the guys.

Ezekiel is very helpful with task. If anything needs to be done Ezekiel is happy to lend a hand!

Ezekiel loves to learn new games and activities. His new favorite is the card game Uno.

When it comes to school work he always stays on task, even when he is a little bored or tired :)

Ezekiel likes to be goofy! He is always coming up with one liners that will make any one crack a smile!

During the long car rides Ezekiel likes to keep himself entertained during the stops by helping pump gas.

Ezekiel loves to show off his new skills! He now knows how to juggle, swim, and do some crazy back flips!

During a performance you will be sure to notice Ezekiel! He is not afraid of singing and dancing in front of big crowds!

When it comes to getting enough to eat, Ezekiel definitely makes sure he gets enough! This boy can EAT!

When Ezekiel grows up he wants to be an Engineer!

 

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When repeating the title of this entry out loud... "Not gunna Lie.... We Loved that Fish Fry!" Sarah (10yrs, Liberia), quietly studying nearby, answered quickly and excitedly "YES!" 

                                 

We'd like to begin with a BIG Thankyou to the community of Fairdale Baptist in Hemphill, Texas... And especially to the beautiful Miss Rosemary for making it all happen.

It's been 5 long, hard, months that we've been on the road now, so it can be a bit difficult to find things the kids have never done! Well... hard for anyone who doesn't live in Hemphill!

Fairdale Baptist, and Rosemary were so kind as to put on a huge fish fry for the whole team. The children were beyond ecstatic to ride boats for the first time, eat fish for only the second time while here in the states (it was the first for many...), And most families even took the kids to go fishing for the first time!

This quiet town in the middle of nowhere made our experience and time there so worth while. Thank you just doesnt show how greatful we really are.

After all of the excitement, and stuffing our tummys with delicious fresh fish, caught earlier in the day, the kids wanted to show our hosts what they could do. So william took his seat and beat his drum (or... Wooden lunch table) to the beat of a few songs as the rest danced and sang a capella, concluding our impromptu concert with the jam "thank you so much!"

                                                                

The day was fantastic, and we will never forget the endless love and mouth watering meals served to us from the most kindhearted people in Texas!

                                  

REMEMBER TO...

-FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @MATSIKOICN

-FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: MatsikoICN

-"LIKE US" ON FACEBOOK: Matsiko World Orphan Choir

-FRIEND US AND KEEP UP WITH THE CHOIR ON FACEBOOK: Matsiko Childrens Choir

-To book the choir, contact ICN founders Don Windham: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Jennie Windham: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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It was a pleasant 80degrees out. Perfect day for sight seeing! And what's more relevant to learn about while seeing the sights in Houston, than NASA?

Knowing we were in Houston, we'll give you one guess as to what phrase was overused during our time.... If you guessed "Houston, we have a problem" you're correct! Zulmira spills her coke... "uh houston, we have a problem!" Alexis falls and scrapes her knee... "houston, we have a problem." We forget a few children as we try to leave.... You guessed it! "Houston... We have a problem!...." only kidding.

So the day started as any other day, and any other blog starts. We all piled into our vans for a fun filled day.... This time, for space exploration and adventure!

It was off to the NASA park for lunch... Where we would learn about each apollo mission and even see a Saturn ship, planned to be Apollo 18 up close and personal! We learned later that lack of funds stopped that one from happening.

                                  

As we pulled up to the giant warehouse, curiosity overwhelmed the kids, which exploded from their mouths in the form of a million questions. Meanwhile, zulmira (our resident astronaut) silently took it all in. It seemed the smile on her face would never fade away.

                 

We began at one end of the wall with apollo one, walking slowly all the way down to the end discussing each mission and posing for pictures. And all along the way, discovering each new part of the apollo 18 rocket that we couldnt ignore.

At the end, we proceeded outside to look at the escape shuttle that was tested for real emergencies out in space. It was displayed magnificently on a podium in the grass as we warned the kids "dont climb on that!"

.......TWO WEEKS LATER IN HEMPHILL, TEXAS

But that isn't where our adventure ended... Thanks to our good friend Steven,  we were offered an opportunity to explore a museum of shuttles spent to space for missions with a goal to collect research and product experiments. The museum was dedicated to the Columbia that ended in the tragic accident it's famous for.

We started our tour in a tiny theatre with a few questions answered, and a short 40min film to introduce us to the world of space. We learned about what a shuttle is, and how the very first shuttle mission happened.

                                                                                                  

When the movie ended, we all scuffled out of the room, waking miss sarah (10yrs, Liberia) from her peaceful slumber along the way.

We walked single file line back to where we started in the giant room of glass displays dedicated to each shuttle mission.  Alonso (11yrs, Peru) thought it was funny to learn the scientists took fish to space! And Julio (10yrs, Peru) was shocked to learn about the survival of the columbia camera. After such a dramatic fall and devastating destruction.... Somehow the camera and fish were fine.

After some tears were shed, and knowledge gained, the kids said "thankyou" and began to walk back to the vans for lunchtime. "I wish i could show these things to my mom" Ruth (12, Liberia) said quietly. "Let me take a picture for you!" Don (choir founder/director, Seattle) said. So ruth struck a pose and the camera clicked. "there! Now in three months time, you can!"

                                               

And with that, we left the museum, thanking our friends for another exciting day.

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Matsiko Visits the Texarkana Orphanage  

 

It was a bright and sunny afternoon in Texarkana Texas when the Matsiko crew  had learn that just 5 minutes away on the border of Texas and Arkansas was a orphanage filled with children and teens that had similar stories to ours. "I didn't know there where orphanages in America?" Sofia (13 yrs Peru) announced as her leaders told the choir we would be spending the afternoon there. " I'm so excited to meet all the kids!!" Alvina ( 8 yrs Liberia) said as the team loaded up in the vans. 

 
After being greeted by staff members the team was then escorted into the dining hall where we meet the 11 teenage girls and the 2 boys that lived there. Immediately all the kids started swapping stories and getting to know one anther a little more.
 
 
Soon after getting aquatinted Matsiko performed a few songs for all the children and staff members. When the performance ended the girls in the home eagerly stood up and wanted to share some of their music with us and of course we wanted to hear! 
 
After each group had finished performing everyone wanted to sing a song together so we figured out a tune we all knew and together all the children sang Amazing Grace. 
 
 
After the jam session had finished all the kids had dispersed on tours of the home of course given by all the girls who lived there. After seeing all the bedrooms, hangout spots, and even some horses our time together was coming to an end.
 
                           
Wishing we could stay longer we said our goodbyes and continued on our journey. " We really do represent children all over the world! Even in the United States." Luciana (14 yrs old Peru) said as we made our way down the street.
 
 
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 This is Sofia aka "Gabby"

 Isn't she flawless?

She is 13 years old, from Peru and proud of it!

Sofia is a chatter bug! She is always telling stories, asking questions, and conversing with the team. Its hard to believe that when she came she knew NO english, now all she speaks is english!!

Sofia LOVES giving her team mates and leaders "make overs" she is always painting nails, picking out outfits for others, and testing out new hair styles!

If you ask Sofia "what should we do today?" her answer is almost always  swimming! This girl is a fish!

Sofia is very serious with her studies. She is often found sitting with her books studying with the girls in her grade. Even when it's not school time!

Sofia loves her pajamas. If she can get away with it she will just stay in her p.j.'s all day. "what? Its comfortable!" - Sofia

Sofia always says whats on her mind! We like to call her our out loud thinker.

Sofia loves to help at the merchandise table. After the performances you can always spot her at the table telling people what countries the products come from and how they are made.

Sofia is always collecting brochures, magazine clippings, or newspaper articles to make her memory scrapbook. She is very creative!

Sofia loves to try new things. Shes a dare devil and never backs down from a challenge!

In the car Sofia is always singing along to the music. She loves to learn new music or even sing old tunes from Peru.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwacR0OjaD8&;feature=plcp

When Sofia grows up she wants to study graphic design and fashion design and make beautiful clothes!

 

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This is Alonso

Isn't he a stud?!?

He is 11 years old and and from Peru

Alonso loves to play soccer and be active. You can always see him running around outside with all the guys.

Alonso loves to listen to new music. In the car he is always requesting new songs he has just learned.

Alonso is a goof ball! Hes alway cracking jokes with the team or doing a funny dance. Check out Alonso Bieber :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3InTmFHXLWU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwnyNWBAEDQ

Its seems that this kid is ALWAYS hungry. A common phrase coming out of his mouth is "im soooo hungry!!"

Alonso is a dare devil! He's not afraid to jump into a new activity and give it a go!

When it comes to studying Alonso stays focused and always gets all his work done on time!

On of Alonso's favorite activities is swimming. I think hes part fish!

Alonso loves to help out at performances, you can always spot him carrying mic stands of rolling in the merchandise boxes.

Its hard to believe that just 6 months ago this boy knew no english! He can now carry on conversations in english and e frequently does!

When Alonso grows up he wants to be an engineer.

 

Remember to Follow us on Twitter

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