The audience was left speechless. The lights went up, and the students marched in from two different entrances. A low hum permeated the room as the students began to sing and perform. From the first movement to the last people were left speechless. Cameras and phones recorded so that we would not miss a moment of the amazing performance of the ISTA participants.
It has now been four gruelling days for the young men and women as well as for the wonderful work offered in instruction and workshop from the ISTA facilitators. With open hearts and minds students and facilitators worked diligently into the evenings. To return to the amazing host families who have opened their hearth and home to young men and women from Beijing, Taipei, Singapore and Nanjing. The unsung heroes of this event have to be those host families who have dealt with issues with blood, sweat, and tears to make the wonderful participants feel at home.
A great amount of praise must go to Ms Heidi Arnold for her tireless efforts in dealing with issues as they arrived. She was like a buzzing bee. Moving from room to room. Ms Arnold was a woman who was always in motion putting out the embers of any problems before they could be fanned into anything larger. She did a fantastic job in organizing every aspect of this amazing experience. For one, this blogger has nothing but respect for the work that she has done and how she appeared to be everywhere at once.
Now we bid a tear-filled goodbye to the young men and women who have shared this time in our lives. New friendships have been made and new knowledge practiced. Experiences have been passed on and we all take some amazing memories and understanding of the world away with us. The ISTA Festival will be dearly missed but everyone has shared a part of themselves with others and we all walk away better people for it.
The Blog entries for the ISTA Festival were contributed by Mr Sean Hickman