From the very first moment the BYU Young Ambassadors entertained… in a kaleidoscope of music, song and dance, amid a spectacular array of costumes. Their performance was effortlessly excellent… to the appreciative approval of our audience.
I laughed… I cried… I was inspired and loved every moment. Thank-you for an incredible experience, and an absolutely wonderful show. Hannah Pyper and Josie Louise Layton it was wonderful to meet you and I hope you have an amazing African experience.
I had the privilege of having dinner with two intelligent, talented and gorgeous young women from the BYU Young Ambassadors on Monday evening.
It was a surprisingly fun evening, considering I thought they would both be half asleep after a 21 hour flight the night before, definite jetlag, and a 5am start that morning. Not for rehearsals or a day of fun in the sun at the beach… but a full day of reaching out in sharing, teaching and training.
The Howard College outreach program was so successful, that the BYU production invited a number of students on stage for a very special tear inspiring song, that they all performed beautifully.
Josie Louise Layton is articulate, easy going and speaks 7 languages and is part of a large Canadian family. Josie already has an impressive bucket list (if she actually has a bucket list 🙂 )… having already been to Belgium, Sweden, Egypt… where she discovered she hates riding camels, India for six months, Scotland, Ireland and Wales where she learnt some strange sounding town names… Australia where she experienced the joy and fun of hand feeding Kangaroos and of course the USA where Josie now resides as a student where she attends Brigham Young University.
A trip to our backyard in the sea neighbour Mauritius, inspired Josie to want another trip to Africa, so she taught herself the percussion and joined the band of the BYU Young Ambassadors. One, two three… just like that!
Which I’m sure was much more challenging, no matter how casual Josie is about her extraordinary talents, and made even more special by her humble gratitude to be visiting South Africa and performing as a BYU Young Ambassador.
Hannah Pyper is a tiny, twenty year old and not limited in anyway by her shortness, as she oozes confidence, enthusiastic energy and a love of life that shines from within. Since Hannah and I sat next to each other at the dinner table, we chatted like easy going long known friends, despite our 30 year age difference and having just met for the very first time. Although Hannah literally breathes her love of music, singing and dancing… I was not prepared for her stage performance which was absolutely spectacular, as she animatedly entertained through every note and dance step, and although she was surrounded by a group of incredible performers, having met Hannah, I couldn’t help looking for her during each act on stage. Hannah’s evident talent I’m sure will help her realise her dream of a career in the performing arts.
During a quiet moment at dinner, Hannah humbly shared an experience she had years ago, igniting her long held desire to visit Africa, and what a privilege it was to not only visit South Africa, but to do so with the BYU Young Ambassadors, and how much she had enjoyed her day with the children and Howard College students during the outreach programs, and the fun she had during the Gumboots Dancing Workshop.
After two incredible performances at the Durban Playhouse Theatre last night, Josie and Hannah with the rest of the BYU Young ambassadors are on their way to Bloemfontein in the Free State while South Africa celebrates Freedom Day.
What most people don’t know about the BYU Young Ambassadors, is that they don’t get paid for their performers, and although they do get to travel… they have to pay $1500 (R21928,42) performance fees. While on tour performing, they also have little leisure time to sightsee as they spend many of their ‘free’ hours involved in singing, dancing and music workshops, and outreach service programs.
Read more about the Young Ambassador Booster Club!
Visit the BYU Young Ambassador website www.youngambassadors.byu.edu
“We had two shows today at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban (seats 1200), and these energetic kids swarmed us after the show. All of these people have so much love to give.” ~ Scott Thomas Hendrickson with Hannah Pyper from the BYU Young Ambassadors
Free tickets provided and sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for local school children to attend “Heartsongs” has touched their hearts and I’m sure will make a difference to them for the rest of their lives.
“Meet the Team” read more about the BYU Young Ambassadors