Natalia wanted to kiss the new governor of Maine, but she feared being attacked by guards if she tried. Natalia was therefore surprised when Janet Mills put her arms around her and her classmate, Shy Paca, when they finished the interpretation of the "Girl on Fire" pop song of Alicia Keys at the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday.
"She hugged us many times," said 11-year-old Shide.
"She said," You're on fire, guys, "Natalia, 10, added.
The two grade five students at Reiche Elementary School in Portland made headlines last week for their song, which brought together several thousand people. Videos of their performance with Mills and the Maine Supreme Court, Chief Justice Leigh Horsley – the first woman to be elected governor of the state and the first to govern her highest court, respectively – were posted on the Internet at using radiant applause. The Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine, who helped organize their appearance at the inauguration, responded to requests for television and radio interviews from both girls. A stranger recognized them in the street in front of their school and ran on the sidewalk to congratulate them.
"I thought we were just going to play and people would forget about it," Natalia said.
The girls met last year, while Shy was a new grade four student at Reiche. She had recently moved to the United States from Namibia. Natalia knew this experience because she had arrived in the United States of Angola three years ago. She said that she was walking in the boys 'and girls' music hall in Portland and that she liked the girl's hair, which was then covered with braids and colored beads. Then, when she heard Shy's voice, she wanted to sing with her. They became friends and both girls have since participated in a club singing group called Skyrockets.
Bob Clark, President and CEO of the Southern Maine Boys and Girls Club, said Shy was practicing the Keys attack during Mills' first visit to the Portland site during the summer. The Boys and Girls Club Alliance of Maine invited all governorship candidates to visit a clubhouse in the state during the campaign. As Mills passed the music hall in Portland, the teacher poked his head down the hall.
"He said, you might want to listen to this girl singing," Clark said.
Mills remembers the show and invites Shy to sing at the opening. So, on Wednesday, 15 children from boys 'and girls' clubs in the state were welcomed as hosts. High school student Alain Igirneza, who also visits the Portland clubhouse, sang the national anthem. Then Shy and Natalia took the stage.
In an interview Friday, the girls said that they had not really understood the significance of the event before they arrived in Augusta on Wednesday. Dressed in their bright blue boys 'and girls' club jackets, they were silent, but they sent encouraging text messages, like, "Are you ready for rock?" They did not watch themselves on stage, fearing that they would burst. nervous laugh. They were impressed by the lights, the cameras and the thousands of guests.
"It was like four of our school gyms," Natalia said.
They were so absorbed in their performance that they did not realize that Mills was standing behind them at the first chorus. They were surprised to see the crowd stand up and applaud while singing. Only when they watched the video later did they realize that the governor had uttered these words and was dancing behind them.
These words were still in the head two days later. They plan to sing together again during the show of talented artists. They have not chosen a song yet, but they are both fans of Demi Lovato. Now that they have met the governor, the girls said they hoped she would work to help life in the Gulf of Maine and prevent people from contracting a disease like the flu. While they were going to lunch at school on Friday, Shy turned to Natalia and said, "You are awesome."
"You too," Natalia replied.
"You too," Shy repeated.
"You too," said Natalia, and they could have continued if their words had not been dissolved into a giggle.
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