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16 January

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 3 months ago

MONDAY 16 JANUARY:

Off to the rubber plantation....

 

More rehearsals in the morning and then we load up the songtheuw and set off at about 12.00. We drive half an hour to the Grass Roots office, in a nearby town, where a lovely guy joins us to direct us and take us on to the school in the middle of a rubber plantation.

 

Language - and other - problems

 

The road stops and we have to carry all our props, costumes and sound system through the rubber plantation - some of the older children come and help us which is great as it would have taken several trips otherwise. When we stagger up with the stuff, we realise there is no power and no shade right by the tiny school. Really we need to find a clearing in the rubber plantation with power not too far away - Hags and I set off on a recce with Mr. Wee and the nice Burmese Grass Roots guy - he speaks a tiny bit of English, and only a very little Thai - we speak no Thai at all (except for Hello, Goodbye and Thank you - Thai is not an easy language to pick up - it works on lots of different tonal scales!) and Mr. Wee speaks Thai but no English and no Burmese, so we have quite a hard time communicating!

 

Polite and lovely

 

In the end we pull the electricity from the nearby nursery school and run the show between the 2 schools in a shadey-ish spot. We rig up one parachute as a stage backdrop and lay the other on the ground for the children to sit on. We set up the show and then run an hour of workshops - Jo, Jake, Hags and Paul do their workshop stuff under the shade of the rubber trees, and I run the badge-making in the tiny, tiny school room. They are polite and lovely children, but not very imaginative when it comes to making their badges - they write their names in Burmese, but don't seem keen on decorating them with lots of colour - still, they seem very happy and pleased with their badges nonetheless.

 

The other workshops are much enjoyed, and then we gather the children together for the show - we are joined by the really tiny, tiny children from the separate nursery school - this takes a while as they always have an afternoon sleep and then have a nice (but time-consuming) wash each. The show goes very well - it feels great bringing a really good quality show to such a tiny and primitive place - there may only be 60 children, but they really enjoyed their afternoon, and it felt extremely worthwhile.

 

Preparations

 

We stop on the way home to buy a small mattress for Trent and Martha's little boy Leilo to sleep on when they arrive tomorrow, and then I go and see the Tsunami Volunteer Centre in khao Lak again, in the hope that they will offer to set up some more gigs for us if we decide to stay in Khao Lak till the end of the Tour - but the people I need to see aren't there, so I leave long messages with their receptionist.

 

Back to the internet office, where now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology I can just turn "Airport" on and access the internet on my lap-top, without even being plugged in to anything! Lots of messages from my English office and an email from Linda, saying that she has now probably got free accommodation for us in Krabi if we want to go down there to work, and that the transport sponsor is now in again. We are fully booked up here till next Monday, 23rd January (though we must double-double-check this with Somchai, as he was not quite certain about Bang Mung School on Monday) but are still not sure how to use our remaining time after that best - going to ponder and dwell on it for another 24 hours at least before making final decisions. There is also an email from Andaman TV, Channel 11, saying that they would like to come and film us - I bang back an email saying we are visiting Baan Nam Kem School tomorrow, and that we would be most happy for them to film, as long as they check that that is cool with the head teacher.

 

17 January

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