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19 November

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 10 months ago

Saturday 19 November

A good day, though no parachute

I wake really early at 4.00 am, and finish writing up my web diary. I listen to BBC World News on the telly at the same time, praying that there has been no post-election violence, and that we will be able to go out and work today. I hear nothing untoward, and so we press on with our plans. After breakfast Paddy and I do all the web and email stuff and plan the 11.00 briefing meeting, and Jo and Charlie go out to buy the last items we need like ribbon and dowel sticks, etc.

 

The lovely Aruni

 

At 11.00 am Impakt arrive and I meet the lovely Aruni at last - Gerry is there too, and Kumi and 3-4 workers who may well now stay as regular members of the Playbus team, plus about 16 weekend volunteers. They are all young, energetic and really nice. We brief them as far as we are able and explain that due to circumstances beyond our control we will be running this session in Moratuwa with no Playbus and next to no equipment. The volunteers don't seem too fazed by this (because they have already been doing weekend camp visits with virtually no equipment), and at 1.00 pm we all pile into 2 vans and several cars with all the props and costumes and the few bits of equipment we have with us, and drive about 20 minutes to Kotelawelapure School in Moratuwa.

A nice big football field with what is virtually a stage, plus some stadium seating, which is vey useful. Children start pouring out to see us and we start some ball games while setting up the few activities we are able to do. Facepainting goes one side of the stadium seating and drawing and crayoning the other side. The plate-spinning and ribbon twirling will take place on the stage between the shows and the ball games out on the field.

 

THIS PICTURE SHOWS CHARLIE SWEEPING THE STEPS OF THE STADIUM JUST BEFORE THE SHOW BEGINS

 

By the time we are ready there are about 150 children and 100 adults (though these numbers swell later). I introduce Children's World International (through Shane our current Impakt interpreter) and explain roughly what we will be doing, and then pass over to Paddy, who sits in a chair on the ground right in front of the stage, facing the children and starts a chanting/clapping/echoing game. The children soon catch on, and are echoing back happily within a very short space of time. After about 5 minutes he gets them chanting "Charlie, Charlie, Charlie" and Charlie emerges onto the stage, wearing a great improvised clown costume. Can't explain the show in detail now (as have to rush out and find us rooms for tonight) but basically Charlie clowns, and Jo clowns and juggles and magics, and Rooben is a walking suitcase (will get a picture tomorrow - it's hilarious!) and Paddy joins in as general straight man and stooge.

 

JO RUNNING RIBBON-TWIRLING, BOY WITH PAINTED FACE CLUTCHING JUGGLING BALL, AND JO TEACHING SHANE HOW TO TEACH THE CHILDREN TO SPIN PLATES

 

After the first bit of show (30-40 mins approx) we did about 100 minutes of activities (plate spinning, ribbon twirling, ball games, drawing and colouring, facepainting) in a flexible and non-structured way. The children ADORE the facepainting - thank goodness we had so many volunteers - I think every child got painted, which was great!

 

The show goes on

 

Then the ribbon twirlers did a little routine on stage choreographed by Jo, the best plate spinner strutted his stuff very successfully and 2 boys did some wild cartwheels. Charlie, Jo and Paddy did about 30 minutes more of performance, which went down very well, and then we waved goodbye and went away.

 

ME BEING BESEIGED BY OUTREACHED ARMS AS I HAND OUT THE RIBBON TWIRLERS

 

I will write much more soon about the shows and everything, but suffice it to say that we were all deeply relieved to have completed the first session satisfactorily. Even without any equipment to speak of and without our normal mainstay of the parachute, the session was a great success and the children really enjoyed themselves. We are relieved and happy.

 

To find new rooms

 

Off now to find new rooms, then check out of this hotel, move into other hotel, come back here to meet the volunteers at 1.00 and set off to Wadduwa to do a session at Nugagahawatte-Dampiyagama. Will write in more detail tonight and tomorrow morning.

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20 November

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