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20 January

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 9 months ago

Friday 20 January

A lovely school

 

We are ready for Mr. Wee at 8.30. He suddenly gets a phone call from Somchai (our phone does not seem to be working at the moment - must check it out, as I suddenly realise I have not heard from La or Linda for at least 2 days) and yet again we seem to be heading to a newly-arranged school, rather than the one we were expecting. Flexibility rules!

 

We head south for about 40 minutes, and then, to our surprise, we head east, inland, for about another 40 minutes - it is lovely to see the Thai countryside, but we seem to be a long way from the coast and areas that were damaged by the tsunami! Hey ho!

 

A little bit lost

 

It is a really lovely drive, on roughish roads, through rubber plantations and jungle, with tiny villages dotted along the road. Lakes, fish farms, water buffalo, several elephants, egrets and more - but it has to be said that while the songtheuw is perfectly satisfactory for up to half-hour journeys, it is not comfortable at all on longer journeys, especially if they are on rough roads. Our backs and bottoms get very sore! I think Mr. Wee got a little bit lost and the journey was a bit longer than it needed to be, but eventually we arrive at a most delightful school.

 

There are 160 students, aged 3 to 12 and they are really lovely children. The staff are tremendously welcoming and nice, but they speak very little English - we know that they have some sports thing going on later this afternoon (I think this may actually be Sports Week in Thailand), but we are told we can work with the children until 2.00, which is fine.

 

Boom-whacker

 

VERY CONCENTRATED THROWING GAMES IN THE SHADE OF THE SCHOOL GARDEN, WITH RIBBON-TWIRLING AND PLATE-SPINNING GOING ON THE BACKGROUND

 

ball-passing-Ban-donFrom 10 till 11 we take a group of 80 children for workshops (the usual juggling, hoola hooping, ribbon-twirling and plate-spinning as well as badges - and Martha and Trent also run a "boom-whacker" workshop - they had tried this the day before at Ban Yai School, but there was nowhere quiet for them to go off and do it with the children, and therefore the children couldn't retain the attention needed, so they did balloon hats and animals instead in the end - but today they take the children off to the shady canteen and do it there very successfully. Basically the boom-whackers are plastic tubes of different lengths and colours, each of which plays a different note when thwacked on the floor or on different parts of the body. We brought 3 sets out, so we have 24 tubes - but it took musical people like Trent and Martha to make it work properly as a workshop - a nice addition!

 

A real joy

 

THE END OF THE OPENING SUITCASE DANCE - FROM THE RIGHT: HAGGIS, JAKE, PAUL, JO AND ROO WITH HIS DINKY HANDBAG PREPARING TO SIT ON JO'S LAP BEFORE THE HAT-CHANGE ROUTINE STARTS

 

The-suitcase-routine-Ban-donWe run a second workshop for the 2nd 80 children from 11 till 12. It is a real joy doing the badges - it's very orderly and lovely, thanks to a really nice teacher who stays nearby to help. I hand out the paper badge centres to the children who are in a neat line, and they all give me a little "wai" before taking the paper - then they go off to the marble tables in the shade to draw their badge centre with our felt-tip crayons, and then they return to me to have their badge made up. As I give them their completed badge, they give me another "wai" and say "thank you". That makes 320 "wais" in one morning - what a lovely way to spend my time - I'm very lucky! The badges are really colourful and artistic, and the children are very pleased with them.

 

The school give us a lovely lunch sitting in the garden in the shade - there are lots of trees and masses of really huge black and white butterflies fluttering around us. Then we set up the show - rigging the smaller parachute as a backdrop on a rope between 2 trees, and using the bigger parachute for the children to sit on.

 

Live music and butterflies

 

Martha and Trent look great in their strange costumes, and Trent's false teeth are really quite shocking! The show goes well, and Lee does a 5-minute M & M (sweeties) throwing and catching spot, which is fun. Haggis's hat and club routines go brilliantly, but he and Jake just can't make the 7-balls-into-the-net routine go right. They have 4 goes and call it a day - but Jake makes it so funny, that it doesn't actually matter. Jo/Daisy's stuff goes well - several children have their hands to their mouths when they think she really has cut her arm, and the spouting teapot has everyone in stitches. Paul's crystal ball routines go very well to Martha and Trent's live music (with two large butterflies fluttering above his head, which luckily does not seem to throw him) and Martha's flick-flack before the now-enlarged pyramid ending gains great applause.

 

We pack up and drive out of the school, and, to our amazement and delight all 160 children are lined up along the roadway "wai"-ing and waving away with huge smiles on their faces. I think they had never seen anything quite like our troupe in their lives, and we know we have made them very happy - so, despite the fact that these were not children who suffered specifically from the tsunami, we, too, are very happy with our day.

 

Sore bottoms

 

A slightly shorter drive home as Mr. Wee didn't lose the way, but we still have very sore bottoms and back when we emerge from the songtheuw at our bungalows. A quick soak in the sea helps and is cooling - the only problem is the beach is 800 metres away, so one is always hot and sweaty again by the time one gets back to the bungalow, and one needs a cold shower to cool off again! I'm not envious of Jo and Jake's hot water shower at all!

 

A visit to the internet office, with various stuff to sort out, and an email from my secretary saying she has been trying to ring me for hours - I thought something was wrong with our phone! Orange does not appear to be working in this area at the moment. I do hope the phone works tomorrow, as we really need to make the decision soon about whether we will go down to Krabi on Wednesday or remain up here in Khao Lak - in which case Somchai needs to book up some more schools up here for the second half of next week. We have a quick planning meeting about the show we are going to do late afternoon tomorrow at the new ITV housing project, and then Hags and I go out to an early dinner with Lee and Mariella 10-year-old Merlijn and 8-year-old Mara (who I haven't seen since she was a baby). Very tired, so after a quick read in bed, I fall fast asleep about 9.00 pm. Wake at 4 am with dreadful backache - I must say I am longing for our own, wonderful, huge bed in Glastonbury. Not long now - we will be home 2 weeks today! Just want to get as many shows done as possible in our remaining working days. Onwards and upwards!

 

21 January

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