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27 January

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

Friday 27th January

The Last Day of our Tour!!!!

 

Our morning is to be spent at Tat Lamu Friday primary school. We get there at about 9.00 a.m., and it turns out to be the building that Haggis and I had passed on our way to our liveaboard at the harbour some weeks ago that was painted such a strange shade of purple. Again, massive building work going on - far too big for the 132 students - we assume that several schools are being conglomerated there in the future.

 

Chaos, yet again

 

THE WONDERFUL MARTHA AND TRENT, IN THEIR SILLY COSTUMES AND THEIR DIVINELY UGLY FALSE TEETH, PLAYING GREAT LIVE MUSIC FOR THE SHOW

 

Trent and MarthaChaos, yet again.....We arrive and manage to explain we want 60 students for an hour and then all 132 children for the show. 38 students arrive and we are pressing on with the workshops, then I put the show forward a bit as we are going to have a race on our hands, or under Mr. Wee's wheels after the show, and the more time we can save now, the less hard and anxious the rest of the day will be. So we say the show can be at 10.15, but the children start arriving at 9.50. We are beyond arguing, and rush to get the performers ready. One of the real advantages of having Trent and Martha is that we can put them on stage (in their wonderfully silly costumes and wild false teeth) and they can play pre-show music, in silly vein, to keep the gathering audience happy till the main show starts with the suitcase dance to the strains of "Sweet Georgia Brown". It's a low-key show and not as successful as most of our shows. It is always hard with a small audience -132 is not small enough to be intimate, but not large enough to engender much excitement. Oh well, you can't win them all, I suppose. Hope this afternoon is better - we really want a good ending to the Tour.

 

Finger on the school pulse

 

On to the kindergarten - an hour's drive north, back past our bungalows and up to Takuapah. We stop at the 7/11 and get the iced coffee there wasn't time for this morning.

 

We had been to look at this school on Thursday, once we had finished at the big school, so we had already worked out which way to play the show, etc. An extremely nice head teacher, who speaks far better English than any teacher we have met on the Tour. This gig was set up by El, our friend from the internet office, as were the 3 shows on Thursday. She has done it really well and engendered great excitement and enthusiasm among the children and staff about our visits - this makes a real difference to our reception and to the attitude of the children. Far better for them, and far better for us. If we were ever to return, we would ask El to set up all the tour dates for us, as she has her finger on the school pulse (having been a teacher for many years) far more than our current fixers who have done their best, but really haven't done too well.

 

We are given a particularly nice lunch of grilled chicken, sticky rice and somtam (green papaya salad, quite spicy) and some really nice vegetables. We set up the show, and can tell that there is huge excitement among the students about our being there.

 

Wild and wonderful audience

 

A LOVELY BIG AUDIENCE FOR OUR VERY LAST SHOW

 

Our last showSoon they all file in, and they are a wild and wonderful audience - they are crying with laughter and rolling in the aisles - splendid young stewards in purple are trying to restrain the younger, noisier children who are moving forward of the front line rope and invading the stage. Paul's crystal balls are in serious danger of being stolen and Jake/Geoffrey is nearly lynched! There is a tremendously excited and happy atmosphere in the audience of 450 children. At least a dozen children are holding hand painted signs saying "Welcome to the jugglers from England!" A nice touch - I collect them all up after the show, and plan to take them home with us to decorate the Chidlren's World office walls. Really the whole visit is a wild success, and a great show to finish the tour on. The children are really happy and so are we!

 

The head teacher give us coffee afterwards andI leave the smaller 9m parachute with her - I explain briefly how to play the games, and promise I will send proper instructions via the email.......I think this school will really use and enjoy the parachute.

 

Back to Grass Roots

 

Then we head back south to the Grass Roots office (the organisation that do such good work with Burmese children) and give them the sound system (with the clear understanding that we can borrow it if we ever return to Thailand for another tour). We also give them our spinning plates, the bean bags, hula hoopes, spare badge paper, etc (while saving some for Mr. Wee's children and grandchildren) - they are thrilled to bits, and promise to use all the equipment regularly.

 

On one of our visits to hardware stores, we have seen Mr. Wee admiring an arc welder. It is only 2,800 Baht, about £40, so we decide to all put in some money and buy it for him. He is ecstatic and we feel like Father Christmas! Fond farewells and hugs for Mr. Wee, who really has been great to us during our 19 days up here in Khao Lak - his songtheuw may not be the most comfortable form of transport, but he has been kindness itself and we are all very fond of him. Thais don't do much hugging, and he looks embarrassed but happy at our demonstrations of fondness. If we ever come back, we will use him as our driver again!

 

End of Tour Celebration

 

Down to the beach with gin and tonic for an end-of-Tour celebration, then dinner and a visit to the tiny nightclub (of sorts!) next door. Considering the many difficulties and irritations on this Tour we have done really well - the performers have all worked so hard and I am very proud of them all.

 

So that's it - end of Tour! On Saturday, tomorrow, I need to do the accounts, pay the hotel bill and pack up and then Haggis and I are heading down to Kata on Sunday morning for our 3-day mini-holiday and the others are remaining up here. Martha and Trent fly on to Australia on the 4th, and Jo and Jake and Rooben will catch up with me and Haggis Wednesday evening, 1st February, at Phuket Airport to catch our flight to Bangkok. Fly out of Bangkok on 2nd, stay night in Amman (except for Jake who is flying via Bahrein), and arrive Heathrow about 3.00 pm Friday 3rd February - home in Glastonbury between 6 and 7 with luck! Longing to see our daughter, cat and house. Chris, bless her, is coming in for a few hours on Saturday so that I can catch up with everything that has been going on with Children's World while I have been away (though I know most everthing thanks to our daily email messages and phone calls) - it will be lovely to see her again.

 

I may well sort out our child numbers (which are very good, I think) and start a summary of the Tour while in Kata, or I may just relax completely and forget about work for 3 days and tackle this when I get back to England.

 

Either way, I will write again soon, and will stick more pictures up once I am back in England. Thank you for reading our diary. A huge thank you to all the people who gave us the money to undertake this Tour - it was well spent - very large numbers of children have had a really great time!

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