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30 November

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 6 months ago

Wednesday 30 November

Navajeevana Special School

Not our best day, but ...

 

Wake up and look out of my window, and there is the Bus in the grounds of the Navajeevana Institute, the venue for our session this afternoon, which is just over the road from our guesthouse. The top deck hasn't got its proper shade cover over its top deck yet,and has a rather messy blue tarpaulin covering the upstairs equipment - but it still looks very splendid and we are very glad to have it and the equipment with us at long last!

 

Lots of admin

 

Breakfast and writing up of the diary, and then I go over to the Institute and see Kumarini, the Director, who I met when I was here in March - she very kindly says I can use their internet access, so I spend two and a half hours catching up with all my emails There is a lovely Thailand-based juggler and circus skills workshop leader who has got in touch, and who may join us for the Khao Lak leg of our Thai Tour, which would be brilliant. And some BBC producer who produced a programme called 'Dragon's Den' is producing a new programme called 'Lucky Beggar' where charities pitch for money from a philanthropist - they want me to get involved in their pilot programme - which sounds great - but I won't be back in England till the beginning of February, and I think they want to film before that - nice to be asked though! Lots of emails from my secretary in England about our work back home, and emails from teachers about the forthcoming 2-day Tudor Workshop and the Maths Workshop Day that Paddy and Charlie will be running the week after they return to England. Paddy comes over and we burn the diary and photos and send them off to David, our webmaster, in England.

 

Where is the team?

Badge making

 

HOLLY AT THE BADGE MACHINE, WITH SRI LANKAN VOLUNTEER WHO IS SENSIBLY WEARING A LARGE HANKY ON HER HEAD - SRI LANKANS REALLY DON'T LIKE TO GET THE SUN ON THEIR FACES MUCH - YOU CAN JUST SEE ONE OF THE BIG SIGNS SAYING, "WELCOME ARABELLA AND HER TEAM - THANK YOU FOR MAKING US FEEL SPECIAL!"

 

Suddenly it's 2.00 and we're meant to be starting the session at 2.30, and the rest of the team haven't arrived. Eek! Paddy and I ring them and apparently they have been caught in the food-arriving-very-late situation that happens so often in Sri Lanka restaurants. We ask them to send Percy (the bus's new security man - a very nice Sri Lankan, who I think will fit in very well) down with the bus key as we desperately need to unlock the bus and get the parachute out, as children are arriving and we need to start some parachute games. We start the games about 2.15. There are about 200 children and 100 adults (though more arrive later). About 50 of the children are from the Navajeevana Special School that Peat and I did a session at in March, and I recognise many of the children and staff from the school. There are children from another school too, and several small orphanage groups.

 

SURELY THAT FUNNY MAN IN ORANGE DUNGAREES HASN'T REALLY GOT A TIGER IN HIS SUITCASE?

 

An alert audience

The rest of the team eventually arrive and Charlie and Jo get ready for the show. The performing space is under the entrance portico to the Institute building, with the children sitting on the steps and wide verandah, and to the sides of the 'stage'. The problem is how to fit them all in!

Women in bright dresses

Many of the best seats have been taken already by adults, so I tell the Institute staff that the adults must be moved and the children seated first - horror, shock! But they do it, bless them, and, amazingly, we do actually fit everyone in so that they can see.

 

CHARLIE AND THE MAGIC YELLOW BALL AT THE SPECIAL NEEDS INSTITUTE

 

Shock horror!

A laughing audience

The first half of the show is a great success. Many of the children are very young and quite sensitive, and Jo reduces her young boy volunteer to tears by over-liberally dousing him with water from the exploding teapot, and when she 'cuts' her arm with the trick knife, there is a huge gasp of horror from the children - followed by very relieved laughter when they realise it is just a trick.

 

After the show the workshops are a bit chaotic, as we don't have the microphone, but the children have a great time nonetheless, and the second half of the show also goes really well. John and Nat hand out their yo-yos, which are much appreciated.

 

Not our best day, but the children still had a great time, which is what matters most.

 

Dinner and some lethal local arak, (permissable, as tomorrow is our day off) and to bed. We are two thirds through the Tour, and we need to really concentrate on showing Nat, John and Shane all the new activities that are possible now we have all the equipment at last.

 

More pictures in Gallery 2

 

1 December

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