So PWB Nicaragua has begun!
For me everything started on Wed 9th January when I finished packing up my home, life and business and said some teary goodbyes before jumping on a sleeper train from Glasgow to London.
The next morning I wrestled my large bags of stilts and circus kit through the London underground (if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, just get a taxi!) where I met the PWB Nicaragua team for the first time.
The project coordinator Rob Thorburn I know very well as we work together a lot, but the rest of the team were new to me except from excited Facebook chats and plans over the last few months… however we soon bonded by throwing lots of circus toys around Heathrow, much to the amusement of our fellow travelers.
We then flew to Toronto, Houston and eventually arrived into Managua on Fri 11th Jan where we met the wonderful Rigo who has been invaluable in helping set up PWB Nicaragua and who’s guest house would be our home for bootcamp.
So I’m not sure what I expected from bootcamp, but it was hard work! We jumped straight in to 6am starts to begin making the circus show, building kit, planning curriculums, as well as getting to know each other, the country and adapting to the bugs and the heat (approximately 35 degrees warmer than the night I left Glasgow!) and usually we finished up late at night.
All that being said though it was an amazing week, the team we have for the project are all very experienced as performers and teachers and the technical level of the group as a whole is very high, so it’s easy to trust the ability of everyone and we have a huge resource of skills to draw from.
After a week of bootcamping we had a show (woo hoo!) containing all of the things we’re going to be teaching on the project… juggling, hoop, poi, staff, acro, diabolo, slack rope, unicycle, plates, acrobatic stilts and a healthy dose of clowning. It’s a very fun show.
By the end of the week we’d come together as a team, supported each other in the aftermath of some vicious mozzy attacks (scratching is banned) and had our first experience of the local culture in Léon. Though for me the local culture mostly consisted of trips to hardware stores in search of elusive bolts, drills and gaffer tape. You’d be amazed the simple things that we take access to for granted in the UK and how difficult it is to explain subtle differences between various screws and washers with dubious Spanish language skills!
So with the show ready and bootcamp finished we’re all looking forward to starting the project properly and the next stop is La Escuela de Comedia y Mimo (The school of Clowning and Mime) in Granada where we’ll be performing and teaching at El Berrinch Ambiental Street Theatre Festival. Very excited.
More updates and photos coming soon…
By JL Cassells
Follow PWB Nicaragua:
PWB Twitter: @peauubee
PWB Facebook: www.facebook.com/PerformersWithoutBorders
PWB Bootcamp Gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/p-w-b/sets/72157632599204051