Its the FINAL QUINCH-OS (doodaloo-dooo, doodaloodoo-dooo..)

March 31, 2015

Hello.. Is it beans your cooking for? I can see it in your rice.. I can see it in your… Fresco..?

So as you might be able to tell my brain’s a kind of soupy consistency after the last week caused by a mixture of illness, lack of sleep, stress and anxiety for the kids show. But it was all worth it and what a bloody fantabulous show it was (please excuse my French)!

So this whole week has been building up to the show and the kids have been nothing short of Awesome with a capital A so big it wouldn’t fit on the internet! Therefore we stuck with a regular capital A..

We organised several extra training sessions in the evenings for them to practice at the cultural centre which were attended in full force.


Hoops were being spun,

Juggling balls thrown,

Diabolo’s being flung,

And Acro flyers flown,

We looked on in awe to see how these kids had grown,

All these amazing tricks that we were being shown,

Made us swell with a pride,

That we couldn’t hide,

As fearlessly upon one wheeled bicycles they did ride,

They were alive and kicking,

As all the PWB crew were thinking,

“How much Badassness can we cram into one show!??”

  

Aaand back in the room. All of this amazing work wasn’t without its problems:

Bea’s hoopers depleted day by day until the moment before the hoop routine in the show where they decided they ALL wanted to be in it!

There was a corrupt version of the song for the hats causing the music to cut out half way through the act.

Paddy struggled trying to coordinate SEVENTEEN diabolo spinners who were never around to practice all at the same time.

The contact ball girls were overcome with a bout of collective stage fright just as the routine started, causing them to perform their act from the corner of the stage.

Two very talented children injured themselves in school ON THE MORNING of the show. Maynor sprained his wrist and Pablo cut his foot open on a glass bottle (ouch!). 

However though it seemed the odds were stacked against us, the children (and the PWB team) sailed through these problems with finesse, grace and other pretty ballerina-like adjectives.

  

The show was a storming success and here are just a few of the fantastic moments:

Chevo’s unicycle routine (complete with rock star-esque screams from the girls).

Harry repping HARD (that’s representing for you un-hip folk) for the boys in the dance routine.

Axel and Rafa’s spontaneous last minute Acro routine after Maynor was too injured to perform.

Pablo still getting up on stage to do a unicycle skit involving a mango, the mango getting knocked out of his hand so he hops on his uninjured foot to get it (what a trooper).

The smile on the girls faces in the flawlessly choreographed synchro-poi routine.

There are so many more but needless to say it was an incredible spectacle to see all these kids supporting one another to create such a fantastic show.

  

After it was finished we presented the kids with the donations and were ALL treated to pizza by the Osteria Pizzeria chefs. Upon arriving back to the Cultural Centre we had had one final surprise in store: a fire show starring me, Poppy and our friend Eva who had come to visit.

After this had finished it was time for a huge flow of emotional goodbyes from all the children.. Or in Rafa’s case a constant chorus of “Paddy y Josh son novios” which translates to “Paddy and Josh are boyfriends” which we were okay with.

Once they’d cleared out we celebrated by packing up all of our stuff (in differing amounts of time) ready to leave for Granada the next day.

  

So to conclude it has been a very busy month for us in San Marcos. We have been tested, we have shouted, we have cried and we have sung. But one thing I know is that we’ve all been massively inspired by the enthusiasm and tenacity of the children of Los Quinchos. They have completely flown above and beyond what I expected the kids I met on this tour would be capable of and I, for one, know this is an experience I will never forget.


Thank you Los Quinchos

Paddy

Nica 2015

  


March 29, 2015

Hey PWB fan club! We apologize for the delay on the last blog from Varanasi.  The internet is quite slow so it took an extra week to upload 😉 haha.

And without further a due, I present to you: The Blog by Lillian Meyers……………

We are on a roll! all teaching and performing over 40 hours every week in India! The population we are working with comes from slum areas of Benares, on the banks of the holy Ganga river in Uttar Pradesh, the culture is abundant in tradition and familial commitment. The children have deep eyes, electric smiles and are delighted, eager and joyful to play!

India is intense. Benares, the burning funeral grounds of India, is especially “full power”. The roads of Benares have no rules, as we dodge chai wallas,  honking motor bikes, migrating herds of jurassic pooping water buffalo on thirty year old bikes. Not to mention on our backs the 3 meters of canvas, bags of diablos, juggling clubs, peacock feathers, plus a hitch hiking student on the wheel’s rim. Fortunately, all of our training has built our calves like a water buffalo.

PWB also volunteered with the Duniya School. A new addition to the PWB curriculum this year is circus set design, with a focus on painting, led by Lilli Myers. The Duniya School co-collaborated on a beautiful community acrylic mural on a 2 x 4 meter canvas based off of images Mithila artists from India and Nepal. The painting depicts an episode of a river crossing from the great epic of the Ramayana. We placed the characters on the Ganga swimming with fish and plastic chip wrappers. Grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and the college level beauticians all painted together, which made almost 100 sets of hands! Community set painting and mural making develops small motor skills, builds community, strengthens focus, inner stillness, creativity. See images below.

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Our final project in Benares culminated in the annual school performance with Asha Deep Vinya Ashram Elementary and Primary school. The circus acts were intermixed with a beautiful variety of school dances, song and theater, including a traditional Indian music and dance piece celebrating the color festival of Holi. The circus acts included juggling, staff, clown, musical theater, hoop, the “happy dance” and poi. We ended with a beautiful fire show included fire palms, fire fans, juggling clubs, poi and staff. The audience included over 400 family and community members from Benares. The outcome was a powerful learning experience for the kids and teachers alike!

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How can we pin point the ripple effect of teaching and cultivating art in young people, many of whom life will be full of economic struggle? How can we foresee the life paths of these blossoming artists, budding teachers, on the banks of the Ganga River? How will their  art work move within their communities? One such group of 13 year-olds, self-named The Happy Talent Group, form their identity within juggling and circus. As the circus packs up and leaves town, heading to Darjeeling, we bid them farewell at our front gate and said, “This world needs you as artists, and teachers, and you can make money doing it! Go out and rock on!” They smile, sad to see the weird circus leave town, hesitant to leave. As the world shifts and turns, as the global climate crisis increases, the work of bringing young people together, and facilitating collaboration, creativity, art and joy, feels invaluable.


FULL POWER: No Rest, No Shower!

March 26, 2015

 This week has been full of shows, work and visits! The week started with a mystery, and this time didn’t involve a “What did Paddy do?” but “Where are Karen’s shoes?”  Nobody saw them, nobody took them… We were totally clueless until Ramon, the guard, who is always making sure that we have enough water and are safe, emptied the bins and found them there! (It might not sound very exciting but life in San Marcos is quite quiet…)

 So, life in San Marcos is quiet and the village is pretty small so it’s not a surprise that we started getting lifts from locals, like the day that Josh and I got a lift from an old rustic cart pulled by a horse at the same time that Paddy and Bea were getting into the car of the owner of the restaurant where all the cool people hangout (actual words on the restaurant’s menu… not just because we hang out in there…)

 

 We had a full power visit to Managua, with three shows on Thursday, two in the morning. One of them fitting right on time with the schools celebration of the “World Down’s Syndrome day”, where everyone was wearing fun socks and even unmatching shoes!

The show in the afternoon was in “La Mascota” (the pet), a children’s hospital, kids and parents loved our show and kept asking for more and more acts.



On Sunday we had our last show in the morning and La Casa Filtro’s visit (Filter House), one of the first steps for the kids to get to Los Quinchos, our main partner organisation here, in San Marcos. The team gave a very entertaining workshop so the kids could have a taste of circus, we also had the chance to try hammock making, one of the things that kids can learn there.

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 Liz, our host in Managua, was amazing, we have to thank her for organising all the shows, taking us around, letting us invade her house, introducing us her very funny son Ryan and even taking us to eat ice cream!

 

 And because the team is awesome and very hard workers, we had a full power weekend too, filled with workshops and visits of the stilt walkers from Leon and La Escuela de Circo y Mimo (Circus and Mime School) from Granada. The kids and us were inspired by their shows and their workshops.

  There’s only one week left in Los Quinchos and if saying goodbye to the kids in Leon was sad, I don’t even want to think how it will be when the last day comes here… a mix of emotions though because the excitement of the new project starts kicking itoo!

 The routines that I saw the kids practising for the show are looking very nice already, hoop’s acts are going to be Massive, the hat routine looks so professional, juggling balls funny and neat, poi looks so cool, the ones doing acro, unicyle and skipping are practising so hard and its looking great, the little girls doing contact are very sweet and the dancers have created beautiful moves.

 

 

 The team is working very hard and I am very proud of them, they still have energy to make jokes all the time and pull some killer moves always up for a dance!

 

 One of my favourite moments to share with them is the sharing circles. We have them every week and every time we choose a different object to use as a “talking power-tool”. Rules are simple, if you don’t have the object, you don’t talk.. some of them have been: a pointy hat made out of the rest of my birthday’s pinata along with Bea’s heart-shaped sunglasses, a bottle of water (always very handy), a tiny doll shoe keyring, two juggling rings and a tea bag balancing on a spoon. It seems that having these funny “talking power-tools” make the sharing circle feel less heavy hearted and helps to pull out a smile.

 

 On Sunday we had an epic dinner at Zelinda, the founder of Los Quinchos. We had three amazing ladies cooking for us, two Italians and one Nicaraguan. We lost the count of how many dishes and desserts we had, but they were all amazing. Zelinda told us the story of why Los Quinchos has that name, there is even a song about the story behind called Quinchos Barrilete

 

(Barrilete means kite in Nicaragua)

 

So, I am loving Nicaragua, the people who we are lucky to meet, the sun, all the beautiful flowers, the cute dogs, cats and horses that cross our paths, our holidays in Ometepe island, the food, I really, really like gallopinto (rice and beans), the very cool forms of transport like camionetas, pick up cars, open trucks, our show, I can’t get tired of our show, we have done 23 so far, every time it gets funnier and better… the kids and of course my team!

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Hugs, High Fives, Happy Children and a Really Cute Puppy

March 17, 2015

 It’s been an exciting second week in
San Marcos. So many outrageously talented circus kiddies to teach and
play with! They’re always super excited when we get to the finca’s in
the mornings. Hugs and high-fives are the usual greeting (also the
boys have a puppy which is usually part of the morning hello’s) and
we get to laugh at each other being called names that are kind of
like our names but not quite right and way funnier… George, Brian,
Pappy and Paddice. Today we heard my personal favourite so far,
Orlando. Oihana quite liked that on one though.. Karen and Bea get
away with it most of the time although we all get muddled up a lot.
We’re getting there with the kids names, there’s just so many!    We
got to perform at some of the schools in San Marcos this week too. It
felt like a while since our last show and it was great to get back
into them. Yay dusty, windy stages! It’s heart warming seeing how all
the Los Quinchos kid’s are a proper little family who look out for
each other, Some of them were eager to show show us around. A boy
called Christian brought me to his classroom and introduced me to his
teacher at one school.

Monday we had a ‘day off’, after a
massive weekend of teaching. No such thing here, days off consist of
8 am breakfast followed by meetings, rehearsals and team building.
After planning the week in our team meeting, Karen and Oihana, (with
the help of Graham and his stellar moves) started to choreograph the
new act for our show, a Salsa vs. Swing dance battle. Bea and Josh
skilfully planned the curriculum for the week and Paddy helped me
make my Ball routine even more floaty and arts-y.

Tuesday was unsurprisingly the first
day that the keys got locked in someone’s room, nice work Josh! (it
was bound to happen eventually) Luckily the nice lady from next door
picked the lock with a hair clip and a credit card. So after teaching
in the morning, we eventually retrieved the mini rigs and other
necessary show equipment and set off for our first show of the day at
the pre-school/ special education school. Despite some technical
musical difficulties which meant everyone singing parts of the songs,
the teeny tiny children really liked our show and it was home time so
lots of their mummy’s and daddy’s got to see it too which was great.
Quick photo shoot after the show with some pretty shy but very cute

kids and we set off home. Whole team, show kit and all in one Motito.


After some yummy lunch made the
wonderful Marlene, (lunch time’s my favourite we don’t have beans for
lunch… too many beans! ) Josh and I went back to the boy’s finca
for a quick circus session with the younger boys. We got picked up in
an extremely overpriced Motito which had a surprise Paddy in it and
we went to meet the rest of the team for our second show. This one
was in one of the secondary schools on the other side of town.
Miguel, one of the older boys from Los Quinchos, came with us too as
it was at the school he graduated from last year. I like doing shows
in the evenings when the sun is lower in the sky, it was a nice one,
we nailed our club passing despite sun in our eyes. Highlighted by
the Josh fan club which accumulated at the end of it.. Teenage girls
just cant help themselves! It’s definitely the unicycle face that
does it. It felt a bit like the pied piper leaving, we were followed
by what seemed to be the entire population of the school as we walked
back into town.

Wednesday morning during the teaching sessions, we had all the rest of the kids asking when our next show was and ‘ when will it be at my school?’ I think it makes them feel a bit special having us at school which is nice, I cant imagine being an Orphan but it must be quite difficult around other kids at times.
Luckily they are very loved and well cared for at Los Quinchos. 

The afternoon show was at Mario Roux, a primary school beside the church, just round the corner from the cultural centre where we sleep. All
the students brought their chairs outside and sat on them which was
such a good idea! They were comfortable and could all see us. It also meant they stayed put and weren’t closing in on us as the show
progressed which quite often happens in school yards. They were a
fantastic audience, we really enjoyed ourselves. Good all round
really, Init!
On Thursday we did our dusty and dirtiest show yet and a secondary
school outside town, watching Karen, Josh and Paddy do their acro
routine was hilarious, dust and sweat makes for some pretty grubby
circus monkeys (This still didnt stop the girls wanting photos with
Josh). This was also the day of our first official autograph signing
session! That was quite a funny experience.
 
 Friday was another team building day,
We practised lots of handstands, cartwheels and backbends while the
boys practised their dive rolls. In the evening we were joined by the
Esteli circus group ‘El Nido’. Lester, Enrique and Levi who will be
coming to teach at Los Quinchos throughout the year when we aren’t
here. We spent the evening sharing skills and practising our Espanol,
which is coming along slowly but surely. 

 Saturday morning was an exciting one,
I love the weekends as we get all the girls and boys together for
practise and we get to play lots of games. The guys from Esteli ran
the warm-up and then they ran clowning sessions with a few different
groups inside while we had our usually circus party outside. So many
of the kids are getting insanely good at stuff. Axel was skipping on
a unicycle! A few other boys have been trying this as well,
crazy-ness. Carlotta has really improved at unicycle this week too,
she can ride all the way around the “cancha” (playground) now.
There are a few who really stand out: Belen one of the older girls is
just amazing at everything, acro, juggling, poi, hoop, EVERYTHING!
Juanbeltista(?) I’m not entirely sure how to spell his name, has
learned all the diabolo tricks, along with Miguel and Lazaro who
introduced himself as ‘Big Boss’. Geraldine and Rosa have been
practising lots of acro. Strong super women just like Karen..Then
there are the ones who never give up, a girl called Maria, every hoop
session without fail lies on the floor and practises leg hooping, She
is going to nail it eventually. Like the Barrilete Kids they’re
tough, If they fall off the unicycle they get right back on it and go
again, no fear these ones. I also just love seeing how all the older/
more advanced kids will share and teach the others what they know.
They’re all just too awesome! 





In the afternoon we were joined by Aileen who was on last years tour,
and Cesar the missing piece of team Estelli. After Darling casually
showed us her dog bite!, we all had a treat, the ‘El Nido’ show! A
contemporary clown show with a narrative. Their show has a story line
and they must problem solve! it’s all about them trying to open a big
brown suitcase. They try lots of stuff, like their cardboard saw or
some juggling clubs. The way they improvise and bounce off each other
is really incredible to see. Eventually they blow the suitcase open
with a juggling club rocket launcher and out comes a cardboard fish
skeleton. This is then fought over for a while before they decide to
share it out.What a lovely ending. The kids enjoyed it and it’s great
for them to see local Nicaraguans perform. 

That evening we did duo lingo clowning activities back at the cultural
centre, this was interesting to say the least, we shared games and
had lots of giggles.Then we went dancing and karaoke-ing at the
Osteria, fun fun fun. 

On Sunday after what Aileen reassured us was a typical PWB breakfast
(fruit and oats and cereal) we had to wave goodbye to our wonderful
clown friends, but not forever! We will see then again in Grenada in
a few weeks. Teaching would have seemed lonely somehow without ‘El
Nido’, Except it was time to get the kids excited about their
Espectaculo de Circo which is less than 2 weeks away now! We brought
a big poster with all the things and they got to choose their
favourite 2/3 that they will focus on and make routines for the show.
We’re also already pretty excited, Its going to be MASSIVE! 

Time is properly flying by here, we’re
already halfway through the project. I feel like they’ve already
learned so much. Bring on the rest of it! This week’s going to be
just as busy and exciting, we’re going to Managua! 

That’s all folks, 

Poppy X



Los Quinchos and San Marcos – a Week of Firsts

March 12, 2015

We arrived late last Sunday to our home in San Marcos: The ‘BumBum Cultural Centre.

..That’s what its called.. no really!



After a lovely week off the team are tired but enthusiastic to start a new project.

Unsure of what to expect we found our accommodation at the Centre to be pleasant and clean. We were greeted by a friendly security guard called Ramon and some excited kids.

The first night we performed a show for the kids that we will be teaching here. The show was in the Osteria Italiana – a restaurant where some of the Los Quinchos kids work. I think the best part of the show was at the end when we got kids to “enseñeme” (show me) their tricks. That’s when we saw how awesome they are already!



Los Quinchos is essentially an orphanage run by an Italian lady called Zelinda.

The kids who are fortunate enough to be part of the programme at Los Quinchos live on a farm (la finca) just outside of San Marcos. They are provided with food, accommodation, schooling, access to psychologists, educators, a giant library and of course a loving family.

They all go to local schools but have extra curriculum activities dependent on their needs.

The kids here are aged 7-20, and mainly boys. In the last few years a girls finca (Casa Yahosca) has also been set up so we get to teach everyone here.





The team were pleasantly surprised to see the high skill level of the kids in circus. It’s the third year that PWB has worked here and the kids clearly practice outside of hours. 

Already we have kids doing 2-highs, sitting on shoulders on a unicycle, multi hula hoop tricks and most can juggle 3 balls. This has excited us as teachers because we feel we can really improve the kids skills. It also means we can focus more on choreography, theatre and clowning to enhance their existing circus skills

After a confusing couple of days in which we were unsure of where we were teaching or who was in charge of the kids/us, we took it upon ourselves to just arrive at the Finca with some kit ready to teach. As with many things in Nicaragua, this technique seemed to work. Scheduling a start time or waiting for a person in charge never seems to work. Just do it.





We now have a regular routine of teaching in the mornings and afternoons 3 days in the week.

On the weekend however, is when we get to have the most fun (oops, I mean work!).

That’s when all the girls and boys come together for a giant circus party at the boys Finca on both Saturday and Sunday.

The whole team gets to teach, all the kids are enthusiastic and when it’s windy and a coconut falls down nearly crushing a small child, everyone gets to share it!

This week we’ve taught almost all the diabolo we know (thanks  to Jake from the 2014 tour who got them so into diabolo), contact ball, poi, hoops, acrobalance, unicycle, club passing, hat juggling, ball juggling, beatboxing and skipping.





The kids also can drop into the Cultural Centre (where we live) any time they like. So we often find ourselves teaching and jamming with the kids at random times of the day and night.

So, back to our week of firsts:

This is the first time I’ve enjoyed diabolo and I learnt a bunch of new tricks, even practicing after hours! I’m proud to say that Paddy has asked me to be his teaching assistant in diabolo!

Bucket showers – although the room we stay in is nice there is no running water so every day we have to fill up dustbins of water to use for the toilet and carefully organised showers. Although everywhere in Nicaragua only has one tap in the shower (cold), there’s something quite strange about throwing a bucket of cold water over yourself first thing  in the morning to clean yourself.

Swing dancing – the team has added a new act to the show: a Westside story inspired dance battle; Swing vs. Salsa. So I’ve been eagerly teaching the team some swing dance moves and choreographing a routine. Ramon the security guy has had great fun watching us practice.

Karaoke – although we’ve been talking of karaoke for weeks now it was only last night in the Osteria that we realized that it was the place to be for karaoke in San Marcos. We got to hear many a lovelorn man croon slow ballads to the applause of the guests. We only wish we had joined in.

First time we’ve seen Motitos.  These are similar to Tuk Tuks and arrived in Nicaragua from India about 10 years ago. We managed to cram all 7 of us in one- which beats our record of 8 people in a taxi.

First time its rained – it actually rained! How much I’ve missed that smell!

First time we’ve had meals prepared for us by the delightful Marlene. We’ve mixed up the usual frijoles and arroz – she’s made us soup, tacos, (a whole!) deep fried potato (each!-exclamation marks added by Paddy), squash parmiganas and amazing frescas!

First time guys have lost their coconuts yelling at us ladies out of car windows. We’ve become used to being stared at everywhere we go because we’re foreigners, but the girls in particular get cat called ALL the time. This one eager fellow took his hands off the wheel and eyes off the road to say hello, causing him not to notice the speed bump! Consequently his load of coconuts bounced off the back and we got a free one (and some laughs).

First triple decker hammock stack – we’re aiming for a 7 high by the end of tour.

First time Paddy and Josh have slept in a bed since getting here. Not together (much to our dismay), it’s just they usually sleep in hammocks.

Finally, as I sign off for International Womens Day, I’d like to salute all the women in Nicaragua who work ridiculously hard and don’t get as many freedoms as we do in the west. They are always smiling and helpful and always help others less fortunate than themselves. I heard that the ladies were having a party today in San Marcos to celebrate, I hope you had a great party ladies and thanks for being so inspirational!

Til next time

Adios

Karen




El Ultimo Truco (The Final Trick)

March 3, 2015

During our final week in León we were all working hard with the kids at El Barrilete to put together a routine for all skills they learnt. Each of the team worked with the kids that had chosen to perform their prop in an attempt to produce a show with 7 acts by the kids and one extra special surprise dance by the PWB team. On Monday we explained our optimistic ideas for the routines to the kids and by Wednesday it was starting to look like we had a show!

Friday was the big day and the show was everything we had hoped it would be. The kids performed brilliantly, they got to show their parents & relatives all the new skills they’d learnt and we were immensely proud to see how far they had come in just one month. Of particular note was the diabolo routine masterminded by the genius of Paddy, the hoop act engineered our very own super-dooper hooper Bea and, possibly most impressively, the way Poppy and Oihana fabricated order from chaos to create an all-singing, all-dancing routine with the Munchkins.

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The final act was our dance. Now, this requires a little back-story, so bear with me here folks. During many of the outreach shows we have done we have been accompanied by 4 of the kids from El Barrilete who perform some dances, including one salsa number that has become a particular favourite of ours. We decided to get Vicente, one of the older boys who choreographs all their dances to teach us this dance with a little twist: the guys would dance the girl part and the girls would dance the guy part. With fake moustaches for the girls and lipstick for the guys we spent 5 minutes on stage relieving ourselves of what little dignity we had left. Clearly our salsa moves were not as polished as we thought they were. Nonetheless we had a great time and the crowd loved the whole thing (especially the boys dresses).

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After the show it was time for the goodbye party. As you can imagine we were sad to have to say goodbye to this amazing place and it’s charming people. While our whole time here has been massively enjoyable there have been a few stand out moments;

Firstly, it has been amazing to see how people of all ages have reacted to our show. Often we are performing in the middle of the street, covered in dirt & dust and in the full sun & 35°C heat. However, all of these hardships are soon forgotten when we see everyone come from their homes to watch us perform. For many of these people this is the first and only circus show they’ll ever see and their gratitude is truly humbling.

Secondly, when we arrived at El Barrilete on our first day we found one girl, called Genesis, who wouldn’t join in with any of the games and cried for the majority of the 2 hours we were there. When we asked the teachers about her they said she was extremely shy and rarely joined in with the other kids. Over our time here we saw her change completely, by the end of our time was one of the most enthusiastic to join in and performed fantastically in the show.

Finally, every day when we arrived at El Barrilete all 50 of the kids run from their classrooms to greet us with hugs, energy and heaps of enthusiasm.

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We have had such an amazing time at El Barrilete, and as a team we have improved in so many ways. The memories and friends we have collectively made here will stay with us for a lifetime. People like Amalia, who welcomed us into her home as if we were family, organised many of our outreach shows and cooked us an incredible dinner on our last night. And Edwin, our adopted team member, who excitedly showed us his city and become our good friend. And not to forget the numerous others we have met on our travels; kendamist camioneta conductors, the ladies running the market stalls, our favourite French stalker Bruno, and so many more.

However, all of this is overshadowed by the kids we have been working with. There were shining individuals like José; a natural superstar with the acrobatics. Kenya; the all rounder girl who performed in juggling, acrobatics, diabolo AND hoop. There were also those like Gabriel and Alexander, who will never be fantastic circus performers but always gave it their best, making everyone smile along the way. I am sure I speak for the whole team when I say that each and every one of the children we have had the privilege of teaching over the last 30 days has had a lasting impression on us.

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After our time at El Barrilete we had a week of holiday to recover, recuperate, have a break from performing and get some “alone time”. Being the relentlessly enthusiastic people we are we decided we didn’t need any of these things so as whole team we headed off to Ometepe; a beautiful island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua hosting two volcanoes. A testimony to how well the team gets on is the fact that the whole team decided to stick together for their week off! After a whole 3 days of not performing we decided “enough was enough” and put on a show for the travellers at the hostel we were staying at. The rest of the week was spent swimming, cycling, relaxing, making friends and generally playing. A week well spent.

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Over and out,

Josh – PWB Nicaragua 2015