Greetings from Kenya! And yes… they ACTUALLY say “hakuna matata” here and it does mean “No Worries”!!
Our team of 6 volunteer circus performers from around the world has assembled and completed bootcamp! We all met together for the first time in Diani Beach, Kenya on January 5th.
Another common saying (especially on the beaches) is polepole which means “slowly”… but we were more “haraka haraka” (fast) and got straight to work bonding, sharing teaching strategies, and creating a our MAGICAL CIRCUS SHOWCASE!
We will be touring through Kenya volunteering to bring circus arts to children until March 11th and we couldn’t be more excited! This enthusiasm carried with us throughout PWB “bootcamp” for the first ten days.
The team consists of:
Rachel Butler – Australia – Tour Coordinator (Kenya Expert and Partner Organization Organizer)
Jamie Mulligan-Smith – USA – Tour Coordinator (PWB Tour Expert, Financial Organizer, and Record Keeper)
Enrico “SolRiso” – USA – Volunteer and Stick Expert
Ariana Madappa – USA – Volunteer and Poi, Juggle, Acro, Stick Multi-Talent
Julia Schmitz – Germany – Volunteer and Juggle Pro / Children Facilitator
Tyler “Spades” – USA – Tour Coordinator (PWB Tour Expert, Media Guru and Partner Organization Organizer)
We each bring unique and valuable skills to this tour that we shared and discovered on the beautiful beaches of Southern Kenya. We worked long hours every day for over a week in the tropical heat to play games, share ideas, eat amazing local seafood, create new and amazing circus acts, and explore how we could be most successful as a team. Many of us are very experienced with fire performance and enthusiastically shared our passion for fire arts in the evenings with each other and anyone happening by on the beach.
Diani Beach provided a stunning backdrop for our laughter, innovative thoughts, and sweaty work. The area is full of lively monkeys during the day that constantly try to take your food (and they DID by sneaking into our kitchen whenever anyone left the door open for a moment on many occasions!) and adventurous crabs covering the beach at night. Many of us started and ended our days with a refreshing dip in the Indian Ocean, which kept us vitalized. The white sand of the beach seemed to stretch onward forever and reflected the sunlight blindingly during the day, so we often took cover in the shade of tropical trees. This stretch of beach is also globally known for its prime kiteboarding conditions and it was a treat to watch participants sale over the waves every windy afternoon.
After several group discussions we decided to theme our show around ADVENTURE and going on a magical quest. Each team member embodied a different character that aided in the journey of our protagonist (Jamie) finding true happiness with the help of many new friends.
Julie plays a market vendor with a magical map
Ariana plays a seafaring captain with a spirit for adventure
Rachel plays a beach oracle (as well as a transitional acrobatic thunder storm!)
Enrico plays a jungle catalyst (as well as the base for the thunder transition)
And Spades (me) got to play the role of the magician that initiates our protagonist’s quest and checks in on her periodically throughout the journey while also controlling most of the sound for the show!
All together we create a whirlwind of magic, adventure, talent, and surprises leading to a very happy ending.
Our hard work was validated when we brought the show to over 200 children at Mekaela School and performed our saga followed by a thrilling fire show to thunderous applause! Check out the VIDEO to see for yourself!
Since bootcamp we have traveled to the BIG CITY of Nairobi and have been doing outreach work here, but that story is for our NEXT blog!! Stay tuned!
Written by Tyler “Spades”