Exciting news from Kyrgyzstan coming soon!
Shows over. India 07/8 project complete, and a success. The end. Or is it?
Some clowns are more hardcore than that. They want to go home ‘circus style’. Honk honk and all that.
The plan is: back to the UK overland. No flying, period. But not just that (because that would be too hard); we plan to spread some smiles along the way 😀
Contacts have already been made with organisations who work with vulnerable children; and judging by the response (we have contacts in more countries than we can work in) there certainly is a demand!
The show is dead, long live the show!
Tracing the route home we head Northwest from India crossing fertile river plains, high mountain passes and endless deserts. This is silk route country; a mesh of cultures and histories.
Proposed itinerary (subject to change):
Under time and budgetary pressures, and up against some of the world’s finest bureaucracies – not to mention mother nature’s best – this is clearly no jaunt. So why do it?
Well for starters: we are people for which adventure, and the discovery of new worlds, is a beautiful and important experience. What wonders will we witness? What friends will we make? What smiles will we share?
Behind this we have the opportunity to research locations for future PWB projects ie. make friends 🙂 Since the end of the Soviet Union period the areas we are travelling through have undergone major changes throwing up many social and economic challenges. There is a real potential for PWB projects in this region.
Six gallant clowns strike out through sticky red tape, dishonest taxi drivers, bad weather and hard beds. Will they hold it together? Or descend into the farce of visa forms and dual time zones? Or will it be the slapstick of closed mountain passes and 50C deserts? Whatever the take there will certainly be be laughter (plenty) and tears (just the odd one or two I hope)
Gilgit, Pakistan. 29/4/08
In the morning scrub everything clean
turn it out
beat it down
Our cricket pitch –
dustbath with holes –
where the dogs sleep. We sweep.
Every tumbling leaf is vanished
Holyday is no holiday
PWB play circus.
PWB play face painting.
PWB play pleasecanyoudoashowforthevisitors
PWB play it well.
PWB beam our sweaty faces around
and drink fresh juice
Deepwali Puja begins…
The festival of lights
Brights on every window ledge
buried in the sand
sneaky in the trees all around.
The festival of sugar
Sweetness & light
Sticky hands are never satisfied
-still grab for more than they should.
As if it is expected?
Dance for your dinner
We firedance off into the night.
A low distant clatter, Mr JCB
Yanking open the earth’s dusty eyes
Small voices nearby
Names yelled out in chorus
Prodding. Sleep. Away
Eyuw eyuw eyuw
The early morning peacock yell
My splintered dreams know it well
From my balcony bed
Mosquito net (invisible tent)
You should see us all in our invisible city
Our see-through community, temporary housing project
Pack it away for the new day
After the sun…
The invisable tents come to play
A herd of different sizes all
Sharing the same night sky
A low red moonface
And the honking goose in the tree
I wake to the sounds of birds and children going about their morning chores, diggers yawning into motion on the dusty farmland around. Morning yoga on the balcony in the hazy air breaths fresh life into my limbs. We take tea and breakfast (beaten rice with turmeric and onion) and digest the newspaper.
The children have a school holiday and so a cricket match takes shape – 10 overs each of lost balls, over-ruled decisions and playground tactics. Warming up in the shape I spy bright parakeets flapping above me – stay focussed. We develop ideas for a skipping workshop and explore tumbling and juggling through the rope.
We rest listening to the guitar class that is in full swing under a tree. Emily, Jonny and I pass clubs for a while and draw a small crowd: the lads who work the screenprints and the women from the village who come to use the sewing machines also seem to have the day off. A few of the older boys join in and an impromptu club swinging session ensues. I am continually inspired by the rate at which these children learn; Vikranta, Vinod and Rajesh pick up wrist wraps in seconds.
We eat a lunch of rice and dahl on the grass and discuss how we can best approach todays workshops – emphasize inclusion and involvement. We consider how to use our resources and designate roles for all the team to support the workshop leaders.
We begin with a group warm up and game to stretch our bodies and minds. The kids are full of passion and energy, and have extraordinary characters. Todays scheduled workshops are contact juggling, hula hoop and diabolo. The contrast in atmosphere from one group to another is huge; from the calm circle palming and rolling balls; to the whipping of diabolos and Steve’s teaching style and the hip shaking hula.
After workshops free time commences, a whirl of juggling balls, skipping ropes and excited children. Time for tea and biscuit, and a team debriefing of how each workshop went. An evening meal of chapatis and vegetables is filling and satisfying. Back in the team room a video and power-cut are the staple before bed. Hot masala tea and biscuit lull me gently to sleep under the stars, ready for another day.
On the 21st October in the beautiful surrounds of the Karm Marg home we put on a show of many acts of comedy, skill, poise and magic. It was a fantastic event that all enjoyed very much. Unfortunately we were all performing so we don’t have any pictures but we do have a video. An edited version will be on the website as I get the time.
The day was a Hindu festival called Dassera, so as it got dark the children burnt the image of Ravana (a ten headed god of Lanka) – much like we burn Guy Fawkes. His crime was to steal Ram’s wife Seta and take her to Sri Lanka. After the burning the Bollywood music started blaring and we danced, hands in the air, with the children.
On another note the Karm Marg home is a long way from the nearest internet access, so please be patient with replies to any emails.