20 October, Clowning in the Emmanual School and Interview of Ruben at UN
Brief: clowning at the Emmanual school in La Paz and Ruben’s United Nations Interview.
Got up this morning around 8.30am and did some organizing for today, had breakfast, sewed up my waste coat and did my blog. Rebecca was late coming back. She was due at 10am but arrived 10.15am then had a shower. I was concerned about the school as we were due to be at the school at 11am and 100 kids were waiting. It turned out that being late wasn’t a problem. We caught two mini buses to get there and met up with Ruben. I then found a place to change in a room. Rebecca watched fascinated as I put my make-up on telling me I looked beautiful which was really nice. I had felt very tired as I didn’t sleep that well but I found as I put my clown suit on and make up I start feeling great. I do love clowning.
I did some juggling practice and felt my arms were not that quick at picking up the clubs and balls. I am out of practice and dropping them a bit. However, I really don’t mind which is good. So I went to the bano (toilet) children’s and a little girl was in there. I took one look and went no. It was pretty bad. I thought I will hold on until after the performance.
I waited outside to get the cue to walk in. Lots of children 5 to 7 year olds were there with eager smiles to meet the clown. They were so happy. One child in particular really wanted to be with me. I was asked to go in and walked up to the front of the room there were around 100 children from 7 years to 17 years. It was interesting to see the boys and girls sitting on opposite sides of the aisle. They did a few songs. As they were singing a little girl walked up with all the kids towering over her. She came to be with me. She stood in front of me and chose to spend the whole time there. She was only around 5 years old.
So I jumped up on the stage and talked about my world trip. I then went into the audience and asked the kids what is peace? They were a bit shy and then a few older kids had a go and even the Principal spoke. I put the love glasses on him. I sprang into the crowd and sat next to some of the boys nudging them and leaning back. Everyone is laughing but they are so shy. We all know how it feels to have the spot light on us when we are young, ‘how embarrassing’. A few boys were very closed off I noticed I did seem to make contact. I then asked the kids what made them happy. I jumped into the audience and dragged people to the microphone. I then showed them what makes me happy and started to juggle my balls. They loved that. I dropped them and then hammed up someone to pick it up, then I got them. I love to play with the kids. They were so responsive. I then got out my clubs, I did drop them a few time, but I am so relaxed it doesn’t worry me. I try to teach kids mistakes don’t matter, it is having a go that is success. I did a few bubbles to demonstrate positive thinking as well.
I then asked if any kids wanted to juggle, one brave girl came out. I made the point to the kids to step out of the comfort zone, even if you feel scared, it is an opportunity and if you do that all your life you will do great things. This girl wanted to learn 2 ball juggling and she did pretty well in front of the school. We gave her a big round of applause. I talked a little about my experience in a HIV clinic in Thailand and how it wasn’t about sympathy but it was about connection, to bring some happiness to dying patients. We are here to give, it is in giving that we really feel our wealth. I briefly talked about bullying and how it is taking the power of another person. it is not strength.
I then finished up with my ribbon doing some spirals, circles and then pretending to catch a child like fishing. I then tug on the rope and then spin in winding the ribbon around me and lying on the kids, they all laughed. Then I spun myself back out.
I finsished with Gandhi and I told them I went to his ashram. I spoke of ‘to be the change you wish to see in the world’. If you want a world that is happy, be happy, if you want a world that is clean then clean it up, if you want a world where the environment is ok you have to look after it.
I looked back on the stage and the little girl is playing with my toys. I felt a warm glow towards her. So sweet and innocent.
We then went to a vegetarian restaurant and had some great food for 12 bolivianos and then went looking to repair my computer. We had no luck there all day. Although Ruben and I ran around and I got to see more of the city.
Ruben then had an appointment with the United Nations. He was interviewed for television to talk about equality from the perspective of his Aymara culture. They interviewed him for half an hour and he talked Aymara for some of the time.
We then headed via some computer shops back to the Bolivian Quaker Education office and Ruben ran an English class. They asked me questions and had the chance to listen to English. So it was fun.
I’m tired time to sign off, I am going to Argentina tomorrow.