Selena, Lucho, and I (Leah) has been having a wonderful time so far. On the first day was spent mostly traveling and getting to our destination, here in Petit Goave. Selena came all the way from France, and Lucho came all the way from Colombia. I came from very far away too, Boston!
The three of us has never met or worked together before, so we spent some time on the first day getting to know one another and getting settled.
Yesterday was spent mostly planning the rest of our trip and getting to know some of the folks we would be working with. We learned a lot about what the organization Terre Des Hommes does with the communities in this area. Even though most of the day was spent in meetings, of course they were frequently interrupted with some kind of joke or another and often enough ended up in laughter.
Yesterday, we also toured the sites where we might be performing with the other 15 or so Haitian men and women, starting on Sunday. It was such a luxury to be able to look at the spaces before we perform there. While we were looking at the different spaces we were lucky enough to have some time to play football with some of the kids at one of the spaces. I think it is fair to say that Lucho and I were firmly put in our place, talent wise, when teamed against seven to nine kids between the ages of 5 and 12.
While in the car ride back, we started making fart jokes. Even though there are some language barriers, the fart noise is understood in every language. We laughed a lot, and it was clear who was the butt of the joke (no pun intended). We thought that it might be a good idea to include a skit in our collective show that involves a lot of farting. Perhaps a musical for orchestra of farts? Perhaps a skit where every single time someone bends over they get a new fart noise? It is hard to say in the moment, but it is highly likely that Clowns Without Borders sometimes means that we have “thin boundaries” resulting in some excellent time making fart noises and giggling lots!
We did a bunch of name games and warm-up exercises so that the whole group would start to be able to get to know one another. We played a bunch of fun games making crazy noises and moving our bodies in fun and inventive ways. We had an acro-balance workshop where we worked on a bunch of beginnerband even some intermediate tricks. We also worked on a pyramid. Then we all had lunch together and well then we kept on going. We did some more character work which led into walking over to the clay and making the bases for masks with our eyes closed. The variety is really incredible! We also made bases for some clown noses. But the fun and sharing didn’t stop there! Next, we made juggling balls out of tennis ball, sand, a little bit of tape, and some balloons. Then, Lucho gave a great juggling workshop! We ended the day with some more games led by Evelyne.
Tomorrow we plan to paper maché our masks and our clown noses so that we can then paint them and begin working with them. We also plan to work on some serious acro-balance, some more juggling, and start to work on skits now that we are all feeling a lot more comfortable with one another.
Selena was a total super star translating as was Sonney, one of the Haitian participants who can also speak every language under the sun.
We are looking forward to our first show, on Sunday, where we will perform for “Women’s Day” event in the community.