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.