Play. Passion. Presence. Peanut Power. Poverty. Performers. Physical Exercise classes we teach daily at the school – Gabriel’s Learning Centre here in Nakuru, Kenya. Polé (sorry). Polé Polé (slowly). Pamoja (together).

Enthusiasm, excitement, energy, early nights and early mornings. Exercise. Daily exercise before dinner. Energy. Exhaustion.

Religion is here, prayer is a part of daily life for these Christian children giving them focus and hope.

Fire show especially for the homies at Gabriel’s Learning Centre. What an engaged and ecstatic audience, singing with us in the rain. Respect to the fire. F also for funding and lack thereof. F for Fab500 – fabulous people giving £2 a month to help keep PWB sustainable. (Go on!!)

O – My favourite shape. Yes to the hoop lessons hoop dance hoop play and my hoop progress this week (6 hoop split!!!!)!!!

Rest, relaxation, recuperation – maybe after the tour! Take every opportunity!!

Music, Meditation and Yoga. Chez and I lead a powerful yoga session for the homies at GLC on Tuesday night. We improvised a story of rain and sun acted out through various gentle yoga postures. During the ending mediation (Savasna) some of the kids fell asleep. A sure sign that they felt safe and relaxed and were able to surrender to this.

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Ending. This has been our penultimate week. Preparing ourselves for what is next to come.

Respectful Relationships. That is my bread and butter as a sexual health educator and we have been able to deliver this message through acrobalance workshops. Whether working or playing with an Acro partner, a sibling, a friend or a partner – to achieve harmony, balance & safety these things are key; Respect. Communication. Trust. Honesty. Listening. Consent. Appreciation.

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Sexual Health – my other career and passion. Where appropriate I am delivering sexual health sessions with the older young people on these projects. Empowering them with education and knowledge to make informed decisions.

Workshops of a week – 2 shows, 24 workshops, reaching 258 children! Weeding at the farm where GLC grow their vegetables to feed the children.

Impulsive improvisation. Imagination stations! Creative storytelling & theatre through improvised movement & play. This is Chez’ background and some of her skills. She has been taking the smaller classes (aged 2-6) on journeys to the moon, through the elements using movements, fabric, song but mostly using her imagination to spark theirs.

Thirst for knowledge, skills & play.

Hunger for learning and a total willingness from the PWB volunteers to share and teach and pass on the food of performing arts.

Outreach. On Saturday we went to Springs of Hope – an organisation which runs 2 orphanages, one for rescued girls and one for boys who are mostly ex street kids. We performed our lovely and extra silly show for them all in their garden followed by an acrobalance workshop and a theatre workshop. They were keen to learn and play as is their right as a child.

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Ugali!! I hope you have watched the video about Nairobi I spent many hours editing (https://vimeo.com/206390921). Ugali is like polenta but better – a staple of the Kenyan diet. Ugali dance! Yum.

Teamwork. Togetherness. As a group we have formed, stormed, normed and we have been performing for quite some time and it is harmonious and productive. A great example to set for the children we work with.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Be here now.

Orphan. Orphanage. All together a concept I am struggling with coming from a country where we have abandoned the idea of orphanages and moved to smaller children’s homes. Being here my eyes are opened to the massive number of vulnerable children who would be far worse off without these orphanages. Certainly at GLC these 38 children have formed their own family and care for each other as such. There is so much love here. This is what they need if they cannot have a traditional family unit.

Resilience. An artform we must build in the face of adversity to survive. These kids have had to become resilient sadly.

Dust. Lots of dust. Swirling whirling dust storms.

Explorers! On our one day off we went on a cycle safari to Hell’s gate national park! Zebras! A gorgeous gorge.

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Rain to settle the dust.

Singing, smiling and story time! So much beautiful singing with and for these beautiful smiling children. Smiles – I feel honoured that we spread smiles in abundance and we get to be witness to and share in the smiles of so many vulnerable children.

Written by Jess Mess

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