New School in Nakuru – Working With Gabriel’s Learning Center
Categorised in: Kenya 2018
By Tour Updates
Greetings from Nakuru, Kenya! We finished up our work in Nairobi and have moved to the countryside of Nakuru! Check out my personal video blog for a recap of all the amazing work we did in Nairobi
The Kenya Team enjoyed a week off February 11th – 18th. Rachel and Juli had to leave the tour early and travel home, Enrico and Ariana stayed in Nairobi for their time off and trained with the acrobats at the Sarakasi Dome, and Jamie and I ventured to the Masai Mara for an unforgettable and beautiful safari adventure. We saw all the legendary African animals such as elephants, zebras, hippos, giraffes, lions, and even a cheetah!
The four of us continuing the tour met back up in Nairobi at the end of our break and then traveled to Nakuru together on the 19th to start a new project with Gabriel’s Learning Center (GLC). We have worked with GLC and lived in their volunteer housing for one week now and are thoroughly enjoying it! This project is very different from all of our Nairobi projects because we are spending three full weeks training the same children instead of doing one-off workshops with many different schools. The children at GLC are absolutely adorable ranging in ages from 3 to 15. There are almost 300 children who attend school here Monday – Friday, and 50 of those children live in the dorms here because they have been abandoned or orphaned.
We teach several circus workshops to the various classes every morning, which count as their physical education for the day, but can only reach 2 or 3 classes per day (around 70 students). Every evening we have an hour to teach the children living at GLC (who we call the “homies”) so we have become particularly connected with them. We have even made a ritual of reading or telling them various bedtime stories every evening from 7:30-8:30pm.
All the students at GLC are very respectful and attentive which makes it a dream to work with. Most of the children don’t have access to toys, games, or sports equipment besides what they make out of sticks and trash, so it is a real treat for them to play with our gear. We have been teaching them ball juggling, spinning plates, acrobatics, juggling scarves, fan spinning, and staff spinning. Enrico has even purchased several soccer balls for the children after we saw them kicking around balls of trash bound together with string during their break.
One of our favorite classes to teach the children has been staff spinning. Through Enrico’s project Sponsor A Staff we were able to bring dozens of quality contact staffs with us in several snowboard bags and it has been a pleasure watching the kids progress so quickly with them. Since Ariana, Enrico, and myself all teach staff spinning, we have been able to work with the children daily to increase their skills.
When we performed our fire show for the homies they were so ecstatic! The children all began chanting our names as we took turns demonstrating, staff, poi, fans, contact swords and a staff-juggling finale. I’m looking forward to working with the older children over the next few weeks to show them how to safely spin fire!
I think this is the first time I couldn’t hear my performance music because the audience was chanting my name! What an amazing group of kids we are working with here in Nakuru! The Performers Without Borders team has linked up with Gabriel’s Learning Center to teach Circus arts to their 280 students for 3 weeks. We are living at the school along with the 50 “homies”, the orphan children who live here. Every night at 7:30 they have story time where we read them books or tell them stories about us or America, but last night we decided to give them a fire show instead. I think they liked it!
Posted by Spinning Spades on Thursday, February 22, 2018
There are several major differences between working in Nakuru vs Nairobi. Firstly, Nakuru’s population is around 259,300 people as compared to Nairobi at 5,545,000 citizens, so you can imagine the drastic difference in the “feel” of the city. Nakuru is easy to navigate, more comfortable to wonder around by foot, and has easier access to beautiful parks, local restaurants, and colorful markets all in one small city center. The traffic drives (slightly) slower and with less urgency than in the big city, and it is refreshing to pass by fields and countryside while getting rides into town.
We explored the National Park of “Hells Gate” yesterday as a team and it was one of the most astounding things I’ve ever done! We rented bicycles and were able to casually stroll through the park passing zebras, antelopes, buffalo, and even giraffes! After around 2 hours of riding we reached a canyon created by floodwaters that we hiked down into. It was absolutely stunning to see the twists and turns of the rock walls carved out over years of rushing water. I definitely plan to go back and visit that canyon again before leaving Kenya!
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Team Kenya had the day off and enjoyed a beautiful hike through one of Kenya’s National Parks! Hell’s Gate has the most beautiful canyons and you can bicycle right up to zebras and giraffes! #pwbkenya2018 #socialcircus #hellsgate #jugglelife #staffjuggling @sponsor_a_staff #sponsorastaff #devilsbedroom
We only have two more weeks on tour here with PWB and are making the most of it by playing with the kids every chance we get! In fact, I hear them outside yelling and playing right now so I think I will go join them!
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And check out our team hashtag: #pwbkenya2018 for daily updates!
Written by Spades