After taking a week break we came to Darjeeling fully recharged and excited to get back into our work. On our time off, some of us went into Nepal and put on a show for a school there, one went back to Kolkata to visit friends and the rest went straight to Darjeeling to climatise to the icy cold weather.

Our break was the first time we had split up as a group since meeting each other at Boot Camp, so we were happy to reunite once again. In addition we now have an 8th member, Manish, a graduate of Asha Deep in Varanasi. He has come to help us teach, perform, and learn teaching techniques to take back home to Varanasi._DSF4656

To get to Darjeeling, it was around a 15 hour train ride and then we had to spend 3 hours in a jeep to get up into the windy mountains. The last two months we have spent in polluted cities, so it is great to be breathing fresh air up here.

We went and met our main partner Edith Wilkens Street Children Trust Foundation, they gave us an in depth presentation about the work they are doing with the children and the problems of human trafficking, child labour and the alcoholism that happens here. Darjeeling is very close to the border of Nepal and is a main gateway for child trafficking that is still happening.workshops

We spent our first day of workshops at Edith Wilkens Street Children Foundation, playing games and getting to know the kids. Maybe its the mountain air, but the kids here are very shanti (shanti meaning calm and clear). They are all so polite and well mannered but still know how to have fun. There seems to be an exceptional amount of interest with the kids wanting to learn juggling, daiblo, hoops, clowning, contact staff and poi. Our Schedule is morning and afternoon sessions with Edith Wilkens 4 days a week, and 1 or 2 days a week for outreach work.

Mid week we found a nice park nearby to practice for our show coming up and the park had green grass!!!!! It had been a long time since we had seen lush green grass

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At the end of the week we had our first show in Darjeeling. The show had changed a lot since Varanasi. We had incorporated Manish into many of the scenes and had a new clown act introducing ‘Uncle Biscuit’.

The kids had a blast, cheering and clapping along with the show and it was great to be able to introduce the kids to some fresh inspiration.

GROUP PHOTO

Now they are hungrier than ever to learn and explore more and we are just as excited.

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