Day 2 greeted us with much excitement as the children came in early for their snacks and to get the day started.
Having worked on scenes 1 through 3 yesterday, following the language and drama activities, our main task today was to practice and refine scenes 4 through 8. We kicked off the morning teaching the children a dance choreographed by Pennie for the ‘Bare Necessities’ song.
This was a really energetic, fun and enjoyable start to the day.
Next, we did a quick recap activity which involved naming all the beloved Jungle Book characters once again, and, as a group, delivering impressions of each character, and a list of adjectives to describe the character. We also did some recap work on the reaction of other characters to particular characters in each scene.
The children were notably much more animated and competent with this today, approaching it in a playful yet skillful manner, which demonstrated clear progress and increased confidence following yesterday’s work and activities.
During the morning break, Penny treated the children to some Trini delicacies of ‘Tambrand Balls’ (which they weren’t hugely fond of), followed by ‘Kurma’ and Fudge; these were a much bigger hit! Consequently, they were full of energy and life for the mirror activity which followed; the aims of which, were following a leader attentively, moving slowly, maintaining focus and developing concentration and eye contact.
We were now ready to run through scenes 4 – 8. To our pleasant surprise, we got through these scenes a little quicker than scenes 1- 3 the day before, which indicated that following the tightening and refining of the previous scenes yesterday, our young actors were prepared, and now understood our expectations with regards to the slowing down and injection of emotion into the delivery of their lines.
After a fun and successful afternoon, we headed to the beach. This trip to the beach afforded us some time to relax and bond with the children away from the workshops. While running around in play, some of the children collected seaweed and wrote ‘Necessary Arts’ in the sand. This turned the discussion to their experience with NAS over the years and how it has impacted their lives.
Some of the boys very proudly announced; ‘We have been here since the very beginning, for four years now’. And do you enjoy it I asked, is it different from the activities you do in school? ‘We love it!’ they exclaimed; ‘It really helps us at school; now we will do better in our exams on adjectives, and we love to meet people from different places in the world, it is fun for us to hear stories about Trini and Ireland and Leprechauns’
Walking back from the beach we purchased some bottles of pop and fried potato from a local street vendor, who was, in fact, one of the student’s mothers. We gathered again in the workshop area under the sun talking and laughing about our experience over the last two days.
The love and appreciation the children have for NAS became even more apparent at the end of our long and challenging day when we realized they did not want to go home, but instead ‘hang out’ as they put it, chatting with us and each other about previous fun and successful workshops they had enjoyed and they were keen to know when we would come back and what NAS might have in store for them next.