Kabaye Morning, Yangon 2010

by | Mar 5, 2010 | Clowns Without Borders

March 5th

Sitting in the air-conditioned cool of the administrative office at EMDH, while outside it is 99 degrees, and I am thankful for this moment of cool respite. This mornings show had me once again sweating up a storm as I played up the antics with the 250 boys at the Kabaye Boys Training School. The children are a mix of orphans, street children and children in conflict with the law. We have a great time, and they take eagerly to my requests to open up their voices.

kabaye 4 lo

One of the bits I have developed in the show is asking them if they want me to play rock and roll, and requesting them to respond with a very American “Yeah”. Generally they hesitantly respond with a proper “Yes”, but I demand a loud “Yeah”. At Kabaye, the kids are ready, their voices eager and after I egg hem on a few times, their “yeahs” are loud and unified. I play the bit two or three times over the course of the show, after the big “Yeah” I get my ukulele, do a few Peter Townsend windmills (they don’t get the reference for sure, but they like the move just the same), then just play a single strum before putting the instrument back down.

The first time I do this, there are a few chuckles, but the second time, they are most often laughing as they definitely have clued into the joke. Today the kids are more than happy to sing along with me, as I play my little song.

Yes I’m going
Yes I’m going
Down the road
Down the road
Going to sing my song, and then
It’s time to go.

Their voices are loud, they are enjoying the singing. I’m pretty sure they don’t really understand the words they are singing, but as I have just sung the Myanmar translation, I am sure they know the jist of it. The workshop after the show today is good fun, the boys are quite inventive with their funny and that is great to see.

My trip here is winding down the shows and workshops with the institutions are done. 15 shows and 12 workshops with children plus an all day workshop with the staff, all in 9 days. I have had meetings with the staff, and in a few months I will get feedback from the facilitators and team leaders as to how the training we shared is working with the children, and then we will plan the next steps. Sunday I will conclude my work here joining the French Clown team to teach an all day workshop for local actors and some of the staff of Medicins du Monde.

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