March 1st. All day workshop for Activity facilitators plus caregivers, 12 in all. At the end of the workshop, one of the caregivers comes up to thank me (translated by one of the facilitators) for the day telling me that this will be very useful for her to work with the girls. After all that is my motivation for coming back to Myanmar, to take the training that I started last year a few steps further. I am grateful for her words.
– Morning Show for 60 young women at the Womens Development Center(Institution)
Workshop with 30.
-Afternoon Show for 60 girls at the Girls Vocational Center (Institution) Workshop with 30
The Womans Development Center is on a little bluff in the midst of the Golden Valley, the most unlikely place for an istitution as it one of the wealthiest areas of Yangon. I am surprised to find myself in a stately room with chandeliers, stuffed chairs with wood carvings and a beautiful wooden floor. I inquire to its origins and I am told it was built by Indians before WWII. The women here are over 18 and are doing vocational training such as sewing. There is a great deal of laughter, and they howl at the sight of my bald palate and how I play with my hair. I have learned a few more words of Myanmar, and now am using the phrase puré puré, hot hot as I wipe the sweat down during the show. This too they find hilarious. Indeed it must be 100 degrees outside today, and there is a good deal more humidity in the air than in Mandalay. So much so that my cigar boxes are a little sticky.
The workshop goes very well. We have a great time indeed.
The afternoon show is equally successful if I dare say so. I have now learned my Yes Im going… song in Myanmar, which I have taped to the top of the uke. I make a little joke out of having trouble reading the third line off the uke which they enjoy. I have taken to playing up the rock and roll side with a gritty gravely voice, and a little kick shuffle dance. The girls love it. No they certainly dont think I am a rock star, but they clap along enthusiastically.
The workshops are going well. The girls today were enthusiastically joining in, and picking up the mime relatively quickly. They are enjoying expressing their humor after the usual initial hesitations. There are always a few in the group who are truly quite funny and enjoy playing it. The butoh style slow motion brings in incredible focus, and a sense of peacefulness. The idea of them scaring me as monsters was a big hit this afternoon with the girls. There is more to this than meets the eye. More about that (hopefully) in a later post. Next stop is calling. All in all things seem to be going quite well.