I made it to Guatemala- and am already entranced by the country. Guatemala is wonderful, and the work is wonderful too.
|Ilanna, Christina, and Marlita (the cricket puppet).|
After the girls' performance, Ilanna and Christina performed the Spanish language show they devised in Guatemala. It is the story of a cricket, Marlita, who finds the clowns to ask them to bring her to the sea and fulfill her life-long dream. When they make it to the sea, there is a dangerous storm that threatens to destroy the cricket's home town! She and the clowns must rush back to her pueblo to warn the community about the incoming storm- and they make it just in time. It is loosely based on a Mayan folktale about a singing cricket, and Ilanna and Christina have turned it into a fun, interactive, and very funny show appropriate for all ages. The Oasis ladies loved it.
|The problem tree.|
Then we got right to work with the12 older girls. We made a problem tree to examine the issues in the community, and I simply could not believe how wise these young ladies are. Most are actually not orphans, but have been removed from their biological homes due to sexual abuse. Instead of delving into self destructive behavior they have found an incredible positivity.
They identified "la falta de amor"'- lack of love- as the main problem in the community. They noted how the roots of the problem and its manifestations are cyclical, and it is so easy to get trapped in that cycle from an early age. The way out from such abuse and oppression must begin with the individual, and then move outward to the family and to the world. These girls blow my mind.
We gave them a little homework: come up with a 1 or 2 minute piece about lack of love. We see their work on Wednesday, and start to turn it into a show. I know they will bring in great material to mine for the final piece.
One more quick fun fact- we are staying at a home stay called La Familia in Antigua, which has a bunch of rooms. The current La Familia residents include: the Guatemalan couple who owns and runs it, their youngest son, 2 Norwegians (Ida, our project partner, and a social worker named Turid), 3 BST actor-educators, and 3 Seminary students from Virginia. We are certainly a motley bunch!