Let’s just start with saying, I will be less than excited on friday chicken dinners in the future. When you eat with your hands, and it’s a fatty bone filled slightly nobby piece of chicken, its a no go no matter how starved for protein you are. Even for the meat eaters. Think if I go after a chicken dish again while I am here, it will definitely be in a restaurant. I tried….rice and protein bar it was. However! I did find myself having an exquisite breakfast of instant coffee, egg, protein powder, and some rice puffs which combined with the heat kept me full until 4 pm! it was a gift since pretty much all of the volunteers are hungry an hour after meal time. ok enough about food haha….

Today was my first day in the colonies. Among various things, I have added goat poop free streets to my list of things I am grateful for. However, I do still love the goats much like my mild obsession for sheep in Norway. I am my mother’s daughter and if there is an animal, I’m in. The point is….I was getting excited at this little baby goat and the owner brought it over and let both Jamie and I hold it. It still had the umbilical cord attached. Very cool.

Jamie and I finished walking around and introducing ourselves and returned to help the medical van. Since Bethal Nagar has not yet worked with any dance elements, we needed to take baby steps. First introduce ourselves, then help with the medical aspects since the people are used to that element. And then, while we were treating patients, we turned on some tunes to see if people would join us in some mild and casual movement. There were definitely some people open to getting their groove on, and one of the women said she was a dancer, and was going all out while getting her feet wrapped. She gladly took a picture with me while teaching me her moves and it was definitely a ton of fun for me too. The key to the program in the colonies is to get people opened up to loving their bodies again and using the movement they have even after possibly losing toes, or a hand, etc. So we aren’t doing anything invasive here, just trying to see what the response is as we get to specific colonies on a regular basis, and then Promethean Spark might bring in a dance/movement therapist full-time just for the colonies.

On the medical side of things today, I helped out with taking blood pressure since I already knew what that meant and took little explaining to teach me on the spot. The not so easy part, was having to write everyone’s names. I am awful. I got so much better at the end, but the way things are pronounced sound nothing like the way I would spell it so I definitely learned a lot on that end today. I also learned from Jamie how to wash the wounds so I can be in charge of that next time, or after she leaves.

That was pretty much the bulk of our day aside from getting up super early to dance and p90 before we headed out. And then, Jamie and I got to meet with Life Dance after school. If i didn’t mention it before, Life Dance Troupe, is a group of students (that have been auditioned) that we work with 5 times/week. They are hopefully planning to tour with the troupe next year. Turned out we only had 4 of the girls…all of the boys got x’s. They have a disciplinary system that entails getting signatures or x’s from your teachers and house mothers to avoid physical punishment and teach the kids responsibility. The goal is to get as many signatures as possible through good behaviour to earn stars that you can save up and buy things or have movie nights, etc. Well if you get one x, you also can’t partake in extra curricular activities. Including Life Dance…equals… boys today. so it was ladies day, but we had a total blast. They danced beautifully and it was great to have an intimate setting. I know I won’t be so spoiled tomorrow but it was definitely a nice start to the week.

to top it all off, we are presently kicking off rainy season with a delicious thunderstorm. Dancing in the courtyard? i think yes. Good thing it was dark tho, that floor looks pretty grody in the day light haha. We got free showers tonight and a lot of fun splashing around.

with that, this is the latest I have been up and I am pooped. 4 classes and a hefty wad of documentation and curriculum outlining that needs to go down tomorrow. i’m out….night!

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