Friday, June 23, 2006

The next step of inclusion…

It’s been pointed out that we haven’t really talked about work much yet, so I’m going to rectify that now. But before I start there is a reason work hasn’t featured much until now – it’s because there hasn’t been much to talk about. I’ve been working, but the drama workshops have only just started, and the organization of workshops etc. is not nearly as interesting as actually doing them. I’ve also been working on a proposal for a Media grant which we sent off last week – if that is successful we’ll be doing radio plays with a drama group as well. But I’ve mostly been feeling my way around processes and politics etc, and also doing any research and talking to people to find out the most effective way to do things.

Poor Cam has been in a frustrating position with his Host Organisation in the middle of changing funding bodies as well as going through reviews etc. There hasn’t been an awful lot of marine stuff going on – well lots of report writing and management plans about marine stuff, but no field trips as such. Which is why we are making such a point of getting out and about (especially in the water) on weekends.

So, the response from the local population to the idea of my drama workshops has been fantastic. I think there is a real need for accessible creative activities (for both kids and the local youth – many of whom are unable to find work). I’ve started off with 2 afternoon impro classes for school kids and 2 evening classes for youths. Wow – are Tuesdays and Thursdays tiring! But it’s fun and inspiring when people react positively to a game that’s being taught – people here have never done anything like it! It’s too early to see where it’s going to go, but I think we’ve made a positive start.

It’s also amazing talking to people about the sort of things they want to do. Some people have asked after dance classes, music nights, productions…the list goes on. My role is shifting from Performing Arts Trainer, to Community Arts Development Co-ordinator (that second one sounds much more impressive). I’m also overwhelmed by the amount of people that have asked me to help train drama at youth conferences, schools, different provinces even! Everyone wants a part of me! Apart from drama and possible radio plays I think I’m going to have to source someone to teach dance classes (although apparently I can do everything and I’ve been asked not only to teach belly dancing, but to do a solo on stage…me, I’ve never even done belly dancing, only talked about it), look at a monthly music night and perhaps help to organize some school productions. I’d certainly like the chance to pass on some stage management and technical skills before I go.

The main frustration with work is how long it takes to organise things. The pace of life is slower here and people don’t understand your impatience to get things going. I’m especially glad we were warned not to expect anything to happen in the first 3 months, but am also seeing the merit of assignments longer than a year. Of course once things start, they might not always go as planned, but there’s bound to be something worthwhile to come out of it. I’ll never be a true local here but working with local kids and youths is kind of the next step of inclusion for me.

Oh and as an afterthought here's a photo of the WWII wreck the Muscoota we talked about earlier. More on our wet'nwild'weekend'@wagawaga to follow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha - I have taken time out from a busy schedule trawling for porn to read your freaking blog.

Sounds fucking amazing guys - the pictures are beautiful (even the out of focus numbers). Just incredible.

Jane - stick with it babe. It sounds like your getting exposed to an environment where there is almost too much that you can do. Have faith and concentrate - little steps go a long way. Everyone back here would believe in you getting it done, so you should too.

Cam - AMAZING. No other word for it dude. Experience with the capital E. Even if you do have to fill out reports and draft shite in-between. I'm sure you already are, but relish every moment champ. that year will go awful quick, then all you will be able to do is sit around and exaggerate with me in a pub somewhere.

PS My life is boring and I work 20hrs a day and most weekends, blah blah blah. Who fuckin cares ; ).

PPS More photoes of you guys playing with PNG kids! And of sharks! Maybe you guys playing with sharks and PNG kids at the same time? I don't know...

10:37 am  
Anonymous gabi said...

patience is a vertue...justgo very steady on a loose rein and pick your way along ..just remember everyone will be watching and really busting to secretly have a go or a turn but will be really shy or maybe shame if they feel silly or can not do as well as they think you might expect..... just normal behaviour really..I know Jane that you are really excellent at explaining tasks ...but some people just take a long time to warm up ;;; like my typing but even more so in those very hot lazy places...but please make sure every one gets to have a turn.. ps. maybe you need the Vinnies Drama team to help...tell Cam that we all miss you both very much but dont forget have fun but make sure that what you are inviting people to do things so make sure..that they can smell the fun and remember some times that not everyone in those communites are able to be together at the same time and place... sounds like you will be needing to make sure that the fun stuff is the mistakes and that has to happen straight away because it takes a while to feel good when you make mistakes;; bye bye love gabixxx

2:24 pm  

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