Posted by Ushan Boyd
In May, 2018, Catherine Daniel and I had the privilege of being invited up to Lombadina Christ the King Catholic School on the Dampier Peninsula, 200km north of Broome.
It was a double privilege for me, because since I had left Broome a couple of years previous I had been out of touch with my circusy side. Lombadina reminded me how vital it is for me and how rewarding it can be for communities.
We ran a short project - it was 4 days, 3 sessions a day. In fact, the project was more about letting the new teachers in on the “secret”. That circus is a good thing for students. When you see the excitement, engagement and focus of the kids, its hard not to get swept up in the excitement.
Some of the kids had been in previous TK projects. It was a very nice surprise to hear: “Hey mister, did you go to Bayulu? I was there!”. Indeed I had been to Bayulu, and taught some of the children already. Over the 4 days many children visibly and markedly improved - it might’ve been achieving a 3 ball juggle for the first time, or getting 5 peddles out of a unicycle instead of 1, or landing a mini tramp flip solidly. These were the visible highlights. The not-so obvious highlights was the effort that each child took on their own journey. I applaud the kids that keep trying again, and again, and again. It’s not as easy as it looks, and it looks difficult.
Having come from a “show” background, I wasn’t sure that a small show - with only 3 days practice - was going to be a good result for everyone involved. It goes to show my inexperience in these matters - Catherine was certain about it and she was right. We went in to day 3 with a list of songs and practiced all the scenes with the kids. They nailed it, and so come the last day, they were ready. To our great delight, at 11:30am, we had a great turn-out from parents and community. Many hi-vis shirts were there as dad’s took a break from work to come and watch, and elders lined the front row.
Thank you so much, Lombadina, for hosting us. We look forward to next time already :D