Today is my last day in Turkey…what a journey it has been!
The kids at our social circus school performed in their first student show yesterday, and their friends and family were absolutely amazed by the things they learned. This morning, all of the students surprised me when I entered the school by waiting for me in a line and cheering “thank you!!” in English, Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic…I was so overwhelmed and couldn’t stop myself from crying.
Before the kids left for the day, we sat in a circle to reflect on our work so far. These check-ins always take a very long time because everything must be translated between 3 different languages, but it’s my favorite part of being here.
One young girl said that she was very excited to see another girl performing on stilts, because it meant that any girl could do it. She’s going to try walking on stilts in class now.
A boy that we taught to walk on stilts thanked us for catching him when he started to fall and encouraging him to try walking again…that he was able to face his fears and do something he didn’t think he would ever be able to do.
A young boy who was not able to attend classes regularly remarked on how proud and excited he was to see his friends performing on stage.
Another student said that it was amazing for her to see their show bring together people from so many nationalities and religions, and to see everyone working together in harmony.
It has definitely been challenging living and working in rough conditions, and it’s going to be an uphill battle for a few weeks getting back into shape for training. I have lost a lot of weight and strength, since it was just not possible to take care of myself the way I am usually able to. I have so much egotistical investment attached to my training, so I think it was truly healthy to be forced out of that part of myself…and will be another good exercise to rebuild my practice in a healthy, balanced way.
Oh, and I’m moving to Portland and getting ready to apply to OT school and not doing residency at NECCA after all but maybe training with the Circus Project if there is room and they want me there. Things.