by Florence King, 25, England, United Kingdom
I was lucky enough to spend three weeks at Life Vision Academy this year, working on a production of The Tempest with some of the children from the school.
I was welcomed enormously by everyone at the school, the children and the staff and immediately felt at home there.
The main focus of my work was collaborating with a group around 25 children and introducing them to The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Myself and Hazel, my directing partner, told the children the story and then through drama games and improvisation techniques, the children got to know the play and we managed to cast the show within a few days. Then once we rehearsed with our actors, we edited the script so that it suited the children’s English vocabulary but still kept the essence of Shakespeare. We had approximately two and a half weeks to rehearse with the children and put a show together! We also worked with Rajat the music teacher, so that we could add some music into the show and have a section where the performers sang.
The rehearsal process was fun and the children seemed to really enjoy taking to the stage! I personally really enjoyed seeing the children come out of their shell and discover their passion for performing, and some of them taking to it so naturally. I was also extremely impressed by how creative they were, creating their own props and masks for the performance. We performed The Tempest to an audience in the final week and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. The children did so well, considering it was the very first time some of them had performed.
On a personal level, this trip meant an awful lot to me. I managed to create a wonderful relationship with the children, they were incredibly warm hearted, polite and so caring. A credit to how they are being brought up by LVA. I was especially moved by some of their stories, where they had come from and some of the difficult experiences they had been through, at such a young age. I grew particularly close to Sabina, Khushi, Anila, Nirmaya and Namrata to name a few. Though they may not know it, they and all of the other children, made my experience so special, one that I shall never forget. Having some free time to get to know the children, eat with them, read bedtime stories to them and go on walks with them was so wonderful. It meant we had a chance to get to know them as regular kids, not students of the school, but children who enjoy being children! Find out what they enjoy doing, learn about their personalities and it was lovely to be able to watch them be themselves. I was also touched by their relationships with each other. How they care so much for one another and treat each other like siblings, like they are all part of one big family.
My first visit to Nepal has been a very special one, I have taken home some extraordinary memories home with me, and I shall make sure this isn’t my last.