Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mel's Day Two

The day dawns early in Suchitoto. I have never been an early riser but I woke up surprisingly refreshed. Woke up, that is, to the sounds of the geckos that sounded as though they were right on my head. How can something so small make such a loud noise! (I said this to Mike and he replied 'Have you met yourself!' :) I successfully managed to brave the shower without making Mike inspect it first. I say 'braving' as there is simply a cold water shut off valve sticking out of the wall to turn the shower on. Chilly!

We had a lovely breakfast, a tour of the chapel space (which I am sooo in love with!) and then we were off to Casa Es Artes. This is the 'administration building' for the project. There are office and a large meeting room (which we are soon turning into a wardrobe/props shop) and the most gorgeous courtyard with this huge mango tree in the middle. The guys before us kept talking about this courtyard and I can understand why. It would be so perfect for mid-day shows where everyone gathers around the mango tree!

We then had our first production meeting with the whole team assembled. Now the feeling is 'Wow!' but in a whole different way. Everyone is so excited and therefore there is so much to do in the next couple of weeks. Wow! Everyone is so very wonderful and they all have such enthusiasm for the project that it is very difficult to say no to anything. We are still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the container that was packed with donations from Stratford and can't wait to get started on implementing all of the wonderful ideas that came out of this meeting. However, I do feel that some difficult choices will need to be made in the next couple of weeks. I just hope we don't disappoint anyone!

Ed and Patricia walked us through the story for the show and Mario, and awesome props guy, showed us the wonderful fan and lighting effect he has created for the fire filled cauldron. After our meeting we were taken over to Esquela Taller (the technical school and currently Ed's rehearsal space). There is so much potential there! A great space that has room for every area - welding, electrical training, carpentry, and even a separate space for wardrobe. The plan is to start the semester this April-May. The students will be aged 16 and over and they do not have to have completed high school to join the program. I think this point is key as it provides opportunities for the maximum number of students - and most notably the youth that need to most help in figuring out a path for their lives that doesn't include gangs and violence. As well as the technical training they will be receiving classes in history, computers, drafting, and business management. Thus giving them the skills to go out and either be able to apply for a job or even open their own business. I really hope I get the opportunity to come down here again and see the school once it is up and running.

We met up with everyone at Villa Balanza for lunch and had a wonderful 'conversation' with three young ladies that are actors in the show; they speaking very little English and us with only a modicum of Spanish. But, with a little help from a Spanish-English dictionary and even more help from our wild charades, we managed to understand and have ourselves be understood in turn. This experience was such a delight.

Next we went to the beginning of the rehearsal and met about half of the cast. Again, they are all so wonderful and eager (and a great number of them are quite shy). I can't wait to see a full rehearsal.

I have to admit that by 2pm the heat had gotten to us and we sought out the comfort of the pool at El Tejado. Wow again! (have I said that enough yet?) What a view. And so refreshing. Afterwards we met up with Ed and Trevor and headed over to Villa Balanza for dinner. (a place I feel we will be visiting alot) By around nine we were so exhausted by our very full day and we headed off to bed.

Oh.... I have decided to try to learn at the very least a couple of new Spanish words and phrases each day and I thought I would share them with you as well. Today's words are:
molienda = mill (corn, grain) There is one of these in Suchitoto.
parecido = similar

P.S. I just realized how long this post is. Sorry for rambling on so. I will work on making these entries a bit more concise. :)


  1. Interesting posts Mel, we'll follow your progress every day. The view from Sean's room is amazing. Lucky him. Hopefully you'll post a photo of that courtyard with the mango tree soon.

  2. Don't apologize for rambling! And don't try to make the posts shorter. It's great hearing all about it.

    Glad you are enjoying yourselves! Looking forward to more updates.


  3. I am enjoying following the adventure each day Mel. I didnt know you had such a gift for descriptive writing. Perhaps the moment over took you as you arrived and became your muse..cause those first passages were fantastic.