After a very early breakfast Wednesday morning, we loaded up the bus once again, and headed off with Jane, our driver, to Phalombe. Our car rides are always a blast, and we listen to the same 4 songs Steven has dowloaded on his phone :) When we arrived in Phalombe, we were once again, greeted by the whole school and village, with singing and dancing, welcoming us into their community. We were surrounded by beautiful children, and thanked over and over again for our being there. The feeling was unreal. After high-fives and lots of hand shakes, we sat around in a circle with the rest of the school. There, we watched a performance of a play, written and rehearsed by the people of the community. The program implemented in this village was called Star Circle. Star Circle focuses on creating art and performance using current issues surrounding the village. The skit we watched (which was translated to us through a program officer), was about the continuation of education for adolescent girls. Star Circle is a group of volunteer individuals who care deeply about these problems facing their communities, and who hope to combat them through theatre.
After the performance, we were given the opportunity to sit with a group of individuals from Star Circle, and ask them questions about the program, and themselves. The people we chatted with were absolutely incredible. They shared stories about themselves and their lives, as well as why they chose to join the program. One of the boys was 18 years old and an aspiring doctor, hoping to finish secondary school and move on to University. This day was incredible. Seeing the way theatre can sculpt a community and shed light on pressing issues surrounding them, was unreal. I thought it was amazing how each and every member of the community watched and supported Star Circle, and I was so grateful to have been able to see, and interact with this beautiful community.
After spending the day at the school, we traveled back through the mountains and into a valley, where we spent the night at a Lodge. Our cabins were in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by beautiful trees, the moon and stars. After a very cold outdoor shower, and a call back home, we walked down to dinner. We ate and debriefed, and then fell asleep pretty quickly afterwards. I shared a cabin with the Irish girls, which was so much fun. We talked and chatted, comparing accents until we fell asleep. The next morning, we packed up bright and early again, and made our way to our next stop, a different school in Phalombe.