Madame Chahloula

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I'm not sure how it happened, but Chahloula was clowning around again! Afterwards, I was surprised to see the clown poster on the wall.

The same people who invited me to clown the beginning of April asked me to clown again, this time at a local day care center. Obviously, I said yes! I visit a few day care centers in the area as myself, to play games and make things, but I had never been to this one before. 

I was pleased after the show when the women asked me to come back. I made sure they knew I would be happy to return, but as plain old LeeAnn, rather than Chahloula. I learned that they had heard of me visiting other 'rowthas' (day care centers, in Arabic). They are already looking forward to a visit.

Oh, yeah, I am writing about clowning...

The party went well. There were at least sixty children, in a small room, but I guess I will have to get used to that. I am not the kind of clown who performs on a stage; I am right there in the midst of the kids, sweating.

I didn't include any games, but the routines require volunteers so there was plenty of audience participation. The children love to dance to songs, so we do that during the show. We dance to four songs. I divide the songs so we all get up and dance twice during the program. I will share a video of the dancing when I get a good one!

I knew there would be a lot of children, so I gave them heart balloons rather than balloon animals. I inflated them beforehand so I just needed to hand them out at the end of the show.

Another thing I have to get used to is getting into costume and makeup in a room just before the event. In the states, I had the luxury of getting ready at home and driving to the event. Even when clowning at the refugee camps, I got ready before we went to the camps.

I don't like leaving the party room as Chahloula, changing back into myself, and then having the kids recognize me in plain clothes when I leave the building. But I prefer that to the option of walking out to the main road and standing by the street waiting for public transportation! 

We just do whatever we need to, don't we?!


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