I’m not against photo opportunities. Many people treasure their pictures with Mimi the clown, or any clown they have the pleasure of meeting. I enjoy looking back at the pictures too, but even more fun than getting my picture taken holding a baby is the clowning around. And not up on a stage or platform, but actually playing with the kids.
I found a few fun pictures from a morning in August 2011. I was still relatively new to this ‘clowning in a foreign country’ thing. I was still learning how to be funny. One thing I learned quickly was to play; kids love to play. I often start by playing catch with the kids. We throw a funny-looking stuffed fish back and forth to break the ice. I could probably do that for half an hour and they would still enjoy it, but I don’t get stuck there. I get out my net and catch the fish and put it away.
Other items I have in my bag of tricks/toys, are ropes. These ropes aren’t just for making knots! Mimi became a tight-rope walker right there in front of their eyes! There was quite a bit of tension in the room during that feat. I even did it blindfolded!
Nobody likes to play alone, especially not Mimi, so she invited a daring young girl to try walking across the tight-rope, too. After a few children performed this balancing act, the ropes became train tracks. (I knew my small wooden train whistle would come in handy one day!)
The kids love getting involved. They were a beautiful train moving in circles around the inside of the tent. These decorated tents were operated by ‘Save The Children’. It seemed very organized; the kids were divided by age groups among the tents.
The kids came to these tents during the day for activities and some school work. This area was just a very small part of the main camp. It was obvious that the people working with Save the Children really cared about the kids, and, in turn, the kids loved being there and having something to do during the day.