I am back on the island of Lesvos, Greece. How did that happen?? I was just here in June! I know how it happened; the friend we met in June said he needed help at their women and children's center which just opened the beginning of August. You know me! All I need is an invitation and people to say they need help.
I will be here for three weeks working with Gateways2Life. The center is across the street from the refugee camp that I worked at in June. They offer valuable services to their guests as well as providing a comfortable and friendly place to relax, away from the camp. The center has washers and dryers, they serve tea and cookies, and they offer crafts and activities for the women and children while they wait for their laundry to finish. They also have a television and wifi at the center.
I was asked to clown last Friday. We didn't know how many guests we would have at the Gateways2Life center because this past weekend was a very big holiday for Muslims. We told guests during the week that Chahloula the clown would be there on Friday, hoping they would come out.
I got ready to clown at the center, and then waited for visitors to arrive. I had no idea how the day would go. I didn't think I would be able to do a show because guests come and go throughout the day. I wanted to dance to songs, as usual, but the computer speakers just weren't loud enough. (I danced with a couple kids for a little while and they had a great time!)
Our first guests arrived and I started doing balloon animals. And then kept on making balloon animals! That was almost all I did the whole day. We turned tv off once and I did a couple disappearing water tricks. That went well. I also brought out a few other small things to play with, but balloon animals were definitely the most popular item.
My favorite part of the day was when a little girl asked if I was at the camp in June; she remembered me. It is nice to be memorable!
Another highlight was when one of my coworkers said my personality changed when I was in costume. I received that compliment with joy and gratitude!
I won't clown often, but Chahloula will probably come again this month. In the meantime, I will be playing games, doing crafts, and enjoying spending time with these sweet women and children. I have plenty of stickers and smiley face balloons to hand out!