Anthropology Museum and Theatre Games

Tue. Nov. 30, 2021

Early this morning, we welcomed a couple of new arrivals to Barrio Vivo hostel: two young men from Seattle who work in robotics and computer-related fields — one is a PhD candidate. These are only the third and fourth fellow Americans we’ve met here since checking in here.

Then we went out for a walk exploring the town, with the goal of making our way to the Museum Of Anthropology And History, which is housed in a grand old mansion. It’s a small museum, with only a few artifacts on exhibit, but they are well worth seeing and the price is quite reasonable. There are dozens of relics of Mayan culture dating back a couple of millennia or so, with explanatory material posted underneath. These comments were only in Spanish, so it gave us an opportunity to do a bit of honing of our miserable translation skills.

We found it prudent to take a little detour to seek out another ATM from Citibanamex so we could withdraw more funds, having realized that our cash stash is just not going to cut it for the remainder of our time in Mexico.

Then we dropped by a camera store, where Kimberly finally found (she believed) a handstrap that will work with our current camera. Or thus we were assured by the shop owner/ manager, who spoke no English. But when we got it back home, we discovered that what they sold us is actually a supplement to another attachment that we don’t have and don’t want to buy. So we’ll have to see if we can return it.

Tonight was a night that we’ve been looking forward to, though with a bit of trepidation. It was the night we were to conduct a session of theatre games in connection with our service as volunteers, helping to coordinate activities for guests. Sure, we’ve conducted numerous sessions of theatre games in the past, so we there’s no doubt that we know our stuff. It’s just that we’ve almost always conducted them with children, who have been the intended beneficiaries of our theatrical business. The only adults who have participated in our sessions have been children’s librarians, for whom we adapted special sessions of our workshops, in order to help inspire them with activities they could offer youthful patrons.

The children’s librarians had a great time, but…. well, you know, they’re children at heart. But how would our program fly with international twenty-somethings, we wondered. So for the past couple of weeks, we’ve been hashing out how we can adapt our activities for such a demographic. Now, the big night had come, and we were still a bit apprehensive about how well our program would fly tonight. Also, since some of the activities we hoped to do required a certain minimum number of participants, we were concerned that not enough individuals would show up.

But as it turned out, a pretty good number turned out. There were about 10 who were more or less eager to participate, with about the same number sitting at the tables just curious to watch but not willing to commit themselves to jump into the fray. Before long, however, at least half of them had been enticed into getting on their feet and getting into the action as well. And right from the beginning, it was clear that everyone was going to be game for what we had to offer; and they all had a great time doing the activities, prompting us to breathe a big sigh of relief.

Afterward, several people came up to us and told us how much they appreciated the session. Apparently, not only was the evening a success, but we were an even bigger hit than we dared hoped for.

The Quest?

To volunteer our services in communities all over the world: teaching English, performance arts and other forms of cultural enrichment, drawing on our three decades of experience teaching and performing for family audiences as Act!vated Story Theatre all over the U.S. With your help, we will be able to reach remote locations and engage children in under-served communities worldwide -- and to expand our creative online content. If you would like to help support our efforts please visit Patreon or make a contribution via PayPal.

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