Diary of Payasa Patoja travel blog

Payasos watch another group

Steph and the payasos going for lunch

me and another payaso

riding in the back of the pickup

Bobolop is the narrator payaso in our group drama

acting in a little practice drama

acting with Stef (another founder of the project)

acting continued

getting reviewed

Ok so this week i experienced the artistic side of the project. It was a bit hard for me because although i used to do a lot of drama when i was younger (thanks mommy), i had never been a clown. Clowning all day is hard work man! This week i got to know many of the young people who work with the project and they are a very very nice group.

I also was working hard to try to find the clown in me. After being so serious for most of my life it was hard to let go and try to live like a child again. Also my academic mind was finding it hard to put something so silly (clowning) with something so fatal (HIV). I found the ideas very intesting however, and i wondered about the applicability to the Jamaican context.

At the end of the 4 days in Maza i decided on my clown name: Patoja. This is actually not a Spanish but a Guatemalan word meaning child. I think this matches my experience here so far because in many ways i feel like a child again.

Learning the language has been hard. Especially in the first couple weeks. Its hard for me to not be as articulate as i would like to.

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