Our first show of the day was about an hour outside of Shell, in a village where Kristin and Manuel lived a number of months ago. As the van drove through the village children started running towards us, eager to see Kristin and Manuel, no doubt.
I haven’t shared much about the Kidztown shows yet and will describe them. The shows started with a conversation between “Krusty,” one of the puppets, and Rosita. Krusty sang a song to Rosita, ending with some very rude comments to which the children would giggle and laugh. Rosita, clearly offended, would suggest that Krusty stay for the Kidztown show to learn about love. Once Krusty apologized for his terrible remarks and Rosita forgave him, the show would (officially) begin. We always started with two or three action songs. Some of us would sing and do the actions in front of everyone, some of us would work the puppets and get them to sing and dance, and some of us stayed in the crowd, doing the actions, singing, and interacting with the children around us. After the songs, the teens performed one or two skits portraying simple examples of sharing, teamwork, and forgiveness. These were followed by magic tricks by Matt and Jefferson.
A really fun part of the show was the relay game. Two teams (usually boys versus girls) lined up. Each team member had to take a piece of paper with a facial feature written on it (eye, nose, mouth, ear, etc.), run over to the person holding the “face”, draw their selected feature, run back, and then the next child would go. The first team to finish won. This was always entertaining as the faces often resembled Picasso prints and sometimes, instead of drawing the parts of the face, the children would simply write the word on the face. So cute! The game was followed with a bible story. Jefferson and Rosita narrated an abridged version of The Prodigal Son or The Good Samaritan while other team members silently acted out the various scenes. This was my favourite part and I often got so distracted watching the story that Jonathan needed to prompt me when it was my turn to jump up from the crowd and act my part. Afterwards, Jefferson explained the message of Jesus, we would pray, and then sing a couple more songs. The shows were great, fun to do, fun to take part in, and fun to watch the children getting involved. The time spent playing soccer (or football) with the kids or having sweet and silly conversations with them were wonderful as well.
After the show we went back to Shell, packed up our bags, and drove to our last show of the day before driving to Tena.
After the show, Matt gathered us around and gave out invisible awards for things such as most enthusiasm, best smile, and best social skills. Speeches were made and applause followed. Matt told us later that he decided to do the awards because we were all so tired before the show, but pulled through and put on, what he considered, to be one of our best shows.
Leaving Shell meant saying goodbye to Kristin and Manuel who had to return to Quito. It was so wonderful to see them and the world doesn’t feel quite so big knowing that we have friends wherever we go.
We headed to Tena where we were staying at a beautiful resort. We lugged our bags up the steep, gravel steps to our rooms with enough time for a dip in the pool before supper. After supper, the leaders shot more scenes for our video. As I journaled before bed, it started to rain. The rain was so loud as it hit the tin roof and tree leaves, that had Mary or Jada-Lyn been awake and wanted to talk we would have had to yell at one another from our beds.