Time travels (and flies!) at Folha Verde

So we come to the end of another Folha Verde term, with this last month having felt particularly full of fun and creativity. The highlight of course was the Time Travel project which gave children and teenagers the wonderful experience of working together with Zoe and Tamzin to create a beautiful evening of music, dance, aerial performances and poetry – which culminated in a spectacular show for the wider community on the 10th July.

Teenagers from the community collaborated with Zoe and Tamzin for many weeks to create content for the show, inspired by the Time Travel theme – working together to create their own poems, narrations, movement, dance and music.  Some of them had also been working with local Circus skill extraordinaires Hugo and Sage to choreograph the amazing aerial performances from the beautiful big oak tree at Senhora de Necessidades church, which on the show night looked incredible in the atmospheric lighting. Some of the teenagers also worked with Ben to create multi-media content for the performance. Thanks to all involved for such a magical evening – enjoyed and appreciated by all who came along.

This month we have also had our usual July Open Month, which sees extra children from the wider community joining us for a few weeks as well as a packed schedule of guest offerings and activities from people from the wider community – including making green bows and arrows with Michael, natural pigment painting with Utte, painting and drawing workshops with Kaya, a drama session with Deborah, making wattle and daub with Alex and Jude, felting with Steffi as well as natural dying with Ines, collages with Claire, pom-poms with Claudia and macrame with Teresa and more.

Children also teamed up with Filipe to dream up plans for a wooden climbing structure – to be funded by Birgit, who kindly asked for contributions towards this project instead of birthday presents earlier this summer.

Throughout May and June a lot of our project work in the afternoons centred around creating artwork and props for the Time Travel performance – a big egg-timer, clocks from card, paper mache models of the earth, sun and moon, Mayan symbols and a collage of our collective vision for a better world in the future.

In other projects sessions children have also been wood carving with Vladimir, making stuffed vine leaves with Clio, making elderflower champagne with Teresa, baking with Ines, drawing mandalas with Claire and making sling-shots with Joao.

Older children now have their two small group learning sessions in the morning – with a focus on Portuguese literacy, maths and generally working towards content required for the Portuguese exams. Two children are sitting their year 4 exams this year, so have been sitting practice exam papers with the support of Folha Verde facilitators.

In Jardim they have been enjoying the summer weather, taking care of the vegetable beds, paddling in the river, creating a big sun painting, making bell and ribbon rainbow streamers, making their own metre rule, creating their own fishing game, baking on Wednesdays as usual and enjoying the bread together with the delicious bio-yeast dressing. They’ve also enjoyed visits from Deborah who offered some story-telling, and Elspeth with her pirate tales. In the Time Travel show Jardim children made their performance on film – as dancing dinosaurs!

In May we had a lovely musical garden party with Kin on guitar, Joshua on tin whistle and Surya on violin – a magical afternoon of music, dancing and cake!

Of course we have also said goodbye and to Beth, Kin, Gaia and Zenna and Lila – thank you to all of you for the roles you played in this project – Beth and Kin for their contributions in terms of music, meditation and pottery and to the girls for their cheerful presence around the place. You are missed!

Farewell also to some of the teenagers who leave the project this summer for pastures new. Bella, Oshun and Zephyr – we have loved having you with us all this time and we all wish you all well with the next chapter in your lives!

With love and thanks from the Folha Verde team x