The next exercise was about developing speaking confidence, and everyone present was asked to pick a topic from a hat and speak for one minute, and were then judged on posture, volume, self-confidence, eye contact and energy. Short of volunteers at first they asked me to speak so I gave it a go. The children scored me well on eye-contact, energy, volume and posture (though one child said I stood like a singer. How wrong they were!). For self-confidence however they said I could do better, suggesting I was a bit nervous. It was a fair call. The children then all took turns and their peers were reasonably generous though not uncritical.
I then gave a short talk on the environment, trying to get as much participation as I could, and then a group discussion followed on the subject. Each school was asked to do one environmental project in the next month, whether it be to plant trees or clean up an area in their village. When the camp was over we walked back through the jungle and the boys scrambled up trees, being teased for their monkey-like skills, and hung up Future Club signs asking people to take care of the environment, not to leave plastic behind, etc.
In the evening I was invited to dinner with some of the Future Generations staff, but before that we stopped at their little craft stall in Ziro which was set up by the Village Womens Workers Self-help group, where jewellery, woven scarves and shawls as well as handmade bamboo and cane baskets were sold and the proceeds went to the villagers who had made them. I gave them a few suggestions I felt would help them appeal to tourists.This blog is part of an Off-The-Beaten-Track Travel Diary. Click on the links below to navigate through this journey.