After an 11 hour flight, approximately 3 hours in Switzerland, and a 45 minute puddle jump, The Young Americans Summer Europe Cast has landed in Frankfurt, Germany! We immediately met with Lothar and Axel, our wonderful bus/truck drivers, and loaded in our bags, and were off to meet the first homestays in Lich! Bus partners were picked, Rachel Caron instantly made the bus feel like a YA home, and Story Time with JP began. We couldn’t be more excited to begin!
First Workshop of Tour!
They say that Germany is a challenge and a guarantee for hard work. After this first day, it is definitely a correct assumption! These children really love to have fun and be energetic, it shows in their performance. All of the “New Kids” had an instant realization of the work ethic required and the “Old Kids” were right there leading the way, showing the younger generation what it truly takes to make these workshops work. What, personally for myself, is so great about this cast is the urge to erase titles and labels. We are all working to be on the same level of understanding and view eachother as equals, instead of “new” and “old” kids. I am so grateful to be in this family.
Day 2 really flew by for the cast! The first classes were held, which are poetry, drawing, and dance class. I was with the yellows, the youngest group, for these classes and the obvious characteristic I noticed was the lack of inhibition children have. Everything is stated as it is; there is no beating around the bush, which really allowed them to embrace what the Young Americans stand for: Self-love and positivity. We wrote about what we wanted to “Become.” This is a poem written by an anonymous Young American in the Yellow Class:
“Although I am a step ahead in life and although I am supposed to be focused forward,
I sit back and reflect on my past, the regret and the what-could-have-been.
I see now these children. I see their eyes and the places they look.
They only look in front of them, at what is in their direct vision: at the present, not what is before.
Their laughter renews the light in the room and their curiousity keeps us all moving forward.
In the eyes of a child, all that matters is now. In the eyes of a child, a smile is a key.
In the eyes of a child, the world is a playground. That is what I long to see.
A child is what I want to be.”
The morning was greeted with a very unexpected pressure. Sal dropped a box on his foot, leaving him physically impaired, Bethany woke up with the flu, and Jiana’s voice was gone. As we all know, a major YA motto is “Make it work!” That is exactly what we did! Positions were changed, people were switched, and certain numbers were edited to give Lich the best possible show we could give! A few technical sound issues ensued in the first act, but we alway make it work! Any mishaps noticed were completely overruled when the children took the stage for act two, because the focus went from the problems of the past into the celebration of the now. The children’s energy fed the YA’s the drive to carry on and deliver the passion needed to change the lives of the people in the room. There is such a visceral potential for this cast to grow to an unstoppable force of light. I can’t wait to grow with this group. Auf Wiedersehen, Lich! Next stop, Paderborn!