Monday, November 17, 2008

Aberdeen, SD: Oct 27-Nov 3

In Aberdeen, many of the cast attended their very first Halloween Party! We had costume contests, carved pumpkins, and got people in the festive Halloween spirit. The road staff went as Dominoes, and we had a signal, so we would periodically line up during the party, and then knock each other down. Our party was on the 30th, so people could be home on Friday night to pass out candy with their host families.

Aberdeen is the home of StoryBook Land, and though it was closed for the season, they let us come in and check out the park anyway, posing in front of the statues and scenes of many famous storybook characters.

We did our immigration simulation in Aberdeen-- we start off with people getting passports, determining their citizenship status, and then we make it interesting by electing a mayor, proposing laws, taking citizenship tests, starting businesses, getting married... it becomes more of a simulation on government and social involvement. And it inevitably gets silly, and people get frustrated because some want to take it seriously and for others, its a game where its more fun to make a mafia, or kill the mayor with a letter bomb. It ends just as things start to get out of control, and the lesson is always in the reflection and analysis of what happened, what that says about our society, and about us as a group. After three semesters, I'm still not sure the activity exactly gets to the purpose of why we try to do it, but its really fun, and I hope its valuable at least for some people.

We held a Diversity Fair at the mall, and each continent had an information booth. We held an international fashion show, had contests to guess national anthems, face painting, language lessons, Name that Flag, mini-performances from our show, and even had a "security checkpoint" where you received a passport and ID card, and were scanned with a hairbrush. It was a lot of work, but ended up to be a huge success. It was fun to make a structure that really let people be creative and have a lot of fun within it.

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