We are now only a week from the competition. But lest we forget, it is not just a competition, it is supposed to be a “Festival”… don’t ask me why. Actually do. It’s because the rowing itself isn’t that important, when you consider the effect it could have on the opinions of the local community. It will act as a physical pitch for sponsorship, on both a small and large scale; it will hopefully be a day that everyone can remember for a long time and a platform the Association can use to attract more volunteers and local support. However, going on the amount of concrete preparation that has been done so far, think church fete rather than London 2012. But, as with anything here, I will be left gnawing your mosquito repellent-covered fingernails to the bone while logistics inevitably will only come together hours before the event.
The ideas I have had so far to make it more festivally, apart from rowing, food and stall for shops we are organizing, as ever not all of my ideas will be possible/appropriate:
- Face painting
- Fish a duck (we will run out of prizes for this one, everyone is very good at fishing)
- Handprints on a big banner.
- Local band playing.
- Name that local fisherman, where you have to correctly identify the fishermen amongst a line up.
- The game: Who can pronounce “James” correctly (for 6 weeks I have been “Jems”)
- Mango Chutney competition.
- Fish-gutting contest.
I guarantee at least 25% of that might possibly happen. But we do have official sponsors in Dhiraagu whose logo will be emblazoned everywhere and a friend of mine who love making films and wants to do a documentary of the rowing. And we have rowing! Which has to be the focus of course. But I have also been asked to orchestrate an “Opening Ceremony” type performance with kids slaloming in and out of buoys: I just don’t think that is going to work… but I can always claim after the event I organized one because they will be slaloming enough during the races due to their fudging poor steering.
I am limbering up for my beach cleanup. I have practiced by clearing out my room of all the hundreds of plastic water bottles whose contents have kept me alive in the tropical heat. In other news we went for a rowing group ice-cream jolly to the local playground and wannabe dairy joint after the session today, you can see how much fun I had….