Mazatlan: January 22 - Day 5

by Rebecca 22. January 2015 23:32

Stone Island

To get to Stone Island, you have to take a tiny boat and in total it's about 45 minutes to an hour, to arrive.


Jorge brought two clowns, one of them had participated in our recent clown class and Jorge wanted them to get some "on the job training." They didn't dress as clowns but we reviewed skits upon arrival at the colonial and then they reviewed balloons animals and watched the face painting.


After reviewing the skits and magic quickly, I assisted in communicating our arrival to the neighborhood.

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One of our stops brought us to a house with a little boy who was about 1 years old and absolutely fascinated with my nose. He attempted several times to jump out of his mother's arms and grab on to my nose. I did see him later on, with his family, they arrived at the colonial when the food truck arrived for burgers. Each time that I saw him though, his whole face lit up.

When I finished participating in communicating the team's arrival, I walked through the medical clinic and heard a boy attempt to get my attention. Apparently, he didn't see me when I first walked through. He did have special needs but it seemed that he had managed to steal the hearts of every individual in the community. He would walk up for face painting and immediately be allowed to cut in front of the line. He would walk towards the children and they would invite him to join their game of "Duck, duck, goose."

Additionally, there was a little boy in a wheel chair. Every time I saw him, he wore the biggest smile. One of my favorite moments was watching a team member help him participate in the various games. They would play "Duck, duck, goose" and the team member would push the wheelchair around the circle to enable him to participate in all of the fun.


There was a little boy whose mother wanted his face painted like a lion. However, he initially seemed to afraid so they settled on a frog painted on his arm. However, as I would paint various individuals faces he would watch me, absolutely memorized. After several minutes, his mother decided that he could totally handle getting his face painted. By that time, he had decided he was intrigued enough to allow me to paint his face like a tiger.


There was a little girl who was absolutely adorable. She told one of the other volunteers that she wanted to be picked up. The volunteer felt extra special, only to immediately be told that she really wanted to see the clown. But the volunteer could not walk directly to me, he had to walk all the way around so she could muster up the courage to talk with me. She did let me hold her only to immediately ask for her face to be painted (by that time all of my sponges and paint brushes had fallen into the dirt and were so disgusting, I had to put the paints away in favor of other activities). I apologized and told her that I could make her a flower balloon instead. She pouted and did her best to make me feel absolutely guilty before finally agreeing. Upon receiving the flower, she immediately used it to hit anyone nearby but she was so excited by it. She stayed close to me as long as possible until she was called in to see the doctor. However, she kept escaping to run and see the clown. Upon one of her escapes, she tripped and fell - not only scraping her knees but getting bitten by fire ants. At that point she did go see the doctor, crying the whole way. Not long following, I had to go in as I had managed to find a fire ant or two myself and needed some kind of cream. After I was given hydrocortisone cream, I looked over to see my friend. Upon seeing me, she started crying and pointed to her various band-aides. I showed her my medicine and began putting it on my hands (honestly, way, WAY too much medicine which only made it more comical). Through broken Spanish stated that it was ok and the clown had to take her medicine too. At that point, it seemed to calm her down. As if, "everyone has to take their medicine, even the clown."

Just before the clown show began, the last clown that I knew would be performing with us arrived. He, Irroberto, had stated he would be leaving work at 4 and would arrive as quickly as possible. So, I was impressed that he arrived at 3:50 pm. We did a very hurried job in painting his face and then threw him into the show.


He had never seen the magic tricks or skits, but he jumped in. I was so happy to see how excited he was to be a part of the clown team. Additionally, I handed over the reigns to the Mazatlan clown team for the entire show. They ran it and played all of the major parts - aside from explaining things hurriedly to Irroberto.

Following the clown show, there was a little boy whom I had painted his face earlier in the day who stopped to give me a hug. I hugged him back and from that moment on for the rest of the evening, he would go out of his way, sometimes passing me 3-4 times (unnecessarily) just to receive a hug.

Finally, there was a little girl who ran up to me as I was handing out candy before leaving. She showed me her cell phone which had a picture from 2 years ago (the last time I was at Stone Island). In the picture, I was holding a baby. The little girl exclaimed, "She is here! She is here! The baby is here!" So I walked with the little girl to her family and greeted the mother and the baby. We attempted to take several photos with the picture and she actually smiled in several. However, after several times, I felt bad and I had a large group of kids that were then surrounding us, all asking for candy. So, I apologized and thanked them for showing me the picture and for letting me see them (well, as best as I could. I may have just said "Gracias" a thousand times). Anyway, the mother was determined to enable me to have a picture. So not 2-3 minutes after I moved closer to the colonial for better light (it was now after 6 pm), she appeared. She had us retake the picture, hiding behind the baby because by then the baby girl decided that she did not like me anymore and began to cry. So, about the only way we could take the picture was for the mother to hold the baby, hide her face (which I would have loved to have the mother in the picture but she was determined), and for me to stand close to them. But it worked.

It was wonderful to see how a moment from 2 years ago, still meant so much to that family. So much so, that they wanted me to have a picture of their baby girl to remember. Each moment that we take for granted in a day, has the potential to immensely affect the people around us. It was a powerful reminder to me to not take moments like that for granted.

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Why Clowns?

Whether it is in a hospital, memory care facility, at a charity event, or walking down the street, that moment when most individuals see a clown they smile, regardless of age or culture. Clowns almost universally help create smiles. There is something about the gift of a smile and laughter that helps improve our spirits, relieve tension, and can inspire us to hope.

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