where i am at now - March 2010

March 2010

Been volunteering as a educational teacher at Skateistan newly built skatepark and classrooms. It has been fun teaching kids, even the bad boys class. We teach them art, photography, video, design and theatre because alot of the kids are on different educational levels but art is something all levels can participate in.

An hour of skating, an hour of schooling, they seem to be eager and willing to try out new things. I get in some skating each day which is good as I have never done ramps and skate parks before so I am on the same level as most of the kids but I take it in my stride to push myself harder to learn the tricks, why not, I am at a skate school?

Should of really chased photography and film work but Skateistan needed me and this has been rewarding, fun and inspiring working with kids especially street kids. Outside of the park, you see them selling bubble gum on the street or washing car windows. They come up to you smiling and treat you like a friend. The talk about how much happier they are to go to the park and skate.

Some of the street working girls have had it harder dealing with all sorts of abuse, but when they are on a board riding down a ramp, the outside world doesn’t matter. We talk about problems in the classroom, it can shock you some of the stories children in Afghanistan have gone through but they are all looking for better days in their lives. I’ve become more so a social worker and helping to channel their past.

One kid for skateboard design drew a kid skating as the sign on the Salang tunnel entrance. The Northern Alliance leader and mujahdeen, Massoud picture resides on the Salang tunnel but as the boy explains, that skating has giving him personal freedom and hope then war heroes and fighting have. This was also the same boy whose father died in the Salang this year from the avalanche.

You watch the kids grow and form friendship and understanding with each other. You have wealthy and middle class children in the same class as working children. It took a while to break barriers but the educated kids help with the writing of the street kids. Theatre games broke alot of bonds by sharing alot about each other stories.

It been a lot of hard work in the last three months of having the school but it will hopefully pay off with festival of beautiful artwork, photography and theatre plays. As well as a very competitive skate competition.

Journal Comments

  • Pilgrim
  • onetonshadow
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