Updated on October 7, 2016
“A Sea to Explore” party
We finish the summer season of Un Mare Per Esplorare with a big party. Before starting the games we make a small exhibition and take some silly photos in a photo stand that Sonia, volunteer from two years ago, has made. Then we paint faces, all, us and kids, dress in Project MARE blue and 5,4,3,2,1 the happy chaos can start! All kids are separated into groups and this evening is dedicated to travel around in different parts of the sea by doing games. Each of us is responsible for one part of the sea and therefore also one game. Radek water column. Nuria – caves. Akrem – rocks. Mimi – sand and Sonya – Posidonia. Kids have to go to each of us, do a game and collect a signature. When they have traveled all parts of the sea they get a special stamp that they have traveled everywhere and the fastest group wins a flag of Project MARE. Okay. Easy enough. But, what are the games? Radek, the water column gives kids a hard time finding seven differences in drawings of the sea and then taking a spoon in the mouth and by not using hands they have to take the water from a bowl and bring it to a glass to full half of it. What is the deep meaning, lesson behind this? I have to be honest and say that I don’t know but after since it’s a party and we are all smart after these workshops we can just play games for fun, without thinking much about it.
Then kids go to Akrem – responsible for the rocky part of the sea. Here they are faced to a slippery board and soap that they have to bring up with a stick. The faster you do it the better but soon enough kids are faced with the harsh reality that it’s not as easy as it looks. Many attempts, deep concentration, kids around holding their breaths… Finally! They do it! It’s time to complete the next task. Mimi– responsible for the sand. Here four kids are given a bottle, and a pencil tied in a string. They have to tie it around their belly and from the back put in the bottle. Little ones are very dynamic and athletic and do it right in a very short time but it’s even more entertaining to watch it from a far because it’s seems like some strange jellyfish dance.
Atmosphere grows more intense. Sun is setting down. The games are coming to an end. Screaming kids have the last two games. Sonia – responsible for Posidonia meadows. Here kids have to do a tower of cards and make it as strong as possible. This has to be done in limited time because after 30 seconds they are faced to the danger of destruction by an anchor. Which here is just a small hook while in real life anchoring really just in few seconds destroy Posidonia, the lungs of sea, the home and food supply for sea animals. As the last one we have Nuria – responsible of the underwater caves. This might be the hardest task of them all. I go to document and what I see instantly makes me think of an action film with laser maze where the person has to get through it using all the possible athletic tricks. What is happening here is not far from what I imagine. Kid takes a mirror, go through cave backwards and tries to get through the maze that all of the sticks don’t fall on him.
Some do it 5 times, some do it in the first time. Most important is that it’s fun and it makes a lot of noise! So a person who doesn’t know what it happening sees just kids running around and screaming something. We, however, know that whichever group finishes first runs to Carmela to get a stamp in the passport. Like this you have traveled all of the sea. Now it’s just question if you are the first. If you are, congratulations! Your home is now decorated with Project MARE flag! We finish the evening with a big concert of traditional Neapolitan music and certificates for all of us for being little, curious sea explorers. Then, for a proper party, moms of the kids have prepared jellyfish costumes for the girls and shark costumes for the boys. Later some of us eat and dance together and we even get some thank you and goodbye hugs from kids. In the end it’s really beautiful evening and it’s very cute watching dozens of kids running around with painted faces and dressed in costumes.