Ambassador: Melanie From: Asheville, NC, USA To: Negril, Jamaica, West Indies Dates: March 2008 & January 2009 Donation: 30+
About the project
March 2008 trip: I decided to assume my role instead as an ambassador of fun, health and creativity. I knew my work in Jamaica was to spread the good word about hoops. I felt inspired to bring the positive energy that hoops can generate to the West End of Jamaica. I was connected to the Deep Blue Ripple organizers and soon became involved with the 1st Annual Kids Fair held in Negril. I was thrilled!
After connecting on Tribe.net with Hoopin’ Annie, some simple networking led to a grant from World Hoop Day. With that support, I was able to construct, transport and contribute 13 kid’s hoops. After school ended around 3pm, the kids slowly filed in to create a wild and active event! The kids recognized the Hoops immediately and in an exciting frenzy, they were quickly pros. With instant smiles and an eagerness to learn, the kids swept throughout the park like a storm! I spent 3 hours playing, teaching, laughing and adventuring with these bright-eyed and energetic sponges.
Overall, my travels taught me a new appreciation for life. As the hoop represents a sense of oneness and wholeness, I saw the children as reflective, shiny mirrors glowing back at me. The language of laughter, music, and art were global, and with the help of the hoops, we transcended through language, culture and boundaries to reach a common ground: FUN!
January 2009 trip: Melanie returns from her second Negril, Jamaican trip, partially funded by WHD. Asheville Hoops mission is, “To spread the joy of Hoop dancing to people of all ages.” What a gift to be able to extend this mission in Negril, Jamaica, W.I. She writes, “While in Jamaica, the locals loved to see the hoops. Ironically there is a recent “Dancehall Reggae” track by artist “Macka Diamond” called the Hula-Hoop. The Hula Hoop is referred to as the “ula-ooh”….
The children immediately pulled the hoops out and began to roll, spin, toss, hook and dance with the hoops, playing in new ways I had never known or expected. Many of the children in wheelchairs simply “wore” them around their chairs. Others simply held onto them as the tangible experience of the colorful tube in hand was just as blissful as hooping them on the body.”
Check out her photos of the Kid’s Fair.
Check out her orphanage trip.