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Letting our artistic sides out!

Written on: Monday August 6th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

Monday - the start of our 9th week, and less than 2 weeks to go until we leave Australia for home again. I'm very excited, and looking forward to this week as it's the Croc Fest! The Croc Fest runs every year, and is an opportunity to get loads of kids together and teach them about health using various media, and educating them in a fun way.

The Derby Community Health Centre is running three stalls for the festival. 'Strong spirit, strong mind' is a stall to discourage the use of alcohol in the community (and as Duncan pointed out, we hope they don't think we mean liqueurs when we say spirit!), and will be run by the Mental Health team in Derby. The second stall is for information on Trachoma, a disease of the eye, and the third and final stall is the stall we're involved in - a stall to teach children about the negative effects of smoking. The children will have 15 minutes with each stall, and we will help out with the activities to teach them.

To begin with, we are planning to show a short video, starring 'Jabby' - an Aboriginal puppet, who the kids apparently will all know and love. Jabby teaches the children that he doesn't smoke, and gives reasons why. We're hoping this will go down a storm, but as ever, these things are unpredictable, so we'll just see how it goes. Following the video, Ruth and Angela, the nurses from the health centre, will be giving a brief talk about smoking, before the kids make their way over to us - the 'fresh air fairies' (oh, wonderful!). We will be applying fake tattoos, with slogans such as 'respect your culture, respect your life' and other catchy phrases, and handing out stickers and badges aplenty to really get the message across.

Anyway, with all that in mind, we had to spend today preparing all of the necessary equipment. We arrived at the Health Centre bright and early, at 9am, and got cracking on some designs for badges. Using Google images, and our own imaginations, we came up with several ideas, and produced them to be printed. The health service had provided a badge maker, and old as it was, it looked like it was going to do the job. The 'Badge-A-Minit' promised great things, but once we began making the badges, it seemed that we had been fooled. The badges weren't fastening together properly, it was a disaster! We spent all morning trying to remedy the problem, by pressing down hard, trying to turn the badges in the machine, all sorts of methods, but to no avail. Eventually we had to admit defeat, and go for lunch.

On our return, Ruth had phoned the badge machine company, and it turned out we'd been missing one vital step in the process, and with this in place, the badges were perfect! We spent the rest of the afternoon producing over 300 badges for the children. Sophie drew a fantastic poster depicting the chemicals contained in cigarettes, and by the end of the day we were pretty much ready for the festival. It will start properly on Wednesday, and tomorrow is just for registration, so we'll have an easy day yet again! Fantastic!