Morning meeting in Charing Cross with Matt and Patrick, who's back from Malawi for a couple of weeks. What started as discussion about possible partnership two years ago is now hurtling to fruition, with our first cohort of Applied Theatre students due to work with Tfac in Lilongwe in eighteen months time.
It looks as if the time is ripe for a second visit, following up on Matt and my initial trip in Spring 2008. This would enable us to put in place a 'buddy' system linking our students with members of the Tfac team and enable a year long induction process to evolve using video postcards and the sharing of best practice. All of us are keen to avoid the facebook OMG! type exchanges, but there is some room here to really use blended learning and begin to provide a genuine context for the placements in 2011.
With this in mind we're thinking of sending a St Mary's student out in one of the reading weeks - either November or February, to meet the Malawi team, the British Council and to provide the rest of the group with a point of contact - either Matt or myself would accompany them to help with the orientation of this ambassadorial role.
Patrick has been working on the disused stables in the Tfac house and they will now serve as a rudimentary sleeping block for us. It's very exciting to be able to introduce students to Theatre for Development through this amazing hands on experience.