Germany October 2016 Report – Cologne Germany – “Almost Bombed Out Drum Circle”

Hello My Friends,

It is not uncommon that a WW II aerial bomb is uncovered from time to time during a construction project in Germany. I believe every large metropolitan fire department in Germany has an active bomb squad.

They recently had converted an old airport into a park in Berlin, but weren’t too sure that they had totally cleaned up the area of all buried munitions, SO, although you can enter and use the park, your not allowed to put tent stakes, or umbrella poles into the ground or do any digging... Just in case. {]]’;-/   BOOOM!!!
I’m in Cologne and just finished what was to be a simple community drum circle that wasn’t so simple. 
There was a bomb alert just before we were to meet Nikolas Geschwill at one of the schools in Cologne he serves. The police cleared out the population and barricaded the streets surrounding the area, as the bomb squad did their work. Nikolas's school, “Stadtgymnasium’ was just outside that area, but the entrance to the school was just on the other side of the police barriers blocking the street.
We talked the police into letting participants pass through the barriers and immediately turn left into the school driveway because the gym, where the Drum Circle was to be held, was not technically in the danger area, but could only be accessed by car through that driveway.
YEA!! Our Drum Circle was not Bomed Out.
Nikolas Geschwind, a many time 3-day Playshop graduate as well as a 6-day graduate, is our local organizer for Cologne on the Germany DrumAbout tour. He works under the umbrella of a prominent music school, called "Carol-Stamitz Music Schule Porz.” He had designed a trailer for them that holds 170 instruments. He drives the trailer around the Cologne school system and does programs with youth 15-18 years old, special needs populations and refugee kids. 

Nikolas used our "Family Friendly" community drum circle at the school, as a way to bring all those populations together at once. Although it worked and we had a wide variety of the community attending the circle, when he told his refugee kids to "bring your parents and come to the drum circle", they only heard  “come to the drum circle.” So a gang of them show up to the event UNSUPERVISED!!!
About half of the refugee kids, the older half, sat in the circle and participated while the other half ran around the circle being “Random Factors” during the first part of the event. So my Drum Call was a little chaotic, while I had Ben doing kid control around the edge of the circle.
After drum call, the kids settled down into the circle or went home, leaving us with only 3 or 4 manageable Random Factors instead of 12. Ben, Nikolas and I then co-facilitated what was a pretty nice community drum circle event.
Whenever Ben or Nikolas jumped into the circle, I sat with the two media people on the gym bleachers, (one radio guy and a newspaper writer), and described to them what the facilitators were doing and why. Both of the media guys had planed to stay for the first fifteen minutes, get their interviews and get out. But they were intrigued by what was happening in the DC and stayed for the whole event.
As the crowd was breaking up and helping us “Roady” the drums back into the GEWA Drum Van, I told the media guys to interview the participants about their experiences. They did.
As we drove out of the school driveway, past the police barriers, we saw all the people on the other side of the barriers still waiting to get back into their homes. We realized that we had missed an opportunity to send someone to the police barriers to invite all those people to come the drum circle and play with us while they waited for the bomb squad to give them the OK to go back home.
Life is a dance….  Arthur