Was it because he was here against his will, was it because he believed no one would give him the time because he could not read or write or was it because he was always told he was unless and was a no good for nothing? Whatever it was he would not get involved, refusing to take part in everything.
The day started at 09:00 and ended at 16:00, time was running out and I was not about to give up on him, so I sent the group off with my partner to play some nature awareness games while I stayed with him and a member of staff.Sitting on the log, he was silent as I tried to encourage him to try his hand at the Bow Drill, I reminded him that no one was around to see him, after sometime he agreed to make an effort and he half heartily tried to bow from the bench he was on. I suggested it would be better if he tried it on the ground, during his attempts at bowing I kept saying to him that it was OK to ask for help.
He did not respond to this, in the end I asked him if he would like me to help him, if he would like me to show him how you can bow in tandem, he agreed and so I got down on the ground with him. We bowed long and hard, the air was damp but we kept going, time was running out for us, the end of the day had come. However we were so close to getting a coal, I extended the time a bit. Offering further encouragement while the rest of the group watched we started to get smoke, boy did we get smoke lots of it. Unfortunately we did not get fire and the day had come to an end and the kids had to go. I shook his hand and gave him lots of positive reinforcement by summarising what he had achieved and how close he was to getting fire the way our ancestors did and how there were very, very few people in the world could what he had just done.
Some days later we received feedback from the organisers, at the end of their two week course with the kids (who were all excluded from school), the only feedback he gave them about the course was a wonderful drawing he did of himself doing the Bow Drill, my partner, myself and Merlin my Eagle Owl and of course there was a fire with plenty of flames coming from it.
I found this very interesting and encouraging in that while we did not get fire on the day, a part of him believes he can do it and that for me bolds well for his future. I can only trust that he has found his way safely in life and that the power of the bow drill and the fire will give him the encouragement he needs in times of trouble.