Hoop making and hoop making… The first week was just getting ready in this manner. I got to know the team, and felt a little out of place as they got the first 2 weeks together on the magical island of Koh Pangan.
After the excitement of arrival had passed, the seriousness of everything begins to settle in. We are now dealing with Burmese people who have escaped imprisonment and discussing with them. The nightmares kick in. This is during the full moon, so all of the stray dogs that surround the compound are howling through the night. If you combined with the cicada like banshee noises with the nightmares and the dogs, it becomes quite a lonely moment to live. I would wait for the moment Casa Mia opened and begin to write my letters.
We began seeing schools, the schedule increased its business as this happens, school of homeless children one day, orphans the next, the next a hospital. My Burmese and Thai increases as I learn “how are you” and “thank you” in each language. I have starting stilt walking at this point and it becomes the highlight of all of my time. Ariel has mentored me through this process and I have been able to conquer stairs, mountain sides, gravel, the dark, getting up from the ground and turning around quickly!
Alas, we had a special day that was gracious to us. Our team went to a temple school where we performed in front of a Buddha. The children were kind and gentle and sat down, and almost afraid of play! (Compared to the violent school we had days previous this was a blessing!). The monks were hooping, the grounds were surrounded by beautiful lands… What a beautiful moment with out team.
That brings us to yesterday, where we had another amazing day with wild children who mobbed us for facepaints… I learned how to say “line up” and “back up” in Burmese and it is helpful. We were dug out of a pit of children when we were leaving, for all the kids wanted their face painted.
I tried my contact juggling act last night and everyone loved it. Also, I get the chance to MC for the first time and I tried the fire umbrella! I get to play with it tonight in the show.
The team is getting ready for our largest show tonight (except the actual refugee camp) and our rehearsal is in 5 minutes. It will be a football stadium for the whole town, and we are expecting thousands of people. I will MC the show with that crazy umbrella and get to do a CJ act framed by fans. It’s hot and muggy and I need more coffee. We leave in 2:30 hours to set up and it will be a very long show!