Another two shows today, but only one was organised by Muslim Aid. This was a morning session at a school in front of approximately 160 children. This was an incredibly hot, close and humid session. No actual sun but the humidity was unbelievable. Good show though in front of a eager, but again shy crowd. Quite cute in some ways but also frustrating when it comes to pulling volunteers from the crowd for the show.
Our second session was at the orphanage next door to the Green Paradise where Haggis is staying. This was a return visit for CWI as Arabella and Haggis had performed there last year. There were 51 children of varying ages, all orphaned by the tsunami. It was a pleasure to return here and the children were among the most focused, enthusiastic and polite group we have met so far. Fully eager to participate with us, this was possibly the most enjoyable for me personally so far. Plus the lady who runs the orphanage also runs Green Paradise and has offered us the use of the swimming pool whenever we would like!
Day off tomorrow – a well needed break.
Woke up to find Charlie not at all well. He thinks it’s a combination of sunstroke, dehydraytion and some coconut milk he had yesterday. I hope so as there is an outbreak of Denghi fever – not to mention Typhoid and Malaria! Anyway he was too ill to perform today so it was my job to take over!
Another 2 shows today – our final shows for Muslim Aid. The morning show was to a small group of about 50 students at a school. We were able to perform inside with plenty of ceiling fans – nice! Being a small, youngish group I was able to use the parachute and have a chance to work through some of Charlie’s material with less pressure. Together with Haggis we managed about 75 minutes that was well received by the school.
The afternoon was potentially more stressful as there were around 120 older students at an orphanage close to the Muslim Aid office. As it turned out I needn’t have worried – I found I was able to use the same material and make it more “grown up” to appeal to these older kids, and with Haggis we managed a good 90 minutes without the parachute. In fact I really enjoyed this show as I think did the Muslim Aid staff who turned up to watch!
A special mention to Diar, our translater who also had a part – whether he liked it or not!!
So our shows tomorrow are with the U.S. Consolate and we met their representative at the end of our show, when we also swapped cars!
I have to say it was sad to think we have finished with Muslim Aid today. They have been amazing hosts and have been a tremendous help throughout our financial crisis – cheers brothers!!!
Sorry – no pictures, I had too much else to do. We will eventually get some pictures from the M.A. staff, but not sure when.
Our last 2 shows in Banda Aceh. Charlie looking and feeling a lot better today but still not able to work – so just me and Haggis.
The morning show was mammoth! Around 650 students watched us perform in the heat. Exhausting but very satisfying. It reminded me of our work in Sri Lanka where these numbers were fairly common.
Our last show was a much smaller affair – around 70 children at a small community.
We also said farewell to Diar, our translator from Muslim Aid. He is an amazing chap who was able to not only translate for us but was also able to understand our warped sense of humour – he will be greatly missed!
We also say goodbye to Haggis who is off on a well deserved break diving on the island of Pulaway! He has been an invaluable member of the CWI team, not only for his amazing contribution to the shows but also for rescuing us from our financial nightmare that has dogged this trip. We will be meeting up with him again on Sunday ready for our return to England. Cheers Haggis – you’ve been great man!
We’re back in Medan and relative civilisation. We’ve only four shows left to do, and these are for our friend Karim who used to work for Muslim Aid but now works for the U.S. Consulate. The morning show was at a village school close to the city in front of 220 students. I was initial worried about the length of the show now Haggis was gone, but we still managed a good 90 minutes. It reminded me of our performances in Sri Lanka. The afternoon show was at a small fishing village for just over 100 children. Again the show went down very well and we were presented with a glass plaque as a thank you for our efforts – very touching. Both shows were being used to attract the children to a presentation by the Indonesian Red Cross who are promoting the new 118 emergency call service. After the show the children are invited to look around their ambulance!
Our final two shows in Sumatra! Both shows were excellent, and went down a storm. They were both very close to our hotel in Medan. The morning event was huge – over 500 students watched us perform in the heat with very little shade for them or us. They didn’t seem to care though.
The afternoon show was a smaller affair, around 120, but just as worthwhile. We parked at the roadside on a main street, walked down some steps, turned a corner and walked into “poorville” – quite a contrast! As it was our last show we crammed as much into it as possible (though we had to break for about 15 minutes for the calling to prayer). This included parachute football, my magic thumbs, and a rendition of “Don’t worry, be happy!” on the ukelele! We left the village dripping in sweat, but very satisfied with a job well done!
So we have managed a total of 34 shows in this time period. 27 for Muslim Aid, 6 for the U.S. Consulate, and 1 for the Green Paradise orphanage.
By my rough calculations we have managed to reach a total of 5261 people on this tour!!
Congratulations to all involved – and that includes our families at home who let stay away for so long!!
This completes the diary – we have 2 days to wait before we get to fly home. I personally can’t wait to see my wife and kids again – my time here has made me realise just how lucky I am!