Torbeck.CWB Haiti.2010

by | Dec 12, 2007 | Clowns Without Borders

the rain is coming down, and outside under the balcony, a group of the local residents, along with SarahLianne, Elisa and Brandon are singing songs in beautiful harmonies.  Here is a story that I wrote earlier this evening. No doubt in the next few evenings, the others will start adding their stories to mine…

Dec 11th, Torbeck evening.
We are staying at the rectory in Torbeck where on the balcony we create and rehearse the show that we are going to play tomorrow.  We will be winging it but we have been able to put together a loose structure that should be fun and full of humor. At 5pm we take a walk down the rocky dirt road through the neighborhood doing a little parade to announce our presence and invite the kids of the neighborhood to the rectory courtyard for a little play and workshop, which we intend to do every evening between 5 and 6 pm by which time it is completely dark.  As I type away on the balcony, Brandon is downstairs playing mandolin with hand claps accompanying alongside a local teenager who has brought a conga drum out of somewhere. We had the big parachute up which was exciting for the 40 or 40 kids and young adults who have come in. Our intent is to do a bit of the show every day and to teach little mini workshops, and on our last day here to get some of the kids to perform as well. I get surrounded by kids after doing a simple disappearance of a rock and sneezing it out my ear. I soon find myself with 20 little hands asking me to pull it out of their ear, out of their hair, out of all kinds of different places. I balance my baseball cap on my head, and then tell them that tomorrow I will teach them how to balance things. We have created some momentum that no doubt should continue through the week we are here.
There is a rough moment in our parade when a man comes up to us very upset and angry demanding to know where is our legal authorization to do our manifestation-our parade. There is strong alcohol on his breath.  He doesn’t really want to hear any explanations, he is convinced that we have invaded his country and made it our playground, basically that we are not respecting his country. He starts telling me that he cannot come to our country and do this without legal permission, so what gives us the right to do that here.  Of course he has a point, and he knows it as he tells me that he worked for 23 years abroad.  No one is going to simply let him into the US and allow him to parade down the street making music, or at least so he feels.  No doubts about it that first he would need a visa and a passport, have to get fingerprinted, photographed just to get in the country. His confrontation has gathered a little crowd.  Eventually I am able to explain to him that we are here to do shows in the schools for kids for noel (xmas)., and that we were simply coming out to play with the children and to invite them to the rectory.  He accepts my explanation, walks away telling us to go play there then. Which we do.

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