Tuesday October 19, 2010
Today is our day off and we needed it. We are all in good spirits and ready for this next week of performance. Yesterday we performed for over 2,000 children, 1,800 at one show! It was at a catholic school and when the performance was over a nun blessed us on our journey, it was heart warming and much appreciated because from there we went to two IDP (internally displaced peoples) camps.
The conditions were brutal. Children were wearing clothes that were really distressed, those that were wearing any clothes at all, and many had gashes or wounds that were unsettling. They had cuts that if treated with something as simile as topical ointment would have healed quickly but without this simple medical attention many of them had abrasions and wounds that may permanently scar. The second camp was the most notorious in Jacmel. The mayor of Jacmel has placed the camp in the hands of the Venezuelan army, a decision that has resulted in high numbers of prostitution and violence.
The children crowded us with curiosity and want, they wanted to play our instruments, hold our hands, they had a deeper want for attachment or connection to us than we have felt thus far. It was difficult to leave that camp knowing what we were leaving behind. But as our cars pulled away we heard the children chanting,“bonjour dlo, bonjour savon, owevwa mikwob!” “Hello water, hello soap, goodbye germs,” We had left them with a lasting message explained through laughter. The rest of this week we will be performing in more camps like that one. It will be challenging psychologically but having today to rest and re-energize will serve us and the children well.