December 10th, 2014: Lebanon South

The past two days we’ve had five more excellent shows here in the South of Lebanon. Yesterday we drove from Jezzine easy into the Beqaa Valley, the central agricultural area of the country.  As we get further from the coast up to higher elevation, the weather gets colder and we had a bit of reason in the morning well. Nonetheless in the village of Qaraoun we found about 200 kids gathered in a rec center and had a spirited performance and good response. Here’s the MAG folks talking to the kids about mines:

At noon we drove to a school in Yohmor and were shown a small lecture room where we were told the show would be. We asked if we could perform in a wide corner of the hallway instead so that all the children could attend one show.  This was eventually agreed to and we had one of our best shows yet for well over 200 animated kids. At one point I used the surroundings to my advantage and during a slapstick bit I slid headfirst down a nearby staircase.

In the evening we did a special show (sans landmine lecture section) for an orphanage near Jezzine. Sabine’s aunt is the director there and the group of about 40 kids seemed happy for the novel distraction.
Today we played to large crowds at two schools in the Beqaa, though we had some trouble organizing the first group, who were at recess, kids seem to focus in once the Clown parade begins. This afternoon we drove further south down to Maarjayoon, where we are staying tonight.
Feeling good about the trip now that we are  consistently getting to perform two or three shows a day. This stretch of Lebanon is very beautiful, with amazing rock formations, mountain views and even waterfalls! Someday when the wars of the past decades fade and the last landmine is cleared, this region may be a discovery of Western tourists. I feel lucky to get to come here with a project making a small contribution to hastening that day of peace.

…Note, all the photos we have right now are from cell phones. specifically I’ve only been able to posts snaps I sneak during parts of the show where I’m not performing…But we do have an excellent Spanish photojournalist named Diego with us… Here’s him with Sabine (and my finger):

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