Getting there: Feb 21-23

February 23, 2010

I’ve escaped the stuck in transit no seats available 2 day wait at Tokyo aiport, and after a good hike through the interminable hallways of the Bangkok airport, I have finally arriving last night in Yangon. From freezing cold to very hot, from not much to do to a full schedule.

Planning and meetings today with EMDH. A little bit of an adventure to find the office. But now, in the space of a half hour, my empty day tomorrow has been filled with two shows with the Brave Heart organization in two education centers.

Flight to Mandalay on Thursday with shows and workshops in children’s institutions. Then back to Yangon for many shows and workshops. AS I write, there are two other Clowns Without Borders teams on the road in Myanmar. The French and Swedish teams are busy performing in Monastic schools and other institutions for, no doubt, lots of laughing children.

February 21, 2010

Yes Yes, on my way, just a little snag here in Tokyo as flight to Bangkok gets cancelled due to mechanical problems with the aircraft. What I didn’t realize is that I am traveling at the peak of Chinese New Years-everyone going home after the holidays, and so everything is full full. A wonderful exercise in frustration, and how to cope without falling into angry madness as no one has any answers. Please call our reservation desk in the morning, and sure enough it is literally impossible to get through on the phone. However a short bus ride back to the airport from the anonymous hotel they put us up in turns out to be a great idea. Navigating a maze of asking where can I find the United desk (which doesn’t open until later in the day), leads me, and a new found friend, Donna, who is going to Thailand to do public health work, in front of two United agents who are at an unmarked counter. They are so kind and polite, and thankfully they really work at it to snag a seat for each of us on very full flights, and in my case not even a partner airline, and the last seat on the plane.

So if it all works as planned, I still arrive in Yangon in time to start on time! Shows and workshops are the planned activities. First in Mandalay, and then in Yangon. I’ll be continuing work I started last year with Activity Facilitators (who go into childrens institutions, training schools), using clowning/expressive humor exercises to offer the children opportunity to open up a space for personal expression. Working in Myanmar is quite special and unique. Unfortunately the situation does not allow for an easy flow of communication, so I really have no idea what lasting impact the training with the Activity Facilitators last year has had. The only way to really find out is to go there, and that is what I am doing. HOpefully it has been very positive, and there is good reason to continue and extend the training. I will know more when I am on the ground there.

In any case, on top of the training, I will be doing plenty of shows for the children , and there I have no doubts about the value of the work. I will be posting to this blog as long as the internet cafes will allow, and even photos if I should be so lucky. Now it is Airport hotel world. It is rather cold here and yet in Burma it is stifling hot. This world sure is an amazing place!!

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