March 15 2010
Saturday we were so exhausted. Okay, Leah still had a little energy but I was seriously stomach sick and Dave was exhausted too. After 7 days in a row Sunday on our off day we went to the beach, and it was beautiful and we thought we felt better but that night Dave got real sick.
So today, Monday 3/15 Leah and I went out without Dave. First stop the Delmas hospital, the Cuban hospital, full of Cuban doctors. All the hospitals we’ve done are mostly tents but this one was all building and looked strong as a rock still. It was packed hundreds of people waiting in a few crowded lines and all the wards are jammed. Lots of doctors and nurses, clean too.
I chose a place for us in front of a a thick band of seats with about 150 small kids and parents. But it was a difficult show. People crowded in on us immediately, soon blocking the view from the seats and cornering us in. One guy was kind of hassling me. We missed Dave for show strength to power through the difficult conditions. Over 200 people they had some fun, but not as much as usual, and I don’t think the a lot of people in back saw much.. The amplifier wasn’t working either.
Second hospital, Hospital D’esporir in Delmas 75. We had a really nice show with people laughing like crazy. Only about 50 people. Then we visited the tents to entertain the people who can’t move. Medium sized camping tents with 3 or 4 patients in each. As usual lots of amputees and lots of wounds and lots of people with immobilized legs with big sequences of metal apparatus sicking out of their skin to hold it all straight.
There brought us into the director’s air conditioned office. She asked if we could go do a show in an orphanage. No we’ve received several invitations to shows here and there and turned em all down because Handicap International is bringing us to multiple hospitals every day and we’re exhausted and sick from so much work. But we were finishing early and this was Leah’s last and we decided to go for it. So we ploughed on over, about 85 people, mostly small children, plus a group of seriously handicapped older kids. A kid came up and started grabbing our stuff. He had a tattered rope around his ankle. The caregivers took him, put him back in the crowd and tied the rope to a cement block. An older handicapped kid who didn’t speak and had little stumps for legs, but moved around on the ground like an orangutan, came in to the show. I played with him a bit and spun a lasso around him.
March 13 Port Au Prince
I think we went too hard this week at the hospitals Today was our seventh day in a row. I got stomach sickness during the night and Leah and Dave are completely exhausted too. We did shows at two small tent hospitals, Petionville and Merlin, and toured a few tents. It was boiling hot. Lots of amputees of all ages in our small audiences. Leah and Dave finally got going with some fun improv at the second show. We left Leah performing by herself for about 15 minutes while we went to get stuff.
I was called in try to bring a smile to a recent arm amputated three year old. I was succeeding for a while but then Dave came in with his big hat on and the kid got scared again. We also entertained a small group of amputated gangster type young men. They were a little difficult as well. We’re entertained dozens of freshly amputeed people every day here. The people laughed a lot but they weren’t our best shows. Even after showers (the water is back on!) we still are sitting around completely drained and shell shocked. Tomorrow is an off day! We were thinking of offering to do a show on our off day at Cite Soleil with Simone. But now we know we need the off day to recover from exhaustion and illness.
The security guard at the house here asked me for our tent. Even the employees of the NGO’s are living in the street with their families.