3/27/10 Croix des Bouquets Orphanage sponsored by UNICEF.
One of our tougher shows, maybe because we’re exhausted, maybe because these kids are struggling with loss that goes beyond our comprehension… The kids liven up as the show goes on, their faces brighten and smiles come onto their faces, and though they are a quieter group, they are still responsive and seem to be with us. After the show, they ask to take a photo with us. There is a disabled boy in a wheelchair in the corner and when they gather the kids together, he is still there. So I ask if we could move the kids, or bring him over, and one adult and 2 kids try to push his chair, but the tent we’re in is on gravel, so the chair won’t roll. And then I see that his chair is completely broken. Each time someone tries to push it, the wheel is splays out to the side. So between 4 of us we lift the chair and bring it into the group of kids for the photo. He tells me shyly his name is Jean-Pierre. He seems both pleased and embarrassed by the special attention but smiles for the first photo and sticks out his tongue for the second.
3/26/10, Croix des Boquets Tent camp show.
A crowd of about 150 kids and adults but more and more gather as we do the show. A couple of soldiers come over and watch. One of them gets to laughing so hard, he actually drops his assault rifle. This is a little unnerving, but kind of awesome at the same time. A couple of the older kids tease him. During one of our silly dances, the cutest little boy (hes got to be about 2) jumps up with us and puts us all to shame with his moves. The crowd goes nuts. We talk to the soldiers afterward and find 2 of them are from Pakistan and the other is from Nepal. Venezuelans soldiers were overseeing the last tent camp we were at and we are supposed to perform at another later in the week sponsored by the Cuban military. I just had no idea how global of an effort this is. There are military and volunteers here from all over the world, and yet the needs and organization required to rebuild and get people shelter is so overwhelming.