Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ethiopia 8/19/08

Today is my last day in Ethiopia and to be honest I don't want to head home. Life here has been more exciting and then I ever would have imagined. On Saturday our tour culminated in a theater performance at the Hager Fikir Theater. 700 people attended the packed show in Addia Ababa. Before performing in the capitol city we performed throughout southern Ethiopia. We used a generator to perform at some really remote places. Our tour included Awassa, Comsol, Kaka, Jinka at the market, Jinka on the airport runway in the center of town, Gaza, New York, and finally Addis Ababa. All in all in one weeks time we performed for over 11,000 people traveled 43 hours in a pretty small Izuzu bus.

Journal Entry 8/11/08

"Time to get up, time to get up the
time is 11:30". That's what John's alarm clock announces in a computer voice. So after a 10 hour bus ride- knees at my chest the entire way and a show performed in Comsol directly after the bus ride in the evening you would think that sleeping in until 11:30 would be a good thing… It would but I wrote Amharic time. I really love this about Ethiopia. When the sun rises its 12 o'clock and when it sets its 12 o'clock. There is a 6 hour difference from western time. This means that yep, I just had to wake up at 5:30am. Today is going to be a really long day… At first we head up into the mountains. At the top we all peer down, eyes wide open, and catch our first glimpse of the Ohma valley, home of one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Its bright green way off in the distance and a spot of sunlight is illuminating a section right in the middle. I realize at this moment that everyone in the bus including the 35 Ethiopian artists are foreigners. This is going to be a new experience for all of us… Many hours later we pull into Kaka and perform at the market that only happens twice a week. The town is high on a hill and people from many different tribes come to sell eggs, grain, baskets, etc. When I get out of the bus I am faced with people laughing and pointing at me. This is a first, children are really afraid of me… I sucked it up and put by best foot forward… The other circus artists stick up for me, give me handshake hugs, the tension lessens. We set up our stage and I could feel the audience fall in love with us being more and more as they watched our back flips and heard our live music. By the end of the show kids were giving me high fives and we were thanked again and again. One of the officials in town exclaimed "you brought us something that was more amazing then anything then I have ever seen on Television. More incredible is that I got to see it with my own eyes."


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