maandag 2 maart 2009

Kandal Province

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Monday March 2
Saturday night we had to cancel our show due to the weather.
It was the best spectacle/ adventure one can imagine!

It started with a cloudy sky on our arrival at 4.30. 
Since Ferry had seen the BBC World forecasted showers for today we already had informed Sal yesterday on the possibility of heavy rains in Phnom Penh region. But everything was safe and dry till 6.30. The audience was already packed. 
Then suddenly the wind began swelling into a heavy one. So we decided to take down the backdrop, in order to prevent the stage from lifting and flying away. It was like trying to safe a sailing ship in a storm, by striking the sails. During this action Sina was praying vehemently for the safety of the eight people who were fighting with the big backdrop sail against the wind.
We managed, but the moment the backdrop was brought inside the community building we suddenly saw the crowd rise, scream and fly in all directions, most of them towards us: the first drops had fallen of what grew into a real heavy rainshower and thunderstorm. 
The crew was fully prepared and very to the point, their actions of saving the vulnerable technical equipment by wrapping them in plastic was great to watch.
It only lasted twenty minutes, but we had to decide not to play our show. The crew was soaked, the mats and the ground were wet, so we had to send the villagers home and ask them to come back tomorrow.
The amazing thing is that no one of the crew disillusioned. We all said tomorrow is the next day, tomorrow is the show.

On Sunday Nan and Ferry were flying back to Amsterdam. It was quiet frustrating for them but they had to leave the project and not be able to see the performance that evening in Kandal.
The Dutch closely knitted team of four from Holland was split up.
We were melancholic about that and very greatful for the harmonious way we worked and lived together.
Now, as we write this Nan and Ferry have just arrived at Schiphol and we are writing what might be our last weblog.

That evening on Sunday, when we came to the village the stage was built up again as if nothing had happened, thanks to the amazing technical crew.
Aggressive little red ants were crowling over the floor and eliminated with some sort of even more aggressive poison.
What would Budha say of this?
Millions of mosquito's were dancing in the light. Before the performance Bunny sprayed clouds of insecticide into the clouds of mosquito's as if he was spraying a solid curtain, an amazing Don Quichotte like action.

During the performance we were sitting for the first time amidst the public and that was our greatest experience of the past week. 
Children going in and out along side us, some with balloons, people discussing, an old man next to Richt and a real old woman behind us not disturbed by the noise and movement around them, in utter concentration during the whole performance.
This was a micro example of what was going on in the whole public and there must have been thousand of them, some even standing behind the stage.
We were speechless afterward.

Vutha standing in full light all evening was attacked and bitten by so many mosquito's but he went on singing very strongly. He was the hero of the evening.

After the performance the wise man of the community held an extremely emotional speech in which at the end he said "should we forgive Pol Pot?"
The wise man is the master of ceremonies for weddings and funerals in the community and is highly respected.

We were speechless when we came back to Phnom Penh. We realized that it is good to describe this happening in the weblog, but it is impossible to really make anyone who hasn't  been there to feel the fullness we have felt.

Today there was an article by Youk Chhang in the Cambodia Daily, which he must have written immediately after when he came back from Kandal.

Friendly greetings Annemarie and Richt.

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