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15-20 December

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 5 months ago

15-20 December

To bring you up to date ...

 

Sorry not to have written since 14th December, but there wasn't a great deal to report as we were just having a mini holiday till the 19th - which I must say Jo and I really needed after the different pressures of Sri Lanka.

Diving in

Our daughter Jess arrived on the 15th evening, which was a great joy as I had not seen her for more than 4 weeks. We went with her for a two-day diving trip to Koh Phi Phi - 7 dives in 2 days! Sadly the weather was appalling - a very rough journey out - thankfully the very strong anti-sea sickness pills worked for Hags and Jess (I personally have the stomach of an ox!) Very rough water to dive into, and positively dangerous getting out of the water through the waves onto the back of the boat ladder, which was banging up and down huge distances, weighed down as one was with weightbelts and airtanks. The visibility down below was pretty poor, but we did see lots of exciting things - masses of moray eels, the Thistlegorm wreck, shoals of barracuda, a pair of huge cuttlefish, a brilliant octopus and more. When we eventually arrived that evening in Phi Phi, after a truly dangerous night dive, when the torches all faded horribly fast, we were so tired and "narked out" that we just flopped into bed at the hotel, which was a shame as I had been hoping to see how the island had recovered - but we will be back there, working, towards the end of January and will see more then. Tourism is apparently recovering well, but not all the children who were transferred to Krabi from Phi Phi after the Tsunami have yet returned - which is why we will be working in Krabi as well as on Phi Phi towards the end of the Thai Tour.

Slowly coming together

On Sunday 18th we had a good meeting with Linda Cruse (who had had to return to Thailand from England via Norway of all places, as there was insufficient fuel because of the huge depot fire which I believe spread a dark pall over London) and Somchai in Phuket Town. The Tour is slowly coming together, and we made it very clear that we wished to work in the most affected areas. We now have the first dates mapped out and the timetable will finalise soon hopefully - basically, we will be staying in Phuket working most days between 23rd December and 1st January, and then commute up to Khao Lak for gigs on 2nd and 3rd January, before our mini-break. On 10th January we will travel up to Khao Lak (the area most severely hit by the tsunami) and work there till 21st January, then moving south and working 2 days in Krabi, 1 day on Koh Jam and 2 days of Koh Phi Phi. Then we will have a 3-day recovery period on Phi Phi before we have to head back to Phuket, Bangkok, Amman and England - we will eventually get home on 3 February.

 

Hags has been practising his juggling several hours each day, and his show costume has worked out very well - red and black suit with 3/4 length trousers, and the jacket has velcro-ed in sleeves that can be ripped off to great comic effect.

 

On 20th December, we left our little room at the top of the steps behind our friends' dive shop in Kata (the steps were very exhausting, but very good for exercise!) and headed off to the Sheraton Grande Laguna Hotel on Ao Bang Khao Bay on the North West of Phuket Island, to meet Linda Cruse.

Thanks, Sheraton!

 

Linda has brilliantly arranged for the Sheraton Grande Laguna Hotel to put us up in one of their villas for the Phuket leg of the Tour, thus saving the CWI budget a lot of money, which is wonderful. It is a really beautiful hotel and they have given us our own villa, which makes life lovely and easy. There is a wonderful buffet breakfast each day over at the main hotel, and we then fend for ourselves - either eating cheaply at the little beach restaurants outside the hotel or cooking for ourselves in our well-equipped kitchen. There is a big drawing room and garden, which are ideal for rehearsals, and even a pool (though we have been so busy that as I write this today, Boxing Day morning, I still haven't had time to go in it - I hope to remedy this today as it is our Day Off, once I have got through the Diary and my office stuff.)

 

We are most grateful to the Laguna Sheraton Grande for this invaluable help. The hotel group have done a huge amount for tsunami victims in Phuket and Khao Lak over the last year, rebuilding many fishing boats, setting up community centres and replacing essential household equipment for many, many families, and we are very grateful to them for their support of the Children's World International Tour. We are going to be doing a show for the hotel children on Christmas Eve evening and a Mix 'n Mingle before Santa arrives on Christmas morning to "sing for our supper" and thank the hotel for their kindness.

A huge pile of stuff

We move our huge amount of luggage (our personal stuff, plus all of Jo and Rooben's personal stuff, Jo's costumes and props, Haggis's costumes and props, the badge-making machine and equipment, balloons, spinning plates, etc. and the 2 large parachutes - it makes a HUGE pile on the pavement before we load into the van!) into our new home. Once we are in our new villa, Jo and Rooben rejoin us, having had an exciting trip to Ko Yao Noi, a small, nearby island, for the last week. In the evening Jake arrives - he is Jo's partner, father of Rooben and our third performer for the Thai Tour. He is a bit jet-lagged, but manages to eat supper with us on the beach and discuss the show a bit before heading for his bed. There is a lot of work to do over the next two days to pull Haggis, Jo and Jake's talents into a really good show, before we start touring on the 23rd - but we have good ingredients and I'm sure the "cake" will be delicious!

 

21 December

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