Project Kenya 2011
Shea FreeLove and Colleen Roberts on a expedition to Kenya, Africa. Our tour is sponsored by Clowns Without Borders and the generous citizens of Arcata and Harbin. We will be spreading the smiles to orphanages, schools and will visit the village where Obama’s father was born.
Shea and Collleen took a short trip to Kenya to perform in various communities in late Janaury/early February.
Situation: The Mbaranga area in the Mt. Kenya foothills is suffering a drought and lack of clean water. Many children in the area are not able get quality education and are forced in to child labor. The expedition focused on orpanages and schools in the area giving the children cultural exposure and relief from their day to day struggles.
Participants: Coordinator, Shea Freedomhowler. Artist/Clown, Colleen Roberts
Number of Artists: 2
Number of Performances: 7
Audience Numbers: Ranging 50-1000
Audience Demographic: 6 of the shows were performed for orphanages and schools usually around 50 children under the age of 15. One show was open to the community of Mbaranga. This show had approximately 1000 people in attendance of all ages.
January 25th arrival
26 stay in Nairobi
27 leave Nairobi for Meru
28th visit a nearby school. ( 800 pupils watch the show)
29th visit another school
30th give a show to about 1000 youth and adults
31st visit my family (100 km away)
1st visit Samburu National park
2nd visit and give a show to young adults at a school
3rd shows to villages
4th leave for Nairobi
Colleen Roberts and I have been enjoying life in the Mbaranga Parish located in the Mt. Kenya foothills. I visited the same area with local clown Steven Dimon in 2009. The area has developed greatly since my last visit. They now have a clinic, 2 new school buildings, a dormitory and electricity to most of the village. Our host Patrick Mugambi is a great and generous leader. He has shown us water sources, classrooms, construction techniques, farming, and an inside perspective of the Kenyan culture.
We are surrounded by the children of the village wherever we go. There is no word for clown in Swahili, so I have begun to call myself clown when they ask my name to get the word into their vocabulary. Our shows have been very well received; the waves of laughter touching my heart as I live my dream of bring smiles to the world.
Everyone here is interested in America and wants to practice their English with me. In Mbaranga I have friends and familiar faces that want to show me their way of life and to share a cup of tea or a meal. No matter where you are in the world, people are just people, who want to laugh and love and be healthy.