We had joined a group of volunteers once already at the refugee camps in Tunisia in early 2011 and I wanted to go back and do more! I wanted to make it happen, but my wise husband said wait for the Lord to open the door. I didn’t have to wait long before I got a call from a woman with the British Red Cross.
She said that she wanted to present the ‘hygiene message’ at the transit camp in a memorable way. I had no idea what that meant, but I was thrilled and willing!
That picture shows what was happening the first day I was supposed to clown. During the night, the blowing wind and sand was so bad that anything that wasn’t tied down was blown around. It must have been awful to have flying objects hitting the outside walls of the tents throughout the night.
When they finally said it was okay for Mimi to come, there was still a lot of sand blowing in the air. A couple workers went out to the family tents to get the children and lead them to this main tent. Everyone, and everything, was covered with sand! They had to protect their faces as best they could while outside; imagine a blizzard with sand instead of snow!
I kept my head down as I followed the feet of the person leading me from the car to the tent. I hoped my hat, wig, false eyelashes, and nose wouldn’t blow away!
I was scheduled to be there four days. We didn’t even present the hygiene message the first day; we focused on fun and forgetting the terrifying sand storm during the night. After the first day we got more serious about discussing and demonstrating proper hand washing techniques and good hygiene in the camp. We worked with all the refugees, not just the kids.
In spite of the weather, I was grateful to be there for so many reasons. I knew I was sent there for those kids after that stormy night. And God blessed me! Notice the woman taking a picture of Mimi in the next picture…
She wrote an article for the Red Cross about Mimi the Clown presenting the hygiene message. (See Red Cross Hygiene Message ) It was a miracle! At that time, I needed to prove that I was working, and that article was third-party proof! Hallelujah!
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- Tags: Clown Stories, clowns, hygiene message, Mimi and the Red Cross, refugee camp clown, Tunisia