(L) We did a bit of entertainment for the guard at Camp New York. (R) The most remote Green Beans Coffee we have seen yet.
21 March, Kuwait
Greetings from Kuwait, where the skies are endless blue and the price of gas is 17 cents per gallon! It is Monday, just after 0900. We slept in later than usual after last night’s performance and missed breakfast this morning.
Yesterday, we spent most of the day here at Camp Doha, our home base. We’ve developed a consistent routine of eating, exercise and other diversions to pass the time and enjoy the surroundings. We also moved to new living quarters and they are a step up from where we had been staying.
At 1500, Brody picked us up in the SUV and Larry followed behind with the pick up truck carrying our equipment. For about an hour or so, we headed out for a strange journey into the desert. We traveled until we had passed the “graveyard” of Iraqi tanks, (relics from the 1991 invasion), and many herds of camels and we officially arrived at a camp called “Middle of Nowhere,” or “Camp New York.” On the way into camp, we even did a special performance for the guards at the gate. These soldiers were unable to leave their posts to enjoy the show so we brought the show to them.
With nothing to obscure the horizon, the desert sunset was stunningly beautiful.
It was hard to imagine now why we have a base in such a location, until we learned that this was a strategic staging area for troops and equipment prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The day we arrived, many troops had shipped out to new assignments, leaving a skeleton crew to manage operations. The entire base is being dismantled and we are officially, the last act to perform at this camp.
The show took place inside the “briefing tent” and we played to about 100 people. The crowd was so ready to laugh they almost beat us to the punch lines. We added many improvisations to the script and had as much fun amusing each other as the audience. This show is getting so tight, as we are constantly finding new levels and new ways to enhance each others’ performances.
The international news we are hearing seems surreal. Yesterday, we learned of a bombing in Qatar (where we just were), another in Ramadi (where we are going soon), and a flood in Kabul (where we almost went) which killed over 200 people. We also learned of a 7.0 earthquake in Japan. We are following stateside news as well, and that has been disturbing. All things considered, this seems as good a place to be as any other.
Tonight we perform at Ali Al Salem. All week we will be moving the act closer and closer to Iraq. Our last Kuwait performance will be just 100 yards away from the border between these two countries. On Thursday, we strap on our body armor once again and fly into the Iraqi interior.That is the experience we are all looking forward to as we will be going into the “hot zone.” We know this is where laughter is most needed. Also, we can’t help but realize we will then be in the home stretch of this incredible experience.
I’m really looking forward to getting back to my family and to my future speaking engagements. I am anxious to tell the story of what I’ve seen and of the incredible effort on display here every single day.
(L) A most gorgeous sunset and (R) the Briefing Tent at Camp New York.