(L) The Camp Doha water tower. (R) Todd and Spence hit the gym.
22 March, Camp Doha, Kuwait 0915
Another day at Doha, and it’s starting to feel like we are in a routine. Morning coffee/breakfast with John and Todd (Spencer sleeps in), email at the MWR offices, workout at the gym, lunch, then get ready for our excursion to the evening’s performance. Tonight it is Camp Navistar, about one hour from here and a stone’s throw from the Iraq border. In fact, I’ve heard we will be, technically, in Iraq (if you go by the old maps). When Saddam Hussein was thrown out of town, the borders shifted slightly to Kuwait’s advantage.
Yesterday was another huge success. We entertained an audience of about 750 at Ali Al Salem. The draw was so large, in fact, that they moved our performance out of the scheduled venue and into the PAX Terminal, where we had much more room and higher ceilings to accommodate our stunts. The metal building echoed with whip cracks, applause and laughter for nearly two hours. And, when we finished our finale (Spencer, aka “Slash,” supports a cinder block on his chest while lying on a bed of nails as John, aka “Hack,” breaks the block with a sledge hammer, swinging the heavy tool between the torches Todd and I are throwing to one another as we maintain our balance- Todd on a free standing ladder and I on a six foot unicycle!) the crowd lept to their feet!
During the handshakes that followed, we were each gifted three special coins. In the rich tradition of the Military, coins are created for high ranking officers, for special occasions, and for squadrons or bases throughout the theater. Each coin is unique and extremely limited edition. It is considered an honor to receive one, and they instantly become a valued collectors’ item. The coin is passed from giver to recipient with a subtle, understated handshake. You can imagine our delight to add three beautiful new coins to our collection!
In preparation for this trip, Spencer and John produced our own coins, commemorating the tour and incorporating the “Operation Swashbuckle” insignia. We are having great fun gifting them to the people we meet during our travels. And, they are much appreciated by those who receive them. It’s a special way to acknowledge those who are working so hard to make us feel welcome and support our performances.
Yesterday before we left I got another haircut, even shorter than the one before. It is a “number two” by military standards (zero being bare to the skin), and I’m in no danger of messing it up anytime soon.
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