Heading South

Today, I’m off to Zimbabwe with Proto-type. We’re performing our show Third Person: Bonnie and Clyde Redux in the Harare International Festival of the Arts. Today has been a day of packing up our excess luggage (which has all the props needed for the show and a few bits of technological kit), discussing logistics of being in sub-saharan Africa, and being a bit silly/giddy as we wait for flight later this evening. Gillian bought a new eye mask:

We are flying on Emirates from Manchester to Dubai and then on to Harare, with a stop (but no plane change) in Lusaka. The flight to Dubai is 7 hours and the flight to Harare 9 hours so we’re going to be in transit for a long time. Being optimistic that I might avoid watching bad rom-com’s on the inflight entertainment system, I bought two books:

One, is my slightly arty fiction and the other is my slightly accesible academic book that relates to my research. I’ve opted not to bring my iPad (or any portable technology beyond my mobile phone), so I’m optimistic I’ll actually read these things.

Having never been to Africa before, I’m super excited and feel really lucky to be going under the auspices of the British Council, who have partially funded our participation in the festival. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the shows in the festival – there are about 30-40 music acts and about 20 theatre pieces, along with spoken word, dance and workshop events. It is a massive festival. How lucky to be invited. Now I just have to hope they love the show as much as we do.

Being ever cautious, and after reading a few guidebooks that offer some horror stories of not finding basic supplies, we’ve over-prepared ourselves in terms of first aid:

Call me paranoid, but I’d rather be prepared. There is an entire other first aid kit that isn’t even in that image…

I’m hoping to be able to blog a bit about my time there as it happens, but not entirely sure how much access I’ll have to the internet. This is a totally new adventure. Ready for it to begin.


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