I'm back, but afraid this may be my only post this week until after the opening on Saturday. It's chaotic right now as we struggle to complete the show. We haven't got a great pool of volunteers in props and wardrobe, (though the ones that are here and dedicated are awesome)! We could definitely have used the week before we finally got the crate and a few more sewers to help get this show well on its feet. Tomorrow is media day, so we're in a huge crunch to finish half the costumes and masks. On Saturday, we had 36 back to back fittings outside in the heat, but they went relatively well and now it's all minor alterations and detailing. I know we're all a little exhausted, but our spirits are still high and I know that whatever we can get to the stage will be more then the community is expecting.
On another note, the reason why I haven't written for a bit is because I was sick again. So sick in fact, that our team leader Tatiana and Director, Ed, decided it best that I visit the hospital emergency room, and thankfully I did. Whatever infection I got shortly after arriving resurrected itself violently last week and I spent a great deal of time running from bathroom to bathroom. I was so sick, tremors and dizziness, faintness and vomit, not to mention all the other gross things. Once at the hospital it all took a turn for the worse and the team there immediately hooked me up to some IV's for re-hydration while they performed some tests. All in all I got pricked about 6 times in my confused state and have all the bruises to prove it. Tatiana was amazing, very motherly as I tried to rest under some additional medication they gave to me. 5 hours later and 2 full IV bottles emptied I got the results of the tests. From what I understand, I have a severe stomach infection. The hospital crew were incredibly surprised by the amount of white blood cells I had floating around in my test samples, nearly 100 x the norm. I was given a slew of antibiotics and stomach aids and finally was able to go home. The hospital in Suchitoto isn't the most sanitary I've seen, but Tatiana was very strict in making sure that all the needles were used only once and freshly unwrapped from their protective package. I cannot thank her enough. I was so incredibly nervous and nobody spoke English, so to have an advocate there was a relief. The hospital is small, and the staff seem very knowledgeable, but with the country as poor as it is, the resources were less then desirable. There were only two toilets, neither of them had light bulbs, (cost cuts), and patients are expected to bring their own toilet paper. The kind nurse gave me her supply as I ran to the main toilet in the waiting room, to throw up in front of all the other patients with the door ajar so I could see where I was aiming. During our training we had to reenact a scenario surrounding a visit to a rural hospital where a westerner is rushed to the front of the line, taking precedence over a group of local patients including women with children and pregnant mothers. We were asked what we would do if placed in the situation. I know we all want to say that we would wait our turn, but let me tell you from personal experience that your survivalist nature kicks in. I don't know if I budded in front of one person or five, but as I was fading quite fast and dehydrated beyond belief I didn't care. Tatiana made sure I was hooked up as quickly as possible to the IV, and the entire scene is bit of a blur from then on. I drifted in and out of consciousness and awoke to different faces and voices each time, but consistently Tatiana was there in the corner, smiling and keeping my spirits up.
Things are improving with my health slowly and I'm going to stay until the end. I'm managing to keep food and water down now, and only have slight waves of nausea. I tire easily, but am doing as much as I can to keep the design momentum going. Mel is working extremely hard and Mike is also now in the thick of things having moved into the Chapel Theatre last night. It's going to be a push, but in the end after seeing the heart and soul that the kids and staff are putting into the project I wouldn't trade this experience for any other. That being said, we're all treating ourselves to 3 nights at the fancy French hotel after the opening. It'll be a well deserved reward and a chance for us all to sit back, reflect and enjoy the benefits of some pampering.
Until Opening night, I wish you all the best. Keep the sun out for us when we return next week. Ciao.