On July 4, I went with the M68 team to the Children’s Cancer Ward in Baguio City, Philippines. There, I entertained the kids with balloon animals. It was emotionally heartbreaking to see the kids there, but their spirits, for the most part, were quite high. I visited kids with hospital masks on their faces who were lying in bed. I made balloons for kids in rooms that limited human contact. Parents for several of the rooms approached me with kind requests that I make a balloon animal for their sick child. I couldn’t help them all, especially since we weren’t cleared to be at some of the wards.
I know it’s cliche, but there’s something to be said about the line “I came to teach, but the kids ended up teaching me.” In this case, I thought I would be the one inspiring the kids. But really, they’re the ones who ended up inspiring me with their inner strength and courage. In the end, I wished I could have done more than just balloon animals… but maybe that was all they needed right now.
A great thing about being a clown, though, is that it helps lighten up the mood immeasurably. Someone in our group mentioned that the nurses were rather strict an procedural at first, but when they saw the clown, it was all smiles and, hey, no problem, they’re here for the kids! It was rather fun taking pictures with the staff.