When David Barashi heard about the earthquake in Nepal, he filled a suitcase with wigs, face paint and a red clown’s nose, and boarded a plane for Kathmandu.
Jaffa resident Barashi, 39, a street theater artist and a medical clown at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, and Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, went to Nepal to pep up and bring some joy to children (and adults) injured in the natural disaster. He was accompanied by Yaron Goshen, another medical clown, and another three clowns will be joining them soon.
The trip to Nepal isn’t Barashi’s first to a disaster-struck area. “I was in Thailand after the tsunami, and I went to Haiti after the big earthquake there,” Barashi says. “About two years ago, I visited the same area in Nepal and conducted a clowning workshop for local doctors. The earthquake threw me back in time to this beautiful place that has now been destroyed, and I knew I had to be there to help.”
Since arriving in Nepal, Barashi and Goshen have been working with patients at the Israel Defense Forces’ field hospital and local medical centers too. “Despite the fact that we speak different languages, clown language is universal, and the gibberish we speak makes all children in the world laugh,” Barashi says.
One of the patients who touched Barashi in particular was a 19-year-old dancer who sustained injuries to both legs and one arm when a wall collapsed on him. “He was extremely frightened, but cheered up a little when we played with him,” the medical clown recounts.
And how do the Israeli clowns themselves cope with the gruesome reality? “We make each other laugh,” Barashi says.
Photo Credit: Photos by ddnepalmission.wordpress.com
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