Hello Earth Stringband followers,
This is Sam checking in from Timor-Leste. Today was our second full day here in this beautiful, sunny country, and after a late wake up call we had a full day of music ahead of us. After all us boys went out for lunch at the Castaway (our favorite ex-pat-friendly restaurant here in Dili) we came across a local artist selling beautiful handcrafted wooden sculptures and each picked out something to bring back to Brighton. We then went back to the hotel and worked up some fresh new repertoire and geared up for our concert at Colegio Sao Jose, a high school here in Dili.
The energy that we felt from the kids at Sao Jose was absolutely incredible! Even though they were sitting down, the 200 or so highschoolers really got into the vibe once they heard some good ol’ stringband music. The entire time we played the kids were smiling, screaming, and throwing up devil horns and we all had a great time pickin’ and singin’ for everybody. Once we finished our performance some students presented us with traditional Timorese ties and we spent some time passing out Lincoln center swag, signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone before we had to rush off to the next gig, a concert at the International Stabilization Force compound.
Playing for the Aussie and Kiwi soldiers at the ISF was a great experience for everyone and also our way of saying thanks to all the men and women who sacrifice so much to serve their countries. We also had the privilege of eating with Glenn, a 32-year veteran of the Australian army. Not only was the food some of the best we’ve had in the country, we got to pick Glenn’s brain about the military history of Timor and life at the ISF. We played a concert on the back of a huge truck in a hanger on the base, and got to play Soldier’s Joy for an enthusiastic group of Australian and New Zealander soldiers. We had a great time getting to meet lots of the folks at the ISF after the gig and even though we couldn’t bring them any beer (most military bases are dry, and most military folks would love the occasional brew) we were glad to be able to bring some music and provide a little entertainment. Although we’ve only got one more day here in Timor, we’ve got another full day ahead of us tomorrow so I’d better get some shut-eye!
Thanks for reading,