Tour Reflections by Lois Lally
Why are you here?
‘What is your purpose here and where are you staying?’ The usual two questions that help determine how easily you will be allowed into a foreign country. As I explained that I was travelling as a member of a small theatre company to attend a conference about human rights and gender specific persecution, I realised that there was no need for me to feel nervous about the purpose of my visit to Toronto. Standing there at the border control desk, it struck me early on that our aim was understood, welcomed and encouraged. Minutes later, the Endeavour 831 team officially set foot on Canadian soil!
Hi! We are the Endeavour 831 Canada team :) (from left to right, Alegria, Vicki and me, Lois.) Thanks for following along with our adventures! To give you a quick overview of our team, Vicki and Alegria have been friends and have worked together for 5 or so years now, I'm the newest member, having joint the team in the last 9 months. We spent about 20 hours rehearsing together in preparation for our Toronto trip, all the sketches performed were taken from Vicki’s BA dissertation production. We cope with stress/pressure by hugging Alegria (much to her horror), by dragging Vicki onto frozen lakes (she coped surprisingly well) and tolerating Lois’ many ‘penguin’ moments (squeaks, flapping arms and all). We come alive when someone mentions C-O-F-F-E-E.
There’s a glimpse of the Endeavour 831 bonding time for you :)
The Sound of Silence
Our second day in Canada was the beginning of our purpose being accomplished. We travelled to Toronto to attend a conference that centred around topics of Human Trafficking, Social Injustice and Gender-Based Religious Persecution, in order to perform a series of sketches that make an impactful visual contribution towards the tragic facts that were being addressed. Our purpose was to illustrate in some form, the reality of human vulnerability and exploitation.
As we arrived at the headquarters of the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) office and quickly warmed up for our first set of dramas, I felt nervous and unsure of myself. As the newest member of the team, I was worried about the details - forgetting my lines, getting a movement wrong, etc. As the pre-performance adrenaline kicked in, the VOM staff seated themselves around the room, some sitting in the stairway, some on the floor. These people devote their lives and careers to making the voices of hurting Christians heard. They understand the facts, the statistics, the stories that tell of religious persecution.
And so, we performed. Ten minutes later, we finished in silence.
Before joining Endeavour, I thought people were supposed to clap when a performance ends. Well, not always… As the week went on and we performed many more dramas, it happened over and over again.
Silence. Throughout the week, I learnt that the sound of silence speaks volumes. Silence made room for a voice that represented the unspeakable pain that victims of injustice choke upon every hour of every day. The people at the VOM office, the people at the conference, the people who give all their time to research these topics - they saw the facts that they work to provide come alive in artistic interpretation and as they saw, the silent voices of the hurting were heard. I realised that the details I was worried about were invisible in comparison to the strength of the message that Endeavour 831 was delivering.
We were sitting at a table surrounded by people who won’t stop reaching for the world to change.
Endeavour 831 Tour Highlights
The encouragement with which Vicki’s drama company and productions were received!
Quality team time: cute coffee shops, snowy walks, trying poutine, etc.
Meeting incredibly inspirational women and having opportunities to hear about their work, their stories, etc.
Debriefing at the end of the week with the conference leaders, in a cottage right next to Lake Simcoe.
For more information about this trip or to ask about future projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org