In case you, our family, friends and faithful followers of this blog, have come to the conclusion that the singers have been on vacation, I am going to dispel that illusion very quickly! This tour has not been a holiday - the Choir has been the finest ambassador any city, province, country could ever hope to send abroad. Their "free" days were free only from singing. Most of those days were spent graciously accepting the "gift" of visiting shrines, temples, castles, museums when they might rather have been sleeping, resting or having some "down time" alone. Then there were the challenges of travel - on at least 3 occasions, our larger luggage had to be sent by truck (no room on the trains!) and so the Choir carried their music, their concert costumes and other incidentals as we climbed the stairs of rail stations and hustled into the train cars whose doors open for only 2.5 minutes to allow passengers to disembark and others to embark but we all made it! Our mantra of "patience, tolerance and flexibility" was put to the test many times.
But then, there were the performances...sitting in the lobby at the first performance in Tainan, Taiwan, I heard the audience respond to the Choir with cheers and thunderous applause. I felt like a very proud "Mom" whose kids have done well! And they did this over and over again. There wasn't one performance that didn't measure up! The audiences in Japan have been just as appreciative - the lineups for Jon's autograph after the concerts, the number of photos people have taken of themselves with the singers - we have about 8 CD's of photos taken by the people in Izumo alone. Yes, they've had some good times but they've also done Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada proud - Thank you, Vancouver Chamber Choir!