Click Here for Newsletter 2002

World Concert Tour 2001

 
 
Dear Friends, 
   My thoughts have been with you often on this two months tour and I am very grateful for the small internet cafe here in Cyprus, where I finally get to write to you. Now I am in the seventh week of my tour and in about 10 days I will fly home to Missouri from Istanbul, Turkey.  
All together it was a more challenging time, but also filled with wonderful and deeply moving experiences.  
It all started on a misty morning in February in Springfield Missouri. I had just hugged Peter, Angelo (horse), Dominique (donkey), Orbit (dog) and Alpha (cat) good-bye and then sat at the airport for seven hours as all planes continued to be cancelled because of fog. But eventually in the very last possible minute I got on one small plane to Dallas and started my journey of 40 hours to Singapore. My first contract was with Crystal Cruises to play on the Crystal Symphony and I made it to the ship just before it left. Our first destination was Myanmar and I looked forward so very much to returning to this very beautiful country and meeting the friends again I had met last time at the Pagoda. This time I went into Yangoon in the evening and stayed over night in a hotel there to catch the sunrise at 6.a.m. at the amazing Swedagon Golden Pagoda. I will never forget the incredible beauty of the golden temples in the morning mist with the sunlight slowly emerging, touching and igniting the golden roofs. I played my Tibetan flute for some of the Buddhist monks who were there to start their day and I felt again the peace that was there - even though there is so much violence and suppression also in this country, there at the golden city of the Pagoda one feels as if in another world. The peace exists in the heart of the monks and those who come to worship there and one can really feel that their minds are calm and each time you smile they smile back with their hearts still totally connected to their smiles. They taught me so much: Peace can be felt everywhere, even in the midst of chaos. And if we have it in our hearts then and only then can others also feel it.
 
     I left enriched and grateful and also found some friends of the monk I had met last year and with whom I had had a wonderful correspondence. The rest of that day I spent with a young woman who guided me through the markets and streets. I felt closeness and I know we will all meet again.  
 The next highlight was around the corner a few days later. We were headed again to Sri Lanka and I got to go up to the elephant orphanage again. This time we went in a small van together with Captain Marlin and his wife Terry and daughter Courtney. The drive is 
 
about three hours, the traffic horrific and the landscape becomes increasingly lush and green. It was a great reunion with the elephants - they came again to the river and bathed and drank and I played several flutes for them and they started to trumpet and came closer and were very gentle and loving. The elephant caretakers recognized me and I gave them some gifts- music, Cds and tapes and also the article with the photo of me playing for the elephant the year before that had been in the Avatar journal. It was about 100 degrees, and we were all sweating like hell, but the graciousness of the elephants made me forget everything else. They do treat these elephants very well and they take in also many that are injured or that lost 
 
their parents.  
 From Sri Lanka we went to Mumbai, India and I met many of my Indian friends in the Taj Mahal Hotel for an Indian lunch and then walked through the streets for many hours. It was a holiday in India and so the streets were empty and no traffic at all. It was the quietest I have ever experienced Mumbai. I sent some E-mails from a small internet cafe in Mumbai and in the middle of a very long letter suddenly the electricity went out and all the computers died and we sat in the dark. The Indians were very nice about it and no one complained and I thought about how much we take things for granted in the West even though that is changing now too.  
      From Mumbai we sailed to Dubai - beautiful 
 
calm Sea days and then several days in Dubai, which is mostly a business center and people come there to buy Gold and other goods. I met with a wonderful friend there and he also was able to come to my show that evening on the ship.  
 Then the Arabian world of Oman (Salalah) and Aqaba (Jordan). It was undescribably wonderful to go back to Petra this time. Last June I had finished filming the Petra video and editing it in Amman . I went to Petra early in the morning together with some of the lecturers and then rode a horse to the entrance. Suddenly I saw a Beduin gallop by on a brown horse. And then I recognized my friend Aed, who is the owner of the white 
 
horse Suzan, who was a star in my film. I ran towards him and we hugged and were so happy to see each other again. Then we walked with the horse into Petra and to the Treasury and down to the Amphi Theatre and on the way I met all the children again, who had been in the film and I could give them my gift and especially the finished film, which they were all going to watch that evening in Aed's house or tent. Down by the Theatre there was Abdullah the Beduin Sheikh who had asked me last year if I could be his fourth wife. He had waited all morning for my arrival, as Aed had told him I would be there (they now also have E-mail) Abdullah took me around on his camel Lawrence, who also stars in the film and we went for an hour ride or so through all of Petra, my flute bag with about 7 different flutes hanging on the saddle of the second camel and swaying back and forth and Aed accompanying us with his brown stallion. . Then up in the Tribunal I played for them and we celebrated our friendship and reunion. They wanted to take me to Beduin village, but I would have never made it back to the ship in time then. Now Abdullah talked about me being his second wife, so somehow I moved up the line. But I declined, knowing we will always be friends. I left Petra with a heart filled with love and energy and the richness that this feeling of being home can bring.  
   Right now I have to go back to the ship and so I will write again soon and tell you more about playing for 40 camels in Djibuti and especially about Alexandria and meeting the Mohammed again, who is in my book. I will soon put some new photos onto my website,  
I send you all my love across the oceans.  
Touch the space that separates and unites us.  
Love and Peace from Bettine
 

Copyright 2016 Bettine Clemen, www.joyofmusic.com All rights reserved. Except for use in any preview, the reproduction or utilization of this content in whole or in part in any form by electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without permission of Bettine Clemen.


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