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This is really just a journal from me to you, but if any of you have comments you'd like to post, just email me and I'll post them here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011
posted by Henry in Moscow, Russia
Overwhelmed in Moscow!

Yikes!  9 days have passed and no new blog entries!  We are getting an average of 4 hours sleep a night.  I'm uploading 35 to 50 photos a night along with a brief description of the day to my Facebook photo albums.  Facebook is becoming the defacto blog for my Russia trip, so if you don't have an account, just register for a free account at www.facebook.com.  Then go to my Facebook wall here.  and look at all the posts and photos going back to October 26, 2011.  Hopefully there will be more time in Saint Petersburg next week!

Thursday, November 3, 2011
posted by Henry in Saint Petersburg, Russia
My First Week in Saint Petersburg


Here's a quick update on my first week in Russia.  I'm here in Saint Petersburg which was known as Leningrad during the Communist/USSR era.  I stayed a night at Katya's and then moved over to Seva's flat which is larger.  Every day has been jam packed ... even literally, as I've been playing traditional music with both Russians and also musicians from all over Europe.  You can see hundreds of photos on my Facebook wall.

Last Saturday, Seva used fresh mushrooms from a nearby forest, chopped them up and made delicious mushroom soup.  Then Katya introduced me to her friend Kep who has a big 8 piece traditional music band called Old Horned Sheep.  My timing was perfect to get in on the Samhain festival that this band was performing at on Sunday, October 30st.  Samhain seems to be like the Irish/Celtic equivalent of Halloween. We had a couple of jam sessions, several bands played and I sat in with Kep's band, Old Horned Sheep. Naturally, there were lots of young people in costume dancing up a storm. After being on the Russian metro, I was beginning to wonder if they ever smiled at all. I got my answer at Samhain! :-)

Then Katya noticed my fiddle bridge was warped and said she knew a good luthier named Ilya who could make me a new one quick and cheap, so off we went on another adventure on the Saint Petersburg metro. While Ilya made the bridge (for half of what it would have cost in the USA), we took a walk along the Neva river and looked at many historic sites. When we returned Ilya took a break and we took this picture.

Tuesday, Nov. 1st we were off to see the Hermitage at the Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia. This is one of the most famous museums in the world and former home to Russian royal families. The place was swarming with tourists and school groups from across Russia and the world. It was both stunning and overwhelming. I was happy but very tired at the end of the day. 

Yesterday, Wednesday, Nov. 2d we went to the Russian Museum of Ethnography (http://eng.ethnomuseum.ru/) which shows the lifestyles of about 150 various Russian cultures from across this entire massive nation. Afterward we stopped by the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Savior_on_Blood) for some pictures.

I'd noticed in my guide book a lot of mention of these bliny, which are basically Russian crepes, so I asked Katya if we could go out and eat some.  She said, "Why go out?  I will make them!"  So I watched with fascination as she mixed up milk, water, eggs and flour.  From this mixture which looked like egg nog, she fried pancakes which were served at the table flat.  Then we rolled in  cheese and apple sauce. Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!! :-)

Coming up will be more museum visits, music sessions and then I will take the overnight train this Sat. night to Moscow.  Patch and the clowns arrive Sun. afternoon and I hope to meet them at the airport.

Many thanks to all of you who have sponsored already.  If you would like sponsor, please visit the sponsor page.

+7 952 242-20-76 (Russian mobil)

Saturday, October 29, 2011
posted by Henry in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Arrived Safely in Russia!


Well ... it was a great flight.  Actually there were 3 planes.  I left Denver around 3 PM on Wednesday, Oct. 26th and changed planes in Washington, D.C. and Zurich, Switzerland.  They had to de-ice the plane before we could get out of Denver but other than that everything was perfect.  My Russian friends Katya and Seva came to the airport and picked me up around 4 PM local time on Thursday, Oct. 27th.  It was a long flight and I was tired and a bit jet lagged, but I'm fine now.  I've already been on the Metro, walked around town, changed some dollars for roubles, bought some snacks and even went to a show at the club (Jao-Da, The Chinese Pilot) we will be at on Nov. 18th.  I already have new Russian friends!

Looks like getting on WiFi is going to be easy, so I should check email daily, although won't have too much time for it.  Some pictures have already been taken and are being emailed to me, so I'll put them up ASAP.  Also, Katya got me my own Russian cell so my Russian friends can call me now.  The number is
+7 952 242-20-76.

It is late here.  I think I will take a nap.  Pictures soon!

+7 952 242-20-76 (Russian mobil)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
posted by Kate Fritz in Urbana, Illinois
Message from Kate Fritz

Hello friends,

My name is Kate Fritz; I recently redirected my path to serve as the assistant to speaker, doctor, activist, clown and world-class-friend Patch Adams. Patch introduced me to Henry the Fiddler at the Oregon Country Faire in Eugene, Oregon in July. Patch said: “Kate, I have a present for you, and his name is Henry”. Next thing I knew I was jamming with one of the best fiddlers I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. One thing lead to another…and Henry will be joining us on our annual clown trip to Russia this year.

The Gesundheit Russia trip is a way of getting people turned on to loving, caring, and activism in some of the harshest social conditions on earth: in state-run orphanages, nursing homes, hospices, and safe houses. In all my travels I have never seen institutions that incite such desperation in the human soul. We clowns enter these places with the privileged status of merry-making healers. Since I started traveling with Gesundheit clowns in 2009, I’ve been developing my fiddling as a technique for connecting powerfully with the people we visit. On the 2010 Russia trip ‘clown contra dance’ became a staple group activity. We could, and did, start joyful parties anywhere we pleased—in the subway, in the hotel lobby, in an orphanage—with just a fiddle and a few willing dancers. We use music to get straight to loving, playful interaction with strangers.

So imagine my extreme excitement upon meeting Henry and learning about his long-ranging commitment to peace and friendship through fiddling. With the addition of Henry and Rich, the Gesundheit clown troupe will have a full band this year! Can you feel the mind-bending delight of a fiddle band coming down the hall of a Russian mental institution? By supporting Henry’s trip to Russia, you are supporting music in the service of peace. Please help—this is the best value donation you’ll make all year.

And…when are you coming to Russia with us?

With love,


Tuesday, October 4, 2011
posted by Henry in Denver, Colorado
Website up, blog started!

Hey everyone ...

Blog's up and running and this is the first post.  It's really just a journal from me to you, but if any of you have comments you'd like to post just email me and I'll post them here.  Cheers!


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