Our Travels


We have traveled to India almost every year since 2003 performing in orphanages, hospitals, Leper Colonies, Centers for Cerebral Palsy children, Day Programs for the mentally ill, homes for sexually trafficked girls rescued back from the sex trade, centers for Street Children and hundreds of other places.  We have performed all over India, doing hundreds of magic shows in the immense city slums and in the isolated tiny villages.  India is a continual source of amazement and enchantment.  We will continue to perform and teach in India bringing magic and hope to many of her poorest and isolated people. Since …
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Since 2003, we have traveled four times to Ethiopia under the auspices of the United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees to perform in refugee camps and orphanages. On our first trip in 2003, we were introduced to “an angel,” Mahary Maasho, the public  information officer for the UNHCR. We developed a very deep and loving relationship of mutual respect with Mahary, a man  totally  dedicated to his work of relieving the suffering of his fellow country men and women and serving the refugee guests his extraordinarily generous country has hosted for twenty-five years. Ethiopia is surrounded by warring countries with millions of refugees pouring …
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I was in El Salvador when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I received frequent e-mails from Janet telling me how devastating the situation was in New Orleans and along the coast.  Not until I got home did I begin to comprehend the extent of the devastating tragedy unfolding along the Gulf. I arrived home about a week after Katrina.  I was shocked by what I saw and heard about the plight of the evacuees.  The news was filled with reports of the chaos and destruction and the bumbling efforts of FEMA and the Federal Government to respond to the …
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Uganda and South Sudan

The small plane taxied to a stop on the grass run way in Adjumani in Northern Uganda near the South Sudan border. We were met by representatives of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) with whom we spent three weeks working in refugee camps and centers for rescued child soldiers.  We performed for groups of children who had been abducted by the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  Organizations and individuals would risk their lives to rescue these children and bring them into homes to help rehabilitate them or as one nun told us, “welcome them back into the human family”.  These …
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The phone call from Tehran made all the difference.  For almost three months we tried to get a visa from the Office of Foreign Affairs  in Tehran to be able to travel to Iran and perform in the Iraqi and Afghan refugee camps.  On the other end of the phone was an old student of mine, Roz Omid.  Roz had returned to Iran and was now working for a tour company in Tehran.  When Roz was in my class we shared a loved of Persian poetry –Sa’adi, Hafez, Rumi and others.  He called to suggest that we organize a tour …
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El Salvador

We have been going to El Salvador three times a year since 2004.  We collaborate with The Salvadoran Rural Health Association (Asaprosar) in Santa Ana.  On the first trip, we performed in most of the twenty-five Pre-Schools Asaprosar has built throughout the country.  After those performances,   the founder-director of Asaprosar, Dr. Vicky Guzman de Luna, asked if we would teach some magic tricks to a group of children who were doing particularly well in school. These children participate in a program called “The Barefoot Angels.”  A few years earlier, many of these children had been living and working barefoot in …
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The Former Yugoslavia

We have traveled numerous times to the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Our first trip to Kosovo and Macedonia, performing 15 shows in the refugee camps in 2001, inspired us to begin Magicians Without Borders.  For an account of the inspired and inspiring beginnings of Magicians Without Borders, click on the link and then scroll down to the talk by Tom Verner, “Magic and Hope.” We have performed for tens of thousands of refugee and orphan children in Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Hertzagovina, and Croatia since 2001.  We have found ourselves in the midst of many moving and memorable moments over the years. …
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Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote d’Ivoire

In 2005, we were asked by a medical anthropologist, Esmee de Jong, working for The United Nations, if we could create a magic show to teach refugee children about HIV/AIDS.  Esmee was particularly interested in focusing on the problem of the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.  We work for a number of months and came up with a show that we performed for 150,000 refugees in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire refugee camps. We were part of a campaign called The Positive Life Celebration.  Positive had the double meaning of being diagnosed HIV-Positive and yet in spite of the …
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Thailand and Burma (Myanmar)

In response to the horrific Tsunami of 2004 that devastated much of Southeast Asia we traveled to Thailand and Burma performing in camps and centers set up for the homeless survivors of the Tsunami.  We traveled for a month performing two or three shows a day. In addition to performing for tens of thousands of Tsunami survivors, we also traveled along the Thai-Burma border performing in the Burmese refugee camps of Mai Sot and Chiang Rai.  These were camps for refugees who fled Burma, primarily hill tribes people, like the Karen. Most of the trip I traveled with two artists, …
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Bogata, Colombia

For a year Ryan Bart sent e-mails to Magicians Without Borders asking how he could get involved in the work we were doing.  He was an undergraduate pre-med student at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA and has been a magician for eight years.  He performs every week at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane and has come to realize how powerful magic is to bring hope and help healing through this hospital magic work. In March of 2012 he called and told us that he had received a Fulbright Scholarship to spend a year in Bogata, Colombia.  He told Tom that …
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