By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – Adventure is out there for local teen illusionist sensation Samuel Siminoe, as he travels to Ukraine with the Foreign Angels Charity team.
Working with Dennis Sawyer, who orchestrates the Foreign Angels Youth Group, Siminoe, 17, of Safford, will be leaving for Ukraine on Dec. 26. With only the illusionist props that will fit into a single piece of baggage, Siminoe will be traveling around a completely foreign country to perform illusions in orphanages.
The trip includes a 20-hour plane ride, a 12-hour train ride, and multiple bus trips. Stopping at three orphanages in the dead of winter, Siminoe, who has never left the country, will certainly be out of his element. Gila Valley Central caught up with Siminoe and Sawyer to discuss the humanitarian mission.
Sawyer, who makes roughly four trips a year out of the United States, told Gila Valley Central that his latest trip out of the country was to the Philippines. Also, Sawyer said that the Foreign Angels group does a variety of humanitarian services to the areas they visit.
‘We do feeding programs, medical programs, and programs for single moms,” Sawyer said. “Our main goal is to get people to go overseas and to a third world country, and see how other people live. To appreciate more the life you have.”
Later, Sawyer described the fact that individuals who live in third world countries are far more grateful for the simple things in life than Americans. According to Sawyer, children in the United States compared to orphans in Ukraine are completely different.
“We’re going to be visiting the orphanages in Ukraine and these kids maybe have one pair of shoes and two pairs of socks. The little things you can do over there, people appreciate it,” Sawyer said. “You give a pair of socks to a kid over there and they’re thrilled. You give a pair of shoes over there, and the kid will be upset because they aren’t Nikes.”
Siminoe, who is incredibly excited about leaving for Ukraine, told Gila Valley Central his performance will be a completely different challenge. Instead of having a truck filled with illusion equipment, all of his props will be consigned to a single bag. Between illusions, he will not be able to tell jokes to stall for time and will have to rely completely on body language to amuse his audiences. He will perform 12 shows over the two weeks he will be there.
“I’ve never been out of the country before. I’m looking forward to the experience, (and) the things I’m going to learn,” Siminoe said. “We’re bringing something on the lighter side to Ukraine. In a sense, we’re bringing magic to Ukraine but we’re also representing to the U.S.”
Siminoe told Gila Valley Central he is excited about the challenge of bringing his show in a compact form to children who can’t understand English. This challenge, as well as experiencing such a difference in culture and lifestyle, are two adventures Siminoe is excited to step into.
“I expect it to be a life-changing trip, and I hope that going will inspire other people here to go too,” Siminoe said. “I feel like as a person I’m going to change, and as a performer, my limits will be tested. I’m going to a new environment, and new culture, and I can’t say a word to them.”
Siminoe will also be leaving for the island of Honduras next year with the Foreign Angels Charity group. While at Honduras, he will be working with multiple building and service projects to aid the individuals in the area.
The Foreign Angels
Foreign Angels is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit charity that provides resources for those in need worldwide. If you are looking to donate to a charity online you have come to the right place! You can help our cause by donating to one of our charity programs with your time or money. Money donations are needed for hundreds of projects for orphans, street kids, elderly, handicap, single moms….. A donation of $2 can buy a pair of socks, $5 can buy a pair of nice boots for cold winter, $10 can buy medicine for a sick person. The list is endless, tell us what your interest is and we can help.
Foreign Angels Charities is also a gateway for volunteers.