Upcoming Shows

We've been named as a official selection in the Southern Circuit of Filmmakers Tour, March 17-24.

Shows are in Hapeville, GA 3/17, Madison, GA 3/20, Orangeburg, SC 3/22, Gainsville, GA 3/23, and Manteo, NC 3/24.
Learn more by going to the SouthArts blog.

View the theatrical trailer for A Gift for the Village

Thursday, June 21, 2007

from Jenna June 21 4:02 pm

Hi This is Jenna,

We have been on the run since we landed. And unfortunately I am having trouble adjusting to the time change and not sleeping well. Last night was my best night's sleep (4 hours) YAWN!!! AARRGGHHH. It is hot here too and the long pants that are proper for women to wear are hot. Otherwise EVERYTHNIG is incredible. It is so fun watching Jason, Reba, Tom, Sherrie and Diane. Sometimes they just sit and stare with thier jaws hnaging opne. Here is a famous quote from Reba " look at the, look at the, look at the............." she never finished the sentence so I looked around and saw 4 people on one scooter, a cow in the road, terraced land, a car on our side of the road coming straight towards us, a man sleeping on the road, a little girl (maybe 6 or 7) carrying her younger brother on her back, and fruit, cloth, paper, mask and prayer flag sellers. I still don't kow what she wanted me to look at. Jason, Tom and Sherrie sure do giggle a lot.

Being a teacher, and overwhelmed by trying to keep up with emails and blogs, I gave everyone an assignment. Each person in our group will be writing about a different adventure from out trip so far. Hopefully you will hear from each of us in the next day or so.

Yesterday we went to Pashupatinath, the cremation temple. For those of you who have seen "Into Nepal," you may remember this place. It is a very tough but interesting place. A mix of smoke, wailing women, and people swimming around in the same water cremation ashes are being dumped into. This is also the home of Sadhus (holy men) These men sit twisted up in pretzel like yoga poses and ask you to take their picture (for a small price of couse). This time I was even bolder with my camer than before. Masked like a bank robber with my red scarf over my face, I made my way to the pyres (the place where the bodies are laid beside the river.) the last time I videoed, i was above these and far away. Tom was across the river from me and I bet his footage shows a familiar westerner in a red mask. There were 5 people being cremated. There was not a body on the "Royal Pyre," there was one on the "wealthy person pyer," and the other 4 were on the "Commoner's pyre." One of these was a soldier who had been killed in "some battle" and the military was there playing an indian style bugle and drum tribute. His sobbing wife was hed up by two men as she walked around her husband's body. There were two, just shaved, bald brothers morning their other brother (they shave as a sign of morning) I videoed them using their bare feet to brush the remaining ashes from their brothers pyre into the river as their father threw rice on to the spot as a blessing. This may seem morbid to some, visiting and videoing a cremation, but in some way it is a good reminder of how short and precious life is. Tibetans keep bones and skulls around their houses as a way to remember that life is brief and there is no time to waste being grouchy, mad, or uninvolved. more later. Jenna


Garland said...

Thanks, Jenna. You're there, so I guess the cosmos recognizes that Jenna/Jennifer Swann are one and the same. Very interesting how different mourning the death of loved ones can be in other cultures. When we see how some in ours can't seem to accept, or have extreme difficulty accepting death, a natural and inevitable event, one wonders if these others might have a better way. Wonder what the price of a funeral is there? With Love Always Garland

Anonymous said...

Wow, trying to bring an image to mind of the brothers clearing ashes with bare feet and the father throwing rice as a blessing is difficult and beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a scene with us Jenna. It seems much more civilized to me than putting clothes and makeup on the body and putting it in a box that goes in the ground! Love, Gretchen

Sarah C said...

Jenna, I really enjoyed reading about your adventures. I hope you get to sleeping better. love Sarah

Anonymous said...

An amazing telling...Jenna, my friend, you are such a gifted writer! Thinking of you and my friends on the trip--what a journey. The energy you all bring to this cultural exchange satisfies my soul these thousands of miles away. Thanks for the stories and the updates.

Hugs to all my pals.

Love, Andrea