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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

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back from Upper Mustang in Kag Beni from Jane

July 23rd. My back is soaking wet because we are all JUST back from our Upper Mustang trek. We are all well and stayed well the whole time. We hear that planes have not flown for two days, so don't worry if we don't get back to Kathmandu on the 25th when we are supposed to fly--but we will get to this blog again as soon as we are there. We are having lunch in a few minutes at The Red House in Kagbeni and then we walk to Jomsom.

Our trek was,well, beyond belief. Let's talk about its difficulty first. In twelve days, we walked 140 miles, the equivalent of five marathons. Picture a maze, with the rifts and crenolations being Grand Canyons, but bigger. Every day we went up and down several of these mountains and valleys, and the terrain was tough. We hiked seven to nine hours a day, at high altitude, with little food and extremely rustic lodges, one of which we will tell you about in detail later: think, Nepal meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

We met the King of Lo and had a private audience with him about our project, which he loves. What a kind-faced man! Tammy and Andrew, you will cry when you see the footage of your son, Cy, translating for Tsampa in front of The King of Lo Monthang, Jigme Palwar. Our time with the King was incredible.

And we also got to trek to The Cave of the Snow Leopard, to see the very "newly discovered" cave paintings reported on the front page of BBC On-line five months ago. This was our most treacherous climb, where we all could have died, but WHAT a cave on WHAT a cliff. We had to have two local guides to get us there, and we were only the third group to see this amazing cave with its long wall of strangely Sri Lankan art, but with Tibetan implements in the hands of the Sri Lankan/Sigiriya figures.

We also met Luigi Fieni, the Italian restorer who is the one who discovered this cave and whose photograph was printed on BBC. Luigi is the Michelangelo of our time, and he and his two companions had dinner and beers with us the night after we had seen the cave. We got an incredible interview with him, about his own restoration work on all the monasteries and chortens (nine years so far in Lo), and we left as great friends. We had access to footage that no one else has gotten.

Iris, this one is just for you. Luigi, who looks like a young Italian Sean Connery, was talking about getting to that cave five months before, having to rapel down (we just used footholds on sheer cliff with thousand foot drops threatening us every second). When he lowered in, he said that the floor was abolutely pristine, no human signs, no footprints. Only the many footprints of a snow leopard who obviously loved the view. And so he named it The Cave of The Snow Leopard. Our interview with Luigi is amazing, partly because we got him talking about our idea of A Gift for The Village.

Jenna just tried to list-serve for half an hour, but the wind is bad and so is this connection. She wants you all to know she did try. Glad to know you are all back safely, Tom, Diane, and Reba. We miss you. Beth, I loved your e-mail about interviewing Nikki Giovanni. Tom, I fear what it means that if I didn't love Carl already, I will now. Carl, if my water heater in that awful basemetn of mine has meant hell for you, tell me what I can bring you!!! And I DID already love you!

Emerson, I got your I-love-you message, but Iris, are you okay???? More from Kathmandu. Our footage is out of this world. Love, Jane

11 comments:

giftforthevillage said...

Yaaaay! We're glad you're back. And I'm glad you got what I'm sure is GREAT footage. It all sounds amazing. Have a great day of rest, and eat an apple fritter for me (hold the Ambien!)

I can't wait to read more. If you get the chance, call us! I still have a few rupees left and I'll pay you back when you get home.
Love,
Tom, Beth, Max, Will

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an incredible journey! Looking at Reba, and a bit also in Tom perhaps, I can see a little wanderlust in their eyes. Definitely glad to be home, but silently wishing they could still be with you guys in the unspoiled and protected beauty of Lo.

Jane, your water heater was conquered and subdued shortly after your departure, but there's another surprise for you when you get home! Until then, safe travels to all...
Carl

Anonymous said...

The more I read, the more amazed and envious I am of your journey. I'm looking forwards to when the rest of you return and hopefully will get a chance to share some of your stories here at Unity of Roanoke Valley. Already, Tom and Diane have share with us some wonderful experiences this last Sunday. I know that the majority that each of you might share with anyone will be more in the way you live, the way you interact with the world around you, than in your ability to portray to us who've never been there.
Namaste, Keith

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Jane!!!!

love, love, love to you...andrea

giftforthevillage said...

Happy Birthday Jane again!
Just wanted you to know that I've put together a little "greatest hits" video from my footage that I'll share with you all when you get back. When I finally looked at the video on a High Definition monitor I was blown away. You will be too, when you look at Jenna's sure-to-be amazing stuff. I saw details I didn't catch with my own eyes! Oh, and we tried to call Emer to have him to dinner at Reba's the other night, but he didn't answer... I'm hoping we can have him down before you get back. Emerson, if you read this, call me and Beth!
Tom

Anonymous said...

Jane,
Jessica and I want to make sure that we wish you a Happy Birthday. We so much enjoy reading about your travels. Know that all your Kitties are well and have really become quite friendly, enough so to come and sit on laps, all except the still elusive Brie. They all say "meow" and will be glad to see you return I'm sure. I have taken some good pictures of them and will get you a CD of them when you return. You will see they have been characters. Talk to you soon and know that the 4-footed kids are well.
Barbara and Jessica

Anonymous said...

this is what summer does to me. i swore when i posted the happy birthday message it was the 26th...well, i thought about you all week, so it's okay that the wishes came out early,eh? hope you have a spectacular day! --andrea

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