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, August 2, 2007

From Jenna on our last day

Today our last full day was beautiful and sunny--- most days we have had at least an hour of rain. Jane and I got up early to watch the streets come alive. Imagine a narrow street lines with metal car garage doors, side by side and all closed, next imagine the sound of these clunky nosy doors being lifted to reveal the goods inside, except the shop is not contained within the walls, the shop spills on to the street, tables are brought out and set right in the way of the traffic, making the narrow ONE lane road even more impossible. It takes a shop owner close to an hour to set out the masks, bells, carved rocks, beads, thankas (paintings), prayerflags, and other goods that STILL tempt us as we walk by. Then the streets begin to bustle with activity.... the street sweepers and trash pickers are up early to clear the streets. A large dump truck rolls slowly thru town and the three men on the back catch trash being thrown to them and they sort the cardboard, plastic, glass and other trash into piles in the bed of the truck. Rickshaws come out to find the choice spots where a tourist might be. Slowly the noise level begins to rise and before you know it, there is full chaos on the streets again. I LOVE IT!!

Today while Jane was with Mr Bhatt, buying the last necklace, and Jason and Sherrie were getting massages, I went to visit Mia's "home." Mia is woman who I have become freinds with, she walks the streets with a big smile on her face, a baby girl tied to her back and a hand full of silk purses i nher hand. She buys these purses whole sale, on credit, for 30 rupees and tries get 35 to 100 rs for each one. The beautiful baby on her back is always sluggish and sleeping. Mia's oldest daughter is always in school, so until today I had not met this 5 year old. Mia, her husband, (who has not worked in 6 months because of health problems) and her two daughters live in a room that is 10 feet by 15 feet, there was one small window, but the window opened to a brick wall less than a foot away, there was one bed and a pile of blankets on the floor, which her husband was sleeping on when we walked in. One large, chest-like piece of furnature was on one wall, but I could see that the slightly opened drawers were empty except for a few articles of clothing, one blanket and some broken barbie dolls. The few pictures on the walls were tear outs from a magazine. One one wall, there was a low shelf supported by bricks. This shelf had a small propane cook stove, (which was out of propane), two cooking pots, one frying pan, and a few wooden stiring utencils. There were a few dirty plates sitting in a bucket of water near the shelf. That was all there was. Mia told me that she was out on the street from 8 to 4 (when she walked to her daughter's school to pick her up), then if she had not made ANY slale for the day, she would come back on the street till. Mia explained how she was happy when she was outside with her daughter on the streets, but that she cried everytime she walked into her house. Her marrage was arranges, and her parents and his parents are not in the picture to help out. She explained that the rent on their room was about 1200 rs a month ($18) and she was allowed to make it in three payments when tourism was slow (which is this time on the year).

There are a lot of scams on the street used against tourists...
Kids ask you to buy them milk or something to eat, but then they take the goods back to the shop owner who gives them some pocket change, and the goods are returned to the shelf, then there are the kids who ask you to buy some piece of art work they have colored, of course most foreginers can't resist, but then the kid goes back to a shop owneer who has a stack of these "coloerd pictures" and again they split the profits. Finally, the most heart renching are the mothers carrying their infants and an empty bottle of milk. They ask for you to buy milk for their baby, but the baby never gets that milk even if you buy it for them
There are many people in desperate situations here, so desperate they will do anything to make money. It is hard to decide who to help, and it is even harder to say no to people who you really believe need your help. I bought two of Mia's bags for 500 rs each (she asked for 35 each), and I am sure I will give her more before I leave tomorrow. I'll miss seeing Mia each morning.

We just returned from a great dinner with Cy (Jane's cousin) and Pema, a friend of ours from the village called Kagbeni. Pema made the journey to Jomsom with us and then met us in Kathmandu, she has been here all week. She is a mother of two girls and is pregnant with her third child. Becuase of the pressures of this culture, she is hopeful for a boy this time, so she does not have to have yet another child. She had her first ultra sound (EVER) today and was too nervous to find out if it is a girl or boy.
We took her to Bhancha Ghar for dinner, a traditional Newari Restaurant with dancers and music and great Nepali food. We took off our shoes and climbed to the third floor of the 100 year old building, then we were served peanuts roasted in a lime, onion, cilantro sauce and popcorn. We were then given finger potatoes (french fries) Then my favorite part, we were served Rakshi in small unfired clay cups. Jason drank my rakshi and I kept the little hand made cup(they are thrown out after one use)Pema had never been to such a place and she was mortified how expensive the food was (about 500 to 1000 rs per person) Pema loved the dancers in their traditional costumes doing the traditional dances, and said she had never been to such a place. Dinner was served one floor down, we had more food than we could possibly eat--- mostly, you guessed it, RICE!!! The highlights of dinner, besides the company, a flat pancake- like corn bread, and a wonderful sweet curd for dessert.

the cyber cafe is closing and I have to pack. See you all soon! Jenna

14 comments:

Garland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garland said...

Correction to my blog, paragraph at end of blog, "But if we think just a bit further back, . ." was intended to be paragraph 3, picking up after ". . . before they had cars and there were decent roads there."

The marvels of computer cursors or is it cursers, or just cursed for not being in the right place.

Garland said...

Thanks, Jenna, for a look through the keyhole of real life there. Pema, for example, pregnant, had to walk, I presume, same as everyone else where there was no other way.

Today, we think it strange, having to walk. But I remember my Mother telling me how her brothers would walk from Rural Retreat VA to Bluefield WV and back, crossing three mountains back in the '20s, '30s before they had cars and there were decent roads.

But if we think just a bit further back, if you had no horse, you walked! And so did many a pioneer, especially from the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers.

But what's really strange is that we drive everywhere now and complain about the traffic jams, and then have no time for anything else. When you walk, you become intimate with your journey. It's really amazing what you can notice when you are not rushing at break-neck speeds past it.

Years ago, when I didn't have my big horsepower retarder brake, I'd have to gear down almost to walk-along speed to go downgrade. There's one in Oregon, called Cabbage by ol' timers, 6 miles, 6 percent, and 45-50 minutes to the bottom. I could look at the rocks and geology, watch for critters or just enjoy the view for more than a second.

There are times when there is great value in going slow, like taking a walk. You've had some of those times and we are anxious to hear about them all! See you at the Airport in Roanoke VA!!!

Garland said...

RE: deleted comment. I rewrote the comment, putting back in place a paragraph that had jumped out of line, as noted in my correction, which I'm leaving in place with its note about our marvelous computers.

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