Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Plan B

After waiting months for the Peace Corps to deploy me, I've come up with a plan B.  The point of the Peace Corps was to get out into a developing country, do some humanitarian work, and at the same time try to implement my filmmaking in the field.  The huge plus to this was that the Peace Corps would finance my endeavor and potentially fund a graduate school fellowship when I finished my service.
While I'm waiting, I'm working on a similar, independent plan.  I want to do something in Nepal.  I've been fascinated with Nepali culture for a long time.  My friend Kate just moved out there.  I helped her out with some research before she left so I'm familiar with the political, economic, and environmental climates there.   Here are the Pros and Cons of my adventure:

Reasons to go to Nepal
  1. I have a contact, Kate Kakela, who will be working at a health clinic and with whom I've previously collaborated.
  2. There's a Nepali Research Center at my nearest university.
  3. The culture is accessible; I have read a lot of Eastern Philosophy.
  4. There's a large American expatriate population. 
  5. Himalayan filmmaking has always been receptive to Western audiences.
  6. I could live for as little as $8 a day.
What's Keeping me from Nepal
  1. I don't have a planned project to work on.
  2. I don't have my immunizations for Rabies, Typhoid, Meningococcal A and C, and Japanese Encephalitis.
  3. I don't have health insurance.
  4. I don't have trekking equipment.
  5. Airfare is on the low end $1000 one way.
Just from looking at that second list, it's going to be difficult getting over there without raising funds or attaching myself to an organization.  I've been looking at different organizations that are based in Nepal.  I found Mountain to Mountain and the Dzi Foundation.  These are two Nepali NGOs that are based in Colorado.  The University of New Mexico has a fairly large Nepali Study Center.  Also of note are Liberal Democracy Nepal and  The Film Artistes Association of Nepal  There is also the generosity of private donations.  If I can get all of these groups excited and behind a cause I'd be in good shape.