I am not sure I have ever had to be brave for longer than a moment. This next chapter will require much bravery for me and for much longer than a moment.
I have been asked to help with a documentary by an old friend, Luke, who I have known since I was five. (South Dakota, baby.) This means a three week hike in the Himalayas in Nepal. Rustic will be an understatement for the accommodations along the way. Getting sick is a certainty, rather than a possibility. Encountering a different level of poverty than I have seen is inevitable.
The objective of the documentary is this:
International trekking companies have been coming into the region for years, hiring the local people to work as porters for these hikes and climbs. Though this brings some work to the area, it does not bring any sustainability to the region, as the profits are taken back out of the country. People in these villages die of things as simple as a bacterial infection from a cut or complications in childbirth, because the closest medical assistance is a four day hike from where they live. Their education rarely exceeds that of an average Western eight year old.
With this film project, the hope is to tell the story of The Karma Project, which aims to help the local community build their own tourism company, so that the profits can stay, allowing them to create schools and clinics in the immediate region.
Those of you who know me will know that I have never been camping or hiking. I appreciate nature for its beauty, but I have no interest in cuddling with it. I do not have a strong pull towards this kind of traveling, as I have a strong distaste for being uncomfortable. (I will choose my Chuck Taylors over high heels any day.) With this in mind, you may be wondering why I am doing this…
When I was asked to be a part of it, the idea intimidated me. That alone would have been reason enough to do it.
My Catholic upbringing echoing in my ears, “What you do unto the least of my people, you do unto me,” is playing its part. It seems no matter how far you travel away from your Christian education, you still take it with you.
Ultimately, it is this: One month of discomfort seems like a small trade for, possibly, changing people’s years.
I am asking for help with this project with any or all of these ways:
Donate to the film. Any and all contributions make a difference. Sincerely, no amount is too small, and every dollar counts.
***You can donate through PayPal here:
Although, finances are the most immediate need, we will need donations of your expertise and experience, as well. If you can donate music to the soundtrack or talents in any of the stages of film making or efforts for fundraising, you will be a rockstar in our minds.
Please share this message. The more people that see it, the more help will be had.
Letters. Anyone that has the mental space to send support in writing that can be read on the mountain during the hike would be much appreciated. There will not be access to virtual lines of communication and there will be daily moments of discouragement and wondering why in the world I chose to do this.
(Send them before April 9th to Christen c/o Luke Mislinski 6559 15th Ave NW, #226 Seattle, WA 98117 and he will give them to me on the mountain to open. Luke, also, said that he would accept letters for either of us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
He will print them off and put them into envelopes for reading on the mountain (for the anti-snail mail or those who do not have time to send the written letters before the 9th). We leave early April 12th.
This project cannot happen without you. Thank you for doing what you can to help.