Friday, January 21, 2011

Time to take off.

The time, as they say, is finally upon us. I fly out to Israel this morning.

In the last 3 months this plan has gone from a theory to a reality. Along the way encountered all that I love about my world of friends and acquaintances, and through their cumulative actions I've been emboldened in so many ways.

Through the efforts of my community this project was made not only affordable, but almost completely funded by independent donations, a hugely generous grant from Kids With Cameras, and in-kind donations from Children's Media Workshop and The Salt Lake Art Center.

As I got closer to the departure date I learned more about the project. My main focus is slated to be documentary projects with students aged 12-16. They'll work in groups of 2-3 and write/produce complete documentaries all the way through publishing them on the web. Right now we're circulating around a theme of place, and their relationship to it. The next step is to find a community to receive their work, fairly criticize it, and give them feedback throughout their process. This can take the form of other classes of kids becoming e-pen pals with the Palestinian youth, or individuals watching their work on youtube and commenting constructively on it. If you're still interested in participating in this project then I encourage you to keep an eye on this blog and spend some time on the content the kids generate. It'll all end up here. I'll also keep you posted on my personal progress, and I'm sure once the grim realities of homesickness set in I'll live and breathe your encouragement and responses myself, so keep 'em coming!

I've also been overwhelmed by the exceptional results yielded by extending myself to the international community. Through and research I've found previous and current Project Hope volunteers, locals in Nablus, thoughtful Israelis, international projects that do inspiring work, and countless NGO's in the area which are all working together against insane odds to improve the life of Palestinians and the understanding of the world at large. I don't know what the future holds for me, but the thought of working with some of these organizations fills me with hope.

Thanks, and see you soon. The stress of considered preparation is tempered with the felicity of the knowledge that anything can happen, with any luck I'll be thinking on my feet. So long, I'll be back before we know it.

Photo from the In This Week article that Daisy Blake was nice enough to write about me. If you haven't seen it it's a nice g'bye to Salt Lake!


Elaine said...

Bye bye brother. I love you and I'm so excited to follow this newest round of adventures.

Anonymous said...

Hey its vy tran. I'm interested in the cause and what youre doing. Go change the world davey, one child at a time. Ill keep an eye in the blog for updates and would love to participate in any way I can. Xo
Ps couch surfing is spectacular

Brandon Patterson said...

Best of experiences, good man. Keep the happy flowing.

Jessica said...

I am proud of you and excited to see how this effects your life. I've always been amazed at how well you tie everything together; every place, every experience, every person you have encountered seems to manifest itself in the way you progress. I will miss you, the bike community will miss you, slc will miss you. But everyone loves you and is excited for you. Good luck out there, kid.