Late tonight/early morning tomorrow, I fly to Bamako, Mali, and then onto deeper regions in the country, including the fabled Timbuktu. I’m doing some video work with an NGO called Trickle Up. The group gives small grants in some of the world’s most poverty stricken areas, in the belief that helping some of the poorest entrepreneurs launch businesses will help the greater society from the ground up… “trickle up” economics.
It’s going to be a busy for the next several weeks. When I return from Mali, I’ll teach a five-day workshop in documentary filmmaking at Cairo University to television directors from the far flung governates of Egypt. And some other filmmakers and I will shoot a piece about orphans here in Cairo.
Then, I’ll be in Beirut to teach a video journalism workshop.
After that, it’s back to Cairo to edit the orphan documentary.
One sad part of life these days is saying goodbye to so many people I’ve become fond of these past few months. Steve Franklin leaves the day I get back from Mali, so we’ll pass in taxis on the road to the airport. Dr. Brom, the philosophy professor, is leaving too, but I’ll see him in New York in the fall. We had a farewell dinner tonight. And another colleague in the TV center just surprised me with the news tonight that he and his partner are going back to the UK.
The strangest notion is something my friend J said to me the other night: “we’re saying goodbye to people we’ll likely never see again.” Since my life is The Truman Show, I assume everyone I meet is a cast member for life, and I’ll run into them in some far flung locale when I least expect it. But it is quite possible I’ll never cross paths with many of the people I’ve met this year. But to at least have crossed paths with them here has been a joy.
It’s off topic, but here’s a picture Steve took of me at the movie premiere event (also, some of my students and their films were featured on Orbit television last night).