Thursday, July 26, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
There we were, laying in bed miles and weeks away from Sichuan, scrolling through pictures of Anna on Eric's phone. Yes, she was asleep in the next room and yes, we'd already spent the whole day with her. But sometimes we still like to look at these little captured slices and smile. And then we came across these leftovers.
Here, you can have a look.
This first one is the box that Luke's Chinese phone came in. After an afternoon searching through shop after shop for a cheap cell phone option--which we had just learned we'd need if we wanted internet the month in the dorms-- we came across this lovely choice in a white-tiled room. It's large buttons and obviously non-smart-phone-ness called out to us, and even after the saleswoman repeatedly tried to convince us we really didn't want to buy this phone, claiming it was a specially designed phone for the elderly, we, well, bought it. Obviously.
Then bought some cherries from a wooden cart, sat down in front of the administrative building on campus, removed the phone from it's fancy red bag, and started pushing those geriatric friendly buttons.
Bundles of power lines on the pedestrian overpass. Safe? Perhaps. Oh, China.
But let us say here we are beyond excited for the footage about to be shared with the world from this adventure. This little snapshot was from an afternoon early on in the road trip where we all wide-eyed at the view asked the driver to pull over. We just so happened to have stopped off at a mini green heaven, complete with famers silhouetted in their paddies, women carrying massive baskets on their backs full of grain and children, and water buffalos hiding in sheds. The rural accent made it difficult for us to understand their Mandarin, but they didn't seem to mind and we listened to long paragraphs on the dirt road.
First short film due out in late August.
Tibetan BBQ. We still do not know how this man touched, nay, gripped securely and pulled open, these grates over the open flame. A memorable dinner and a delightful family.
The somehow simultaneously charming and formidable Tibetan building style.
And that was it.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Those few seconds before we hit, the ones outside of time where my eyes would not shut and my arms held my baby, play over and over in my head. Wet road. Gray rain. Swerving back and forth uncontrollably across both lanes. Motion so strange it seemed almost humorous. A wheel caught, we spun completely around, and we're thrown sideways off the road into wet rock dirt.
I can remember holding Anna and trying to form a bubble around her as we hit. Then it was dark. We heard glass shatter and the two of us lay pinned under a pile of luggage on the ceiling of the van, rain dripping on and through its exposed belly and side. I couldn't move my arms except to pull her closer. "Get this off of her!" again and again into the backpack pressed against my face.
Light appeared as Eric and Luke began pulling luggage and instruments off us. I felt her moving and myself praying. She started to scream. I ran hands over her head, trying to assess damage. More praying.
Moments earlier the van had been filled with laughter-- all of us almost giddy at the beauty we were surrounded with, our recent basketball game with monks, and Matt's getting the wind knocked out of him on account of slipping on Yak poop. Our driver literally had to tell us to calm down for fear we'd pass out in the thin air. We were so high up, so far away from even the Chinese things that had begun to feel familiar. We really knew only that we were a dot on the miles of rotting road between one larger Tibetan city and a few tiny mountain villages.
The minutes and emotions that filled the van just after we hit were nothing short of sacred.
We understood this much:
-Death had come and we somehow got away.
-The rain wasn't about to stop.
-Mia was bleeding. She couldn't move.
-We were in the most remote place we'd ever been on this earth.
-Night would be here soon.