Sunday, September 26, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Life on Point Team.
Currently, Brian is deep in the jungle with minimal amount of access to the outside except for satellite phone or short internet bursts depending on the location.
The mission is going well but, I can tell he will be ready to have access to some of the things we take for granted in the United States. While we enjoy a hot shower, they use the cold water of the river to wash off the mud from the 14 hour trek through the jungle. The nice bed we climb into is traded for a hammock and a small covering to protect from insects at night. Their food choices are nothing like ours but, it sustains them.
The team's spirits remain high because they believe in the cause. Like the Burmese children in this picture, they too believe in freedom from oppression and will continue assist them in this pursuit. More updates to follow.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I have arrived in Laos and have begun preparations for movement. The Life on Point Team has been assembled; our equipment was waiting courtesy of the network already established and our transportation has been...well interesting. The contractor that we are working for has put me in touch with an "ex-pat" who is a communications guru...so he is here with me as well. Long discussions on wave propagation as well as training indigenous personnel on radio systems has punctuated the last 24 hours...suffice to say sleep has been in short supply.
The bus ride to the border was as interesting as anything I have ever done before...that is to say not since travelling through Russia and Kazakhstan have I shared a ride with various forms of livestock including chickens, a rooster and "mini-pigs" ... and yes all running uncaged throughout the bus! It was like a scene from Borat!
The hut we stayed in last night provided shelter from the rain...but not much more. My significant other would have been alarmed as I awoke at 0400 to the rustling under my sleeping mat...suffice to say the lizard that darted out from the light was large enough to alarm even me. The food has been rice which my stomach (while on these medications) can tolerate well and some bits of boiled chicken which has become a staple item for me. I have been told that as we make our way inland that more exotic offerings will accompany the fluffy white stuff...can't wait for that!
We will begin to make our way across the border shortly and linkup with the folks who most desperately need our help. I met with another US representative this morning who wished us the very best. His name was "Ed" and no doubt he has seen much in this area. He showed us the latest imagery as well as pictures of what is happening inside the border area...it is not a pretty site.
I feel fortunate on one hand to help...but on the other...sad that this type of oppression still exists in a world that has grown and matured so much over the past 100 years. I don't know what it is but the images of children being targeted based on ethnicity is disturbing to me. What has happened to these people and the way of life they have lived is nothing short of terrible. I have seen similar incidents in Srebenicia and throughout Bosnia while stationed there...but this is more chilling. Perhaps its because I am a father that these images of massacred children trouble me so much...they are innocents in a world that has forgotten them.
When I was younger I was watched a movie called the "The Evil that Men Do" and it starred Charles Bronson. It was a sad portrayal of exactly what men and regimes will do in order to get their own way. Seeing these latest pictures (both still and video) from "Ed" brings back to light the depths of that movie and what an evil man is capable of...in some regards it is a giant step back in time and one that I am not willing to take...nor even stand for any longer.
The team is well equipped and prepared...a total of five well trained men and a cadre of support personnel who have all proven themselves in other areas across the globe. I am heading up the second element heading in across the border...a tedious climb followed by a solid day of movement to get to the affected area. Suffice to say I feel well...the physical activity and the anticipation of what is to come is both exhilarating...and at the same time foreboding...but it is what we signed up for.
I spoke to my father just before departing the US a few days ago...he did not understand why I was doing this...especially at this juncture in my life...I can only think that if he was here he would at least understand...for seeing is truly believing.
Hopefully this finds you all well...stay tuned as the dispatches will keep coming from both myself and my COO back in the States...and hopefully good news will come from our efforts. As the situation dictates I will forward pictures so that you get a sense of what we are trying to accomplish.
The Life On Point Team
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
It has been a long and exhausting day – Ian and I just finished viewing the new George Clooney movie titled “The American” – I will keep this succinct...however...do yourself a favor and save your money. Clooney is a great actor with some very memorable parts…however this is not one of them. The movie just goes on and on and the plot is wayward at best. If you are a fan of “Euro-trash” movies replete with lackluster performances and way to much skin…then this is the movie for you!
I have my own personal review criteria for a movie…if what I see in the commercial trailers appears in the first 5-7 minutes then I am assured that the movie will be an absolute dud…every single action scene that was shown on the big screen trailers was complete within the first 6 minutes of this cinematic bomb!
Enough said…just don’t waste your money!
My partner and I have been writing and brining the next book to fruition…it is tentatively titled… "They Would Never Understand Why…Until Now" Suffice to say that it is a story of comparisons between a couple...and how fate, destiny and personal struggles bring certain people together…no matter what level of adversity each has faced.
Talking about and ultimately writing this book has been therapeutic for both of…and allows us to fully comprehend how we have arrived at this point in our lives. I will warn you that it is not like my first literary effort…nor the construct of my pending second book of poetry...quite the opposite…this book and the stories held within chronicle the “reality” of what happened to us as children versus the “perception” that everyone views or remembers. The format is unique as well; it portrays each of us and the stories that defined not only our childhood but lifes events across 40 plus years...told against one another...and the subsequent interplay between it all. A couple of excerpts follow from our initial draft:
“Something told me she was special; that she would understand; that she knew that what had happened in my past bore strong resemblance to her own journey. We stared at each other for a moment…but it was in that moment that I knew that this woman and I were destined to be together…that no matter the circumstances, our lives were bought to this point for a reason…to comfort and provide solace in a world that had already robbed us of the innocence that others were able to enjoy. I could never explain the “how” or “why” we now stood speechless…but I knew in my heart that I had found the one who would finally make me whole.”
“He would make me laugh more than I could ever recall. His rapport with people and his philosophy on life captivated me. As we sat and talked well past the meal, the certainty grew that this individual struck a chord within me that has been discovered by no other. It was not his looks, his charm or wit…to say I felt a connection to him would be a mere understatement…for the first time in my life I wanted to share everything with someone, the good and the bad. I wanted to peel back the layers and let someone see past the self made barriers. I wanted to trust and be trusted. It was exhilarating and terrifying in one long overdue breath.”
We anticipate this project taking another several months but when complete…it will answer a lot of vexing questions…as well as provide insight into the lives of two very fortunate people.
Switching topics...the health situation has not changed...however the time that I have is now given to causes that benefit others…our website will be updated once I hit the ground in Asia and I look forward to getting back and watching the kids participate in their athletic pursuits.
Till then...enjoy the long weekend…as they say on the Cape...Summer is almost “ovah!”