Several months ago I was contacted by the Brazilian publisher Compania Das Letras about the suitcases project being included in a book by Dorrit Harazim. They have been really great to deal with, but I wasn’t entirely clear about the nature of the project. When I got back from Nepal, a copy was waiting for me in my post office box. It seems to be a collection of essays about photographs (it is in Portuguese so I am not sure), and I was amazed to see the other photographers that were included. Several Magnum photographers are involved along with Gordon Parks and Vivian Maier and some other illustrious names. I am thrilled an honored to be a part of it. “O instante certo” translated roughly to “the right moment”. It is available through Amazon, so if you read Portuguese it might be nice to get a copy.
The article on the suitcases translates to “travel without return”. I would be happy if the book was translated into English at some point, but in the meantime, I’ll ask for a pdf and plug it into google translate.
One of the things I like best about this site is the immediacy of being able to share images. It is always a bit difficult for me to put up a post if more than a few days have passed since I took the photographs.
But I have been very busy editing the photos that I took for World Education, and I have had a bit of a hard time getting back into a routine since we returned. Fortunately I made fairly good notes while we were in the Western Hills. / Before we left Kathmandu, I looked up Achham on the internet and came across this Wikipedia entry. I was a bit baffled by the phrase “sporting a non-functional domestic airport”. That is it in the photo above. Apparently it is non-functional because the Maoists blew up the control tower during the recent conflict.
Here is a view of the Seti River. At that point of the trip, the monsoon hadn’t really kicked in so the rivers were still a bit dry.
I spent a lot of time shooting out the front window of the car since we had a lot of ground to cover to get to the first school.
I felt guilty asking the driver to stop, but the scenery was so exotic that I couldn’t resist shooting as we drove.
It had started to rain as we got closer to Achham and the roads became interesting.
There was a lot of water running down the hillsides which made driving a bit hazardous.
At one point we ended up in a line of cars and busses that were stopped by this slide. But a front-end loader was just finishing up clearing up the debris and we didn’t have to wait long.
That’s Nanda Ram, the driver, holding the umbrella with Jagdish on his right and Sukha Ratna on his left. Jagdish is the early grade maths guy and Sukha Ratna works on reading and did an amazing job organizing the trip. Cris and I first met Nanda Ram when we were in Nepal in 1992 just after he had started driving for World Education. He is amazing behind the wheel and such a lovely fellow.
It was really interesting how quickly the rains started. We would be climbing up one side of a hill with blue skies and as we would start our descent into a valley it would be foggy and rainy.
Here is a footbridge over the Budhi Ganga.
We stopped in this town for a bite to eat (I think it might be Doti). More dal bhat if I recall correctly.
Since we had had such a long drive to get to the first school, the students had left for the day, but the World Ed staff met with a large group of teachers and administrators to talk about the Early Grade Reading / Maths project. Every school we visited gave us flowers and put tikas on our foreheads. It is such a nice way to be welcomed.
Here’s Cris with some of the teachers from the Saraswoti Higher Secondary School in Bardadevi V.D.C. (Village Development Committee).
And here’s Mamta Joshi who teaches at the school.
Here’s a group shot of the World Ed staff with teachers and administrators after the meeting. That’s a goat in the background.
Darrell Earnest is UMASS faculty member who is working on the early grade math part of the project. He was a fantastic travel partner and he and Cris really had a ton of fun working together.
Thanks for following along. More soon.