Last April of 2014, the huzband boarded a plane headed for Nepal. He was going with a small group of men to trek into the Himalyan mountains destined for the Upper Dolpa region. Their mission was to bring the Good News to an extremely hard to reach area.
The huzband had a mission of his own, to document the uniqueness of a trip like this as well as the man behind it all, Mike Sloan. Mike has a passion for the hard to reach areas of Nepal; areas which require traveling by foot, nights under the stars, and no hospital or doctor near by in case you get hurt. Some would call it extreme, I would agree. The huzband carried an extra 20-30 pounds on his back, carrying two cameras, a solar charger, extra batteries, a tripod as well as the basics (food, clothes, etc). To say he sweated to get this project done is literal, between the endless amount of miles trekked to the endless number of hours sorting, editing and previewing video footage. (I did my fair share of previewing as well!). Tonight we are having a “premier” of his documentary NEPAL at our church. To help celebrate, I asked the huzband a few questions.
What was harder, the countless walking/trekking or the countless hours editing? Depends. The trekking was definitely a major physical challenge. I trained as much as I could back home before the trip. I am an avid runner and feel very confident when it comes to cardio; I can walk, hike or run for a long time and long distances. The challenge in Nepal was definitely the elevation we were trekking at (about 12,000 – 15,000 above sea level). Also, the terrain was brutal. In a single day we could hike a nasty pass only realize upon summitting that another set of similar passes lay just ahead. Lastly, the weight of my backpack was taking a toll on me from day one. I had everything I needed for survival as well as the basic video gear needed for the documentary. I really tried to keep it to a minimum with only 2 cameras, one mic, a solar charger for the cameras, light, misc and a small tripod. However, every extra ounce on your back at that altitude becomes very heavy. The editing process was long. It took me about 80 hours to just simply catalog the footage, where 80% of it was useless (shaky, bad sound, bad color quality). After cataloging, the process of creating the story went longer than expected. Finally, the actual editing took over 150 hours of my own time (not work time) to finish the product. As you can imagine that is a lot of time added to all my home responsibilities (10 boxer puppies, a brand new baby, in-laws visiting, my wild and joyful 7 year old little girl and being a husband). I would say, in short, both were more than I originally expected.
What spoke to you most about your time in Nepal? It was an incredible privilege to travel with Pastor Mike. He is truly is an amazing man with a lot of wisdom and passion for people. It was great to take the good news of the Gospel to a place and people who probably listened to this message for the very first time. Ultimately, I found myself privileged in this day and age to travel and push the limits to the ends of the earth. I love it. This is definitely a trip that ranks in my top 5 favorite memories in life.
What would you say to someone who has a vision to do something out of the ordinary, like Mike does trekking into the mountains of Nepal to reach small villages with the good news? I totally encourage people to go for it. The world is so much bigger than what we are exposed too. For those of us who get the amazing privilege to live in the United States, we have a great opportunity to see the world. I definitely recommend people to commit to go and get prepared for a physical challenge. Our lives are truly short. Seriously, if you have the desire and dream to do something like this, make it a priority. Pray for the funding, the travel and the purpose. I personally had to fundraise for the gear I needed. There was a group of amazing individuals that supported me financially in this effort. I will seriously say to you, get the ball rolling, especially if you feel in your heart this is something God wants you to be part of … go for it!!!
You can now watch the NEPAL documentary online. Here is the link to the video on Vimeo: