We arrived in Manali three days ago, after a six-hour white-knuckled twisty mountain road trip from Chandigarh. We’ve been going non-stop since we got here, but at every spare moment, I notice each one of us stopping to take in a breath of this sweet mountain air and an eyeful of the natural beauty of our surroundings. A large portion of our story rests in these Himalayan foothills, as Mia spent most of her life here at the Dar-Ul-Fazl children’s home. Yesterday we spent all day with Mia and some of her friends who still live there; she gave us a tour of the areas she grew up in, she took us shopping in Old Manali, and we took a hike up the mountain to look down over the town the home is settled in. In this short time that we’ve been together, Mia has become very comfortable talking to us and opening up about her life; through this, we have been able to solidify some of the lingering questions we had surrounding the closure of this story. It has become necessary to once again change up our travel plans; shortening our trip to Leh, spending more time in Manali, redefining our time in Delhi — Nick has altogether stopped creating call sheets.
Our latest posts and rants
When the MacBook meltdown happened, there was a quick scramble to figure out how to get the back-up computer that we had left in Delhi up to Chandigarh so we could continue offloading footage from the cards. Paul and Sue East, whom have been hosting us here and have been a tremendous help with our inter-country travel, worked out someone to transport the new MacBook for us. Jaem is a former graduate of the Shanti Niketan home who made that 8-hour drive to us with only a couple hours notice. What a savior! God is providing for us in so many ways; praise Him!!
As we partly expected — things have not gone as planned. Since the media team first decided to set out on this adventure last autumn, we’ve continually been surprised as we watched plan after plan get crumpled and crushed. For most people on a tight schedule, the slightest turn of events might throw them into an uproar, but I think that the past month’s events have prepared us for certain minor calamities. For example at 5am Monday morning, we arrived at the airport only to find out that our flight to Kulu had been cancelled and nothing else would fly us there that day. There were no freak-outs, no red faces, not even raised voices — just a calm and cool collective decision to put a 180 on our five-day itinerary and head to Chandigarh instead, where we planned to visit the Shanti Niketan Children’s Home after Dar-Ul-Fazl.