What I’m doing now
For those of you who don’t know what I’m doing on the road right now I’ll explain it briefly for you.
Right now I’m sitting on a beach on Isla Ometepe in Nicaragua (It’s my weekend). I’m back on the road with two goals in mind:
1. Preview the 2012 return route through Latin America, with the exception of Colombia.
2. Film the story of an individual affected by autism in each country I travel through with the exception of Honduras to edit together in June as a miniature documentary.
Those two goals being said, this journey is a lot of work. When I travel by bus along the highways south I have to constantly be aware in order to prepare myself mentally for the return trip. It is also a lot more difficult than you might imagine to find individuals/families willing to be filmed is tough. First there is the language barrier, which I am overcoming faster and faster everyday. Second, I have to FIND the families, which, here in Nicaragua, could be very difficult as the country has more pressing social and health concerns than autism, thus leaving autism undiagnosed here more than any other country. Even individuals in the Department of Education don’t know what autism is until it is described in detail to them – even then they aren’t sure if any cases exist in the country. However, walking around I’ve been able to see clearly that there are cases of autism just as common here as anywhere else.
Once an individual/family is found the next hurdle is getting them to be willing to speak in front of a camera. It’s easy to get people to speak, but once a camera is turned on the story changes and skirts the issue at hand – or even halts the person from speaking at all.
Travelling down here is also a bit of a curiosity. I pass hours standing in “chicken buses” (school buses converted to public transports) and miles and miles roll beneath the tires as countless people bump and grind past one another in the heat of the bus’ interior. The only escape from the cacophony of body odor is the breeze rushing through the windows carrying the smells of burning garbage, incredible cooking, and the local smells of agriculture.
I’ll be on the road for about 12 weeks in total, travelling through at least 9 countries and filming at least 9 interviews.
The journey will be strenuous and I’ll travel over 9,000 miles in total when I finally reach the southern tip of Argentina.
I’ll do my best to post a few of the un-subtitled interviews in the next two weeks.