Exploring all options and trying to keep this as simple as possible, I’ve realized that a practical approach to take might be to intern in one country, document my progress with the organization I work with, and then cover the issue independently while traveling throughout the region on my own. Hit the jump for details and possible plans for the adventure.
Being realistic and practical here, I think that going through all three countries with as big of a passion as I have would equal no focus. Going to each place alone, although exciting and being part of the adventure, may not be too ideal at this early stage when I still need to build up a network of people and expand my knowledge while narrowing my focus.
So, at the moment, I’m looking at working with an organization, such as Village Focus International in Cambodia or ADAPT in Vietnam to cover issues on human trafficking or helping improve villages, for example, I can intern with them while learning about the area and the issues I’m covering, then when I finish the internship, use the remaining time to travel around the region for the adventure portion, and film the issues I want to cover for the humanitarian call for action step. Also, if they allow me to film or document the work we do during my internship, that’s a plus.
Here’s an issue I am really interested in covering: the Thai-Cambodian border dispute and the Preah Vihear Temple as a casualty. As long as I’m in the region, I can take a bus around and explore some notable sites, then put my energy into seeing what makes the conflict an issue to take note of, and how I can help while calling others to action.
So it would be something like this: 1) intern with an organization in the region, 2) use my free time when not working to film sights and sounds to cover adventure portion of project, 3) film and document the global issues and how they are being addressed by the organization and similar groups if I am allowed to, 4) upon finishing the internship, go out and explore more of the region and document the issue I want to expose people to, help out in whatever way I can, and make a call for people to take action.
Applying the general plan, let’s say I work with ADAPT in Vietnam, and my issue is human trafficking. The last intern to do ADAPT from UCSD worked with Cambodian refugees and human trafficking victims who were brought into Vietnam as sex slaves. Assuming I do the same, I’d work with the group and film as much as I can and am allowed to about the issue and how they and other groups are addressing the issue. When I’m not working, travel around Vietnam and explore the sights and sounds, then after the internship, explore Thailand and Cambodia, then do some independent filming on the issue of human trafficking in the region, focusing on Cambodia’s problem and how it affects its neighboring countries.
This is still the brainstorming and defining stage, but I think this is moving pretty fast toward what I’m going to do with the project.
In addition to defining it, what I need to do next is 1) get the digital camera, the Canon Rebel T3i, 2) explore San Diego and show the beauty of the local area (think global, act local), then work on an issue to help improve the community here, 3) make a short presentation about that to demonstrate what I’m capable of. This will also be practice for the big adventure that lies ahead.