We rested in the shade and drank sui (coconut water). We hitched a ride on a passing truck and road to another village, where DD attended Primary School. My thought was that I could film her giving us a tour of the small campus and share some memories of her youth. However, upon our arrival we immediately noticed that the school was running their generator. At first I was annoyed but then I realized if I am patient that the sun would be setting and would provide better lighting when I filmed her than the harsh midday light that was above us now. By the time the school turned off their generator, there was maybe 15 minutes left of golden sunlight. I sat with DD and my camera and filmed what felt like a really nice interview. DD was expressive and thoughtful in the conversation but it soon began to get too dark to continue. As we walked back to the rendezvous point, where we would catch a ride back home, I was feeling satisfied that I was able to end the day on a high note.
I woke up Friday morning, mustered up as much determination as I could, and began my last day of work with DD in Awayama. We recorded several interesting conversations about her early life that shaped her to make the sort of life choices she is now making as a young woman. Later, we filmed a lovely moment between her and her dog, Jade, at her favorite reading spot by a river. My assistant took a photo from the sidelines, while I was filming, and I've attached it below. Then, that same evening as the golden sun backlit the tall grass swaying in the gentle breeze, I captured DD writing a letter to her mother. The letter is part apology and part poem. Behind the lens, I was startled at how perfect the setting was, how stunning the lighting was, and how lovely the sentiment of DD action was. I went to bed that night feeling the opposite of what I was feeling the night before. I felt inspired and could see, once again, the potential that this project has to become something unique and special.
I have one week of work left now, before I wrap Phase II of production. Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the project. All that good energy is helpful to the whole process. Whereever you are and whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope this note finds you well.
Vocabulary: Sui = Coconut Water