Since the start of 2002, I’ve literally racked up around 30,000 miles traveling all over, including business trips to Russia, Estonia, India and Bhutan. I went to the former Soviet Union for a digital divide policy conference in Moscow last February, and managed a few extra days in St. Petersburg and Tallinn, Estonia, where I got to spend Estonian independence day (and even met the Estonian president and former Lithuanian president Vytautas Landsbergis). After experiencing my first Russian winter, I got to experience the other extreme: an Indian summer, visiting Delhi in May. I went to India for the launch of our new website, Digital Opportunity Channel, which we’re co-producing out of Washington DC and Delhi. As part of my trip to south Asia, I was fortunate enough to be hosted by the UN Development Program’s office in Bhutan for two days. It was a painfully brief trip, but it gave me a taste of the beauty and hospitality of this largely unknown Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas.
Of course, some of you are probably wondering when I’ll publish travel journals for these trips — sorry, but don’t hold your breath. Since these were business trips, they weren’t exactly a typical exotic adventure, and I didn’t have much time to journal. At least I hope to publish photojournals at some point in the near future.
As some of you may know, Susanne and I have spent the bulk of our free time over the last years producing an independent documentary on muay thai, or Thai boxing. Susanne spent the summer of 2000 in Thailand, shooting footage of three boxers getting ready for their next fight: a 13-year-old boy who’d been fighting professionally since he was 11; an American Harvard graduate who came to Thailand to study muay thai under the legendary boxer Apidej Sit-Harun; and a 29-year-old housewife who decided to leave home and become a pro boxer, making up for the fact that women weren’t allowed to box when she was younger.
I’ve been serving as editor and co-writer for the documentary; meanwhile, Susanne’s put her life savings into this project, so my contributions seem almost meagre compared to what’s she done to create this documentary. Thankfully, her hard work is beginning to pay off — National Geographic has purchased the international broadcast rights for the documentary, and we managed to get British actor Jason Statham (star of Snatch and Lock Stock Two Smoking Barrels) to narrate it for us.
We’re really thrilled how the documentary has come together, and we’re even more thrilled that we’re finally reaching the finish line (or if you prefer a boxing metaphor, the final round of the fight.) So if you live outside of the US, stay tuned for Thai Boxing: A Fighting Chance on the National Geographic Channel, some time in 2003. And if you’re in the US, stay tuned to this web page for updates on whether we can get sell the rights to the film here in America…