Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Blame Charley and Ewan

Boorman and McGregor, that is. Have you been watching Long Way Down on Fox Reality channel? Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor rode motorcycles from the northern tip of Scotland down to Capetown, South Africa. It is fascinating to me. A combination of travel, food, culture, adventure, and music show. (And, ok, it's Ewan McGregor! Come on!)

A few years ago they did Long Way Round, where they went from London to New York, by riding east on their motorcycles. I was fascinated with that one too. So much so that I actually signed up for their newsletter, and got updates as they were filming Long Way Down. I never knew I was such a TV geek.

I blame them for my wanderlust.

Saturday's episode showed them in Rwanda. They spoke of the genocide that happened there. They were speaking with their Rwandan fixer, and asked why they had never heard of it. The fixer said that at the time, Kurt Cobain had just died, the US was in the World Cup, etc. So the death of a musician and a sports event were more important than the fact that hundreds of thousands of innocents were being slaughtered. But apparently the British media were no better, since Charley and Ewan hadn't heard about it either.

Why do I bring this particular episode up? I have a friend in Rwanda right now. She is French, (oops, actually recently got her American citizenship) and her American husband are working there, doing agricultural education. She is working with the widow's association, and her husband is working on the dairy situation.

They had lived/worked there before, in the 80's, before the genocide. They were looking forward to their return, but feared that many of their friends there were lost to the genocide. They were looking for one man in particular, but they were right, he was a victim of the genocide. Imagine their delight when they found his son still living. The little boy they knew was now a young man, but they were so happy to find this connection to their friend.

When they were there in the 80's, they were working on building terraces on the hills of Rwanda. When the episode aired, I was searching for signs of terracing, knowing that my friends had had a part in it.

When I mentioned to my friend that I was having the llamas do the mowing, she replied that she has hippos doing hers! Can you imagine?

There is a standing invitation to come visit them. Don't think I don't want to. To visit a country is one thing, to be shown the country by someone intimately familiar with the people and culture is a wonderful opportunity. However, the $2500 price tag on airfare means it won't happen.

So instead I'll watch Long Way Down, and read the travelogue/diary/newsletter my friend e-mails every few weeks.

(I also loved Feasting on Asphalt 1 and 2, and now Feasting on Waves. I am a sucker for shows involving food, people, travel and motorcycles and boats!)


LostInCO said...

What a wonderful post. I was glad to read that your friends found their friends son.

Cindy said...

Lovely story. Thank you. And, Ewan McGregor? Drool....... I'm so in love with that man. As for reality tv? I have never watched it. I am not much into tv, but I do have it on often while knitting. Usually, it's Mom watching so we watch what she wants. Wouldn't it be lovely to go to Rwanda?

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! I loved Feasting on Asphalt, too! Love Alton Brown!!! What a great concept for a show.

Hope you and your Mom are having a good week.

My sister dialed the phone, helped my Mom and they both sang Happy Birthday to me last week-end. Hearing my Mom sing (every word!) to me on the phone was the BEST gift. The very best gift!

gr8aunt (Amanda)

cornbread hell said...

i think you should get some hippos.

cornbread hell said...

but not cows.

the mama chickens might have t' kill 'em...

Annie said...

Cindy, this isn't the reality tv with stupid contests etc, but reality as in real life. I'd consider it a documentary.

Amanda, that would be a wonderful gift. Happy Birthday!

Rick, my eyes! My eyes! Now I have to find those otters holding hands or that German polar bear cub to scrub that vision from my eyes. I'll sic my chickens on the people who tied that poor chick up. They better run. Waugh!
I think I'll pass on the hippos too, and just stick with the llamas. Or maybe a camel?

rilera said...

I remember the genocide it Rwanda. It was absolutely abominable to think that so many innocents were slaughtered for no reason. It was an awful, awful time. I remember reading that one of the rivers in Africa was red with the blood of the victims. It was heartbreaking. Very good post Annie.

Robin said...

I LOVE Long Way Down..especially Ewan McGregor!!