Farewell Jonathan

Trip Start Mar 21, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Swimming in the hot springs near Gyeltang, I relaxed after too many days of power outages, deadlines, and computer crashes. The natural sauna emanating from the bowels of the earth and emptying from a cliffside also soothed my soul, like the music from the days of old. From under a natural bridge, a cold autumn stream flowed, perfect for a little Scandanavian style cold-hot-cold-hot treatments and something to do with Gomba and Jonathan and Xiao Lai (a.k.a. Little Stone) and Ling, two women tourists from the other part of China.

"Watch out, they come from Mao's birthplace," Gomba said, drawing chuckles from Jonathan.

They were still friendly enough, despite the inauspicious connection to Mao. We decided to go to Bita Hai, a highland lake, together the next day; there they explained their dislike for the government and Japanese, especially for the Cultural Revolution and the massacres during Japan's invasion and occupation. They both liked hiking and were bored with their computer jobs with PetroChina.

We were at the hot springs celebrating Jonathan's month with us as we wished him farewell. We continued the celebration over some drinks, hotpot, and dishes at the Potala Palace Restaurant. We toasted to a great, albeit busy month and to friendships.

On his last full day, Jonathan conducted another training in editing theory and storytelling. As usual, his great teaching style engaged everyone.

The day before, I was scrambling together a short video clip about Shangri-la and WWF for Yunhua, who was heading to Europe for training and to see donors. Almost every day for one week, the power would go out for several hours. When I needed power the most, it went out all day. When we had power, the computer was crashing constantly, which after much troubleshooting, we found the culprit--the external hard drive.

Luckily, Jonathan chose to go to Yongdui to film the nomads returning home to a friendly gathering. I volunteered to stay behind to edit as I would have other chances to visit Yongdui later.

The brownouts and crashes confounded things, however.

Despite the brownouts and crashes, fall has arrived in the forests, fields and lakes of Shangri-la. The pastures are browning, the Black-necked Cranes have returned for the winter, snow adorns the peaks ringing Zhongdian, the fields are newly-plowed, and the barley is drying.

Farewell, Jonathan...here's to you.
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carolyn on

I can't get the .wmv's to work on my computer :(
They open up as if they will start playing, but they don't play.

lraleigh on

Playing the video clips
Hi Carolyn,

I tried the clips here, just to check if they worked. Windows Media Player works fine; I don't know about whether other players, though. Single click on the icon. In a while, the clip will have downloaded and plays. Hope this works.

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