My official invitation to Afghanistan


Awesome!  I just received this official invitation from the Turquoise Mountain Foundation

to come and stay with them in Kabul Afghanistan. My good friend Jenny Hartley from upcountry Maine has been over in Pakistan and recently Kabul at several points in the last couple years (in between rounds of medical school) lending her considerable energy and skills to serve to the people of that corner of the globe. (And also offering her delectable cookie-baking skills, no doubt!) TMF is where her current life is, staying, as she describes it, in “a 14th century fort with wi-fi” that is apparently the envy of the international/NGO community in Kabul–one of the sweetest cribs in town, I guess. More on her work there later. (I didn’t know they had wifi back in the 14th century…)

These invitation letters are arriving a little tight, timing-wise, but are hopefully just what we need to get into the country (despite the well-meant concerns of, oh, just about everyone we mention it to).

Have I introduced my travel and India film project partner yet? I met Sara Karl, who’s a spunky independent film producer and overall energetic dynamo, first by telephone through mutual friends in the Neem Karoli Baba satsang and then later while playing kirtan (Indian devotional chanting, a truly nectar-filled practice)  with Shyamdas and friends this past summer out at upstate New York’s Omega Institute, where she was working for the season with the infamous Omega production staff (yo John and Ken and Ohia and all my friends at Omega!).  I saw some of Sara’s podcast work and thought “wow, I’d love to have a little video like this to help tell the story of what I am doing with Dharma Boutique in a colorful and engaging way” and, well, one impractical idea followed another until…

For some odd reason (I reckon she likes adventure as much as I do), Sara accepted my invitation to work for virtually nothing (OK, for actually nothing)  traversing the globe with me to shoot footage of “Dharma Boutique on the road” and help tell the stories of socially responsible business and fair trade, and the various beautiful products we import and the sweet folks who make them, and generally share the other-worldly devotional splendor and modern madness that is India. Anyway, Sara is in NYC and heading to the Afghan Consulate today to try and score our travel visas for Afghanistan. So, the arrival of these invite letters comes con tiempo perfecto!


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