Traveller in a strange land

I have been working at Threshold Studios for more than 20 years and every year our work hasn’t ceased to surprise me.  We’ve met and worked with some legendary people, we’ve delivered some incredible projects, and even now our journey throws us into unbelievable situations.

Our Camara Chica project is one of these.  In partnership with British Council and Into Film, Threshold and Suited and Booted in Bath have created four community-based media hubs in Venezuela, eleven or more in Cuba, and now, with Hafsah from Working Class in Manchester and Mark from Natural Theatre in Bath, a further twelve in Nepal.

That’s where I am right now.  Nepal!

Last week I worked with young people from the Shikharapur Community School; an inspirational town where everyone works together to overcome the hardships of daily life and rebuild after the recent earthquake.  They have sustainable earthquake-resistant houses built of mud, straw, hair and discarded bottles.  They promote and teach sustainable agriculture to a new generation of farmers.  They employ solar power.  Their school, built in nine months, has a great view over the valley to the distant mountains.  It was built to replace the one the earthquake destroyed.  Thankfully, the earthquake hit on a day when the children weren’t at school.

Next week I work in central Kathmandu, and then its off to the tea houses in the east for my third group.

Every day this week I’ve been privileged to gain access to some remarkable temples.  Mark has attended a riverside cremation.  And today…

Today we took a flight around Everest!  A place it never even occurred to me I might ever see.  In a plane operated by an airline that is proud to boost to be Nepal’s first carbon neutral service; achieved through a mix of better planes to reduce emissions, fuel efficiencies, reforestation programmes and Clean Up Everest initiatives.

In my life I never thought I’d ever visit Cuba – now I’ve spent months exploring the length and breadth of the island; Venezuela, and the villages of the Andes mountains – another impossibility. And now Nepal!  And the greatest pleasure of all this is that we spend weeks rooted deep in communities of local people, we learn of the histories, the politics, the culture, the food, the aspirations and privations of the folk who live in the cities, the villages and their most remote communities.  I don’t think I could ever be an ordinary tourist ever again…

Thanks Threshold, another year; another miracle.


Barry Hale

With the Ascended Masters, 4,800′ above sea level in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal 2019.