Bridging War & Hope

Heikkila at Helal Chineh. (Photo: LT Davin Fischer, ZADT)


This blog is sporting a new title.  We’ve changed it from 10 Days in the Sand, to Bridging War & HopeBridging War & Hope will be the title of the documentary that is going to tell the story of the Minnesota National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team stationed in Zabul Province, Afghanistan.

Last week I wrapped up the interviews for the program, and I’m proud to say I have too much poignant sound to cram into the finished piece.  It’s an embarrassment of riches.  Last week’s interviews with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Ghafar Lakanwal, a former high-ranking official in the Afghanistan Department of Agriculture help round-out what I recorded while embedding with the ADT.

A program like this needs expert interviews, but more-importantly I have interviews with nearly half of the Minnesota team on-the-ground in Zabul Province.  I think it is the sound of the Soldiers, those who are daily:

  • walking into villages
  • meeting with Elders
  • speaking with retailers at the markets
  • seeing how the Afghan government could help the farmers achieve more
  • working with children
  • continually comparing their lives with the lives of those they are trying to help

that will make this piece what it is.

I’m working with tpt’s Design Team to create maps and a key-image that will help viewers understand and remember the work the ADT is doing over the course of their 10 months in Afghanistan.  In my grand scheme of things it seems surreal that just a few weeks ago I was worried about what to bring with me and not I’m worried about I’ll have to leave on the cutting room floor.

Bridging War & Hope will air, state-wide in Minnesota, on Twin Cities Public Television in September, 2012,  The broadcast is going to coincide with the ADT’s return to US soil.  Not in Minnesota?  Not a TV-watcher?  No worries, the full-length program will also live on-line.  More information on all of this as it becomes available.

Thanks for reading.