On the second day of our summer Storyteller Boot Camp, I joined Storytellers Prakash and Kamal in their homes as they told their first stories (with us anyways). While Kamal and Prakash were waiting to begin shooting the story about Nepali food culture, Kamal offered to show me a few videos of his former home in the Beldangi refugee camps of Nepal. There were several videos on YouTube featuring the camps and Kamal even pointed out his house in one of them. I had a camera with me and thought the experience was worth sharing.
These days, technology provides a blessing of communication for refugees whom in years past would have been further removed from their former life, their relatives and friends. Reminders of home, pictures, personal belongings often don’t make the trip with refugees when resettled. In some cases, sites like YouTube have replaced tangible items. Communication also allows families to help those left behind and find out quickly when events happen in locations that might not receive media attention here.
It is clear in this video that being reminded of home is bittersweet. I was struck by how both Kamal and Prakash struggle with the transition they have made. Life in America moves fast and forward with few available moments for reflection. I was pleased to witness this one.