It was the summer of 2007, and being the weirdo that I am I was home doing one of my favorite pastimes, watching movies (mainly documentaries). It was a summer that would shape my thinking and guide my action for years to come. It was the first time that I watched Al’s “The Inconvenient Truth” that would later go on to win the Oscar for Best Long Documentary, and the first time I was really expose to the issue of Environmental Protection and the importance of Sustainability. I didn’t know the minor fabrications in data or the business implication behind it back then, all I knew was that there was a big problem with the way we were interacting with our environment and that I had to do something about it. Since then I have spent countless hours planning, thinking, organizing, and “doing something about it”. That one long-ass documentary has been rightly shown to me at a very impressionable time of my life, it was one of those forks in the road, and I decided to take the one on the left.
Now years later, I am thrust back into the path not taken, the right side of the fork, by a chance so freackin random. The Best Short Documentary of the 2007 Oscar is called “The Blood of Yingzhou District”, a film about an AIDS orphan in Anhui province in China, it was the documentary that I did not see back in that fateful summer, the right side of the fork in the road. I recently met up with a old friend of my mother who she hasn’t seen in more than 10 yrs, Mrs. Zhang, and apparently she has now become the Head Organizer of one of China’s only AIDS orphan organizations in Yingzhou District in Anhui Province, the most AIDS infected area in all of “the 1.3 Billion strong” nation of China. After hearing about her work, I immediately requested to go to the AIDS Orphanage with her today (which is a 2 hr flight away), to better understand the work of her organization and more importantly to see how I help her and the AIDS victims in China by finding our more about them, first person and first hand.
I now sit on my train on the way to Yingzhou District, watching 2007’s Best Short Documentary, the one that I missed when I was 13 and the path not taken, until now. I hope you can all watch the film, “The Blood of Yingzhou District”, not only to understand the journey that I have now embarked upon, but also to learn about the state of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” when concerning AIDS victims and orphans in China.