Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Loss of a friend

I still don't believe it. My friend and colleague Brent Hurd was struck and killed by a bus in Bangalore, India, over the weekend. He had gone to India's third largest city last summer to teach film-making for a year.

Brent was always enthusiastic about what he was working on. In Azerbaijan, where I met him, he had just started work on a film about Sufis. He had traveled all over the country, gathering interviews for his documentary -- and in between times -- he was a broadcast journalism teacher.

He taught our journalism students how to shoot and edit -- how to tell a story with pictures. The students loved him. He loved teaching and it showed in the way he could inspire his students.

I had a chance to speak to Brent just last week -- on a scratchy Skype connection from Bangalore. He told me he was loving his work and had some great students.

Brent, we miss you.

Dili Heat

The fever finally broke today in Dili -- a cloudburst unlike any I have seen in a long while struck in the middle of the afternoon. It was such a welcome relief after sweltering heat and humidity.

It rained so hard that it was almost impossible to hear the person next to me speak. The rain was accompanied by gentle winds - creating a natural air conditioner.

Thunder roared overhead -- shaking the building - flashes of lightning dances among the banyan trees and the flaming trees with their bright orange flowers against their dark green leaves.

I could almost sense the trees and plants breathing a huge sigh of relief and a very long, hot dry spell -- I know I was.