My mind is reeling and Treska and I have been in a state of giddy planning, questioning, fantasizing, idealizing and terrorizing. Kenneth Street (the Seed Hunter) confirmed, this morning, in an email that – “Yes.” We were welcome to join his crew on his next “seed-hunting mission” to Tajikistan. Next July. 2011. He was pretty sure it was happening. “Anyway – I can say for sure that I will make a space for you and Treska on the mission. There will be many ways you and Treska can contribute – we can discuss this as plans unfold.”
You can imagine how we are feeling. Well – first it is pure excitement and a sense of disbelief. Then come the questions. Oh my gosh, I have so many questions, I don’t even know where to begin. We don’t know Ken yet – and don’t want to terrify him with our overactive minds and so I thought that maybe if I break my 112 questions into weeks, we could allow ourselves something like 3 questions a week. Like, “So, Ken, what necessities shall we bring?” Oh – that might be too big of a question, so maybe something more like this, “How cold does it get at night at 3000 meters?” No – that I can google and find out immediately.
(At Tajikistan’s lower elevations, the average temperature range is 23 to 30 °C (73.4 to 86 °F) in July and -1 to 3 °C (30.2 to 37.4 °F) in January. In the eastern Pamirs, the average July temperature is 5 to 10 °C (41 to 50 °F), and the average January temperature is -15 to -20 °C (5 to -4 °F).)
So maybe I would ask him, “Say, Ken, do you drink coffee?” (Or shall I quit that vice well before leaving…)
What I really want to know is, “Shall we take a Russian course for a semester at UNM to prepare? Do the people in these remote villages actually speak it, or is it mostly Farsi?” How about, “What books can we read to learn as much as we can about this Seed Hunting mission and this land? Do you have a reading list for us?” My burning question is, “What can we contribute?” I’ve asked him that a few times. I will document our experience, Treska will write about it, during and after. I know what we will gain, students of the world. We will learn and learn and learn. Our learning and education have already begun. “How will the rest of the crew feel to be burdened with a teen and a midwife?” “How can we be worthy of it all?”
I won’t idealize it. I’m excited, happy and know that this is no easy journey. I don’t think. I assume it will be physically taxing. Treska is amazingly strong and I - well I will spend the next 10 months getting stronger. I’m fit enough and have enough determination to make it work and I would like to be even stronger. But, really, I don’t know anything yet. So, I will write down all my questions and funnel them over to Ken slowly and with consideration. I hope.
Treska and I are in a spiral of planning. We also, and you will hear more about this too, need to fundraise a ton of money. Ken gave us a pretty clear breakdown of what the budget will look like. It’s doable, ’cause it consists of lots of camping, but we still have the flights to fund as well. So we’ve been thinking of different ways to fundraise. It’s fun to brainstorm with friends and family. So Goodnight!
If you want to watch the trailer for Ken’s seed-hunting documentary, click here!