Sunday, January 01, 2006

Affording India

I'm home in Indiana, but tomorrow (Monday) I fly out of Detroit, back to Provo. I'll be flying with my brother Jed, an animation major at Brigham Young, where I'm studying French and anthropology.

On Tuesday Jed and I get to leave my place in Provo at around 5:30 in the morning so I can go through with
hernia surgery. Apparently I've been living with this thing for a while, but it feels like it's gotten worse in the past couple weeks, so I went to the doctor, and we decided that it was probably time to go under the knife.

I'm not actually nervous about the surgery itself, I guess. Not as worried as I am about paying for the blasted thing. I'm expecting that this sucker's going to run me anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 dollars - maybe even more - and that's money I really needed for airfare and camera equipment. And tuition. Oh, and food. As I hope you've read in my post
Some Obstacles to Overcome, my GPA from the last few semesters (the last of which really took me by surprise) requires me to buckle down and focus on school even more than I had been; however, the only thing I can think to get rid of now is work, and that option only limits my chances to (A) get to Dharamsala and (B) take equipment to let me dip my toes into visual anthro.

I sat down with Mom and Dad, who have always supported my decisions (despite an understandable level of concern when my decisions take me to places far away), and they've offered to help pay for the surgery - at first out of savings, and then after rethinking things somehow given our current cashflow situation. My job is to try to negotiate with the insurance company to find some kind of payment plan besides the one-lump-sum method.

I'll keep you posted on how surgery went, how I'm dealing with the recovery, and anything else of relevance. Jed and I are hoping to go up to Park City on Thursday to see angry monk - reflections on tibet as part of the Sundance Institutute Documentary Film Series. The film is part of the World Documentary Competition for the 2006 Sundance Film Festival; there's a locals-only sneak preview that I hope is free. I'm determined to face the pain and get myself out of bed and get up there to see it. You never know whether you'll get the tickets to the films you want to see at Sundance, so this might be my only chance.

Thanks to the folks who've already checked out Indiana to India, especially those who've sent me feedback. I do want to build community here, so please do drop me a line either via comment or email.

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