Hitting Himalayan heights
NOOSA Eagles soccer tragics Noah Hutchison and Bradley Cox have been kicking spiritual, sporting and humanitarian goals in the far-flung heights of the Himalayas.
But it was the two men who came away uplifted by their contact with the people of Jambange.
Filmmaker Noah and assistant Bradley spent months making a documentary in the company of the Maharaja of Jambange – a truly colourful character.
The purple-clad “charismatic eccentric” is championing a community living on a steep mountainside and the two-man Noosa film crew followed him from the sacred river Ganges to the last outpost of northern India near the Nepal border crossing.
As a director of art-based film company Artciné, Noah has worked with respected Byron Bay landscape artist Ken Johnson.
It was Ken’s mission to help the Maharaja better the lot of the needy community of Jambange , which led to them trekking through the foothills of Mount Everest.
The “doco” captures the return of the Maharaja, Ken and London-based author and Jambange supporter Sunil Om Guru, to this charitable outpost.
Also on the journey is a group of outsiders who will see the completion of the new community/medical/ accommodation centre and hopefully be inspired to help out further.
Jambange’s self-description is a “spiritual group with a social commitment”.
Noah said he was overwhelmed by the incredible reception of the local people.
“They lead a very precarious existence because they live on a steep slope with very little in the way of facilities,” he said.
In fact Noah and Bradley were moved by the plight of a 16-year-old boy in the community who was blinded after falling into boiling water.
His family had kept him locked in a cupboard for fear of him falling down the mountain.
“This young lad will be able to be better accommodated in this community centre,” Noah said.
Part of the Jambange mission is to level out as much of the mountain as possible and build the community centre and rainwater tanks using international donations.
As well as contributing towards a new rain tank that was blessed by the Buddhist monks and decorated by Ken along with the donors’ names, the Noosa Eagles coaches brought with them 22 football shirts donated by the Noosa Eagles for the soccer-mad kids living there. The Aussie visitors also threw in a proper football – a real improvement of the home-made wicker ball the kids were playing with.
There was also the gift of a referee’s shirt and whistle while Noah and Bradley were presented garlands and scarves by the grateful locals who later turned on musical performances.