I first struck up an e-mail friendship with Tappan about two years ago when I learned about his Peace Corps film project, Gone to Mali. We featured him in the "Making a Difference" area of our homepage and he later contributed a piece about his village to our special water issue of WorldView magazine. He sent along this update:
"I spent 3 months in Mali, returning on March 14, and as always had an amazing time. The people there continue to be my heros, for despite their poverty and the medical problems so prevalent there, they are continually gracious, hospitable, and kind. The "Gone To Mali" film is all shot, and we got beautiful footage, which is currently being edited by Tavé Facé Drake, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer with me in Mali....
"Tavé is currently working on a 5-minute trailer that we will use to go out to foundations for finishing funds, as the one up on the web is too long and we're focusing more now on the emotional/socio- cultural experience of Peace Corps and Mali rather than the development side. The water/sanitation issue in Niono will play a part, but it's pretty much another film that doesn't have an ending yet, as we're working on getting some projects in Niono and want to shoot the progress of all that."
Tappan adds that Tavé met her husband Dow Drake while serving in Mali from '91-93. She went to USC Film School, and another "Stage" friend Kim Wert (Mali '90-'92) is helping to produce Gone to Mali. So all in all this film is going to be a true Peace Corps family affair!