Human Planet Review

Last night, I watched the premier of Human Planet on Discovery Channel. It’s very similar to the Planet Earth and Life series they aired over the last year or so, except this time they focus on how people live in far off places. It was truly spectacular – both the stories told and the cinematography.

From last night’s episode, two stories stood out to me:

1. The Mongolian hunters
2. The Tibetan father taking his kids to school

The Mongolians capture baby eagles just after they hatch and then train them to be hunters. I’ve seen a falconer before at sporting events and stuff but never imagined using that bird as a weapon for hunting small game. The Mongolians can be seen riding their horses through the snow and up mountains — all with a giant eagle perched on their arms. They get to a high vantage point on a mountain top and then take the shield off the eagles eyes (they do this so the birds don’t freak out while traveling on the horses). The eagle immediately spots a fox and takes off for the kill.

The Tibet family has to take a 6-day, 60 mile trek through the frozen Zanskar Valley of the Himalayans – just to get to school! They walked on think, cracking ice and faced sub-zero temps during night time. The father successfully gets his kids to school, where they will stay for 6 months at a time. Then he returns home following the same trek, this time alone.

The show really helps put things into perspective and made me realize how much I take for granted. I’m sitting there watching this show in bed on my big High Def. TV while eating popcorn at the same time a 10 year old kid from Etheopia is throwing rocks at a band of monkeys trying to eat his wheat crops. The world is a big place with billions of humans, yet we are all so different in so many ways.

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