Saturday, July 24, 2010
One hundred three degrees in the capital city! I'm hydrated and almost ready to go. This blog will be short because for every minute passing it just gets hotter.
The count down continues. Right now it is all about the checklist. The other night I awoke from what seemed so real but turned out to be a nightmare. I had a layover in Arizona on my way to Kenya. When I got to the airport I realized that I had left my walking shoes, my tent, and walking sticks in Richmond. You know that feeling you get when you wake up and realize you were suppose to be at work five minutes ago? I woke up in a panic, seriously. Once my heartbeat returned to normal, I studied my checklist, and devised a plan on how I would complete it. We are only 21 days away from departure, and everyones question is "are you ready?"
Good question. I feel that I am physically ready. Mental preparation is an ongoing process, but I feel strong. I got my shots taken care of, which I will tell you about later. However I do have clothing items to purchase, along with spare batterys, and toiletries.......Oh, and I still have a goal of raising $10,000 dollars for the Makindu Children's Program.
I would like to say that with the support of many gracious people, I am on my way. I see that it will be a slow and steady, but it will be sure. Thank you so much to those that have donated your time and energy that has manifested itself into funds for the children, I will return with many hugs and kisses from them for you. Continue to support, tell others about the children, and the importance of a program like this. Post the weblink on your facebook, twitter, myspace, pages, shout it from the mountatin tops......."MAKINDU.ORG!"......"PROPERWALK.COM!" Tell the world! One good deed, creates another!
Thank you for your time, I will see you 10 miles, and 3 liters of water later!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
First of all on behalf of the Makindu Children's Program and 2010 walkers, I would like to thank REI @ Short Pump for hosting an evening of sharing. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with some amazing people. There was an audience of about 20 people who listened attentively, and gave positive feedback afterward. Michael does an amazing job of keeping the crowds attention while reviewing some not so easy to digest statistics. Overall the night was a great success, and we really couldn't have done it without your time, and generosity. I hope to see all of you at the National Theater on July 31st moving and shaking to your favorite reggae band, Antero. If you missed it before this is your official invite.
Dave your photos are truly amazing, and are inspiring to all that see them.
Please click the link below to read an awesome article written by Nancy Beasley, featured in Richmond Magazine about Michael Farley, and the Proper Walks.
Friday, July 16, 2010
The count down is on! 30 days from today I will be boarding a plane headed for East Africa. This trip is special to me in a lot of ways. In the next couple of months, I will see dreams that I once had become reality. East Africa holds a special place in my heart for reasons that are obvious to those that know me. Stories of African kings can have a huge impact on a young African American male that struggles to find an identity outside of what is given to him by television, and pop American culture. I feel that there is an unspoken duality of personalities for a young black male in America. Even though the education system in my hometown was considered to be better than good, there were certain things that were never taught to me. The American part of my history was taught in full, but the African part was covered in February. It was my older brother that encouraged me to strive towards having a greater knowledge of self. I felt more complete once I could find myself in history. I could not ignore my grandmother's high cheek bones, straight white hair, and deep red skin. I couldn't deny my grandfather's midnight complexion, strong hands and back. It was a marvelous journey to learn about my makeup. This trip to East Africa is a continuation of that journey, and hopefully will help some things come full circle. You can't really know where you're going if you don't know where you come from.
I refuse to be a tourist, returning with t-shirts and refrigerator magnets. So many have taken, and now its time to give. I hope to make life long relationships with people I have yet to meet.
I look forward to and welcome life changing, shaping experiences.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I like to think of myself as a brave warrior. I'm not trying to sound like a tough guy, but there are few things that truly manifest itself as fear inside me. I'm not afraid of snakes, I am just cautious in their presence. I don't have a fear of heights or large crowds, and you can ask Michael, I am no longer afraid of water. Some fears are driven by ignorance, some by experience, and others are just innate. When I discover a fear in myself, I usually try to bull my way through in an attempt to conquer it. I'm not saying that fear is bad, or a sign of weakness, I would just like think that knowledge, caution, and humility can destroy those that keep us bound and unable to have true life experience.
Tomorrow I have an appointment, an appointment that I've put off for several months, and tried to reschedule twice. I don't want to go. I can't stay focused just at the thought of it. Tomorrow I will go. I will be there at the scheduled time and I will do it. I have to. At 3pm I will be sitting in front of some sort of health care professional with an arsenal of needles. I'm not positive how many because the women wouldn't tell me over the phone. I've spoken with Michael, and Dave about it in hopes to get something, I'm not sure what. For situations like this Michael's advice is simple, suck it up, and get it done. Dave on the other hand called me yesterday to let me know that its gonna hurt like hell.
I think I'm well informed about the importance of getting these inoculations, I'm cautious and humble, but in this case it doesn't matter. I'm not afraid of the pain, I'm not fearful of whats in the needle. Its the damn needle! Regardless I've gotta suck it up and get it done. So if you have a moment, just say a few peaceful words tomorrow around 3 o'clock. Think relaxing thoughts for me. I'm doing this one for the youth at the Makindu Children's Center.
If you would like to do something courageous and necessary for the Children at the Makindu Childrens Center, then go to makindu.org or properwalk.com and donate. Also encourage others to do the same. You can also meet Michael, Dave and myself at REI in Short Pump in Richmond July 15th for a slideshow presentation about Africa and The Makindu Children's Program.
P.S. Clowns are strange and make me uncomfortable, I am not afraid of them.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The message is in the music! I have the pleasure of being a member of Virginia's favorite, and Richmond's most popular reggae band. I have been with Antero for 3 years and have found that music is a serious vehicle. Since the begining of time music has been used to heal, build, and even destroy. The power of sound is immeasurable, and can be compared to the qualities of water and its ability to move through anything, consuming it completly.
My love is persussion, West African drumming is what I have been trained in, and I flirt with Latin Percussion. Recently, with the support of a few friends, I have started to find my voice. The language that I speak with my drum is coded for most listeners, but in using my vocal voice the language becomes a little bit easier for the untrained ear to hear, and understand. In finding this new avenue to express myself, I see it as a serious tool to bring attention to what ever it is that I find important. I can play the role of a news reporter, I can be a griot of sorts. I have recently enjoyed using this platform to inform the audience about the Makindu Children's Program. People are listening, and talking to me about it afterwards.
I feel a real brotherhood with the members of Antero. We all get along famously on and off the stage. We create an amazing chemistry. We recently played in Alexandria, Virgina for the Del Ray Music Festival. The crowd was very responsive to the band, and they are all better informed about the M.C.P.
You're probably wondering "oh brother joshua, where can I see Richmond's most popular reggae band next?" Well, July 31st we will be headlining at The National Theatre in Richmond, Va. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com for $10, but if you buy from a band member ask for the "Makindu Special". The "Makindu Special" will cost you $10 + a $5 donation to M.C.P, two birds with one stone!
Thanks again for your time, stay tuned. I've got a few walk stories to tell you, and we've got some other events coming up this month, as well as August. Make your way to the R.E.I at Short Pump webpage to register for Michael Farley's slideshow presentation on Africa, and The Makindu Childrens Program, scheduled for July 15.
And last but not least, click or cut & paste the link below for Antero's article in Style Magazine, by Malcolm Venable, it's major! After you hit the link go to the music icon above.
Peace and love,