So my talented partner of Le Grand Cru is in a band called Garage Voice. They’ve got some pretty rockin’ tunes and need all of our help!
Check out this vid for more info:
So join me and help be a part of this awesome project!
Click the following week to participate: Garage Voice Kickstarter
You know how you sometimes come across something just knowing that it’s going to take off? HandMeUps.org is one of those things. Founder Kurt Narmore has connected with some huge clothing brands and set up a system that “obtains brand new, unused, unworn clothing from radical brands who share a philanthropic interest” in order to give underprivileged kids some fresh gear. He’s also partnered up with the Boys & Girls Club of America and will be doing a 5 city summer tour, bringing some really great guests along for some motivational speaking.
Get used to seeing this logo. They are about to do some big things. And keep an eye out for our next CRU issue for an interview with Mr. Narmore himself.
Their site is brand new, so check it out for more info at www.handmeups.org
When we came up with the Japan Compilation we thought we should also put out an online magazine companion that showcases the artists even more. This is the first of many to come, so watch for our future issues as we plan to highlight different creatives and go more in depth with them. Thanks for all the support from everyone, and a big thanks to Brian Lambert (newest member to the design team) for designing over half of this issue.
So relax, check it out in full screen, and leave a comment telling us what you think! Welcome to the CRU.
It’s been week since we’ve released our compilation, and we just wanted to thank every one of you that has purchased it. If you have any other outlets that this could be passed along to, please do so! All proceeds go through Direct Relief International to aid the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. And here is the link: http://legrandcru.bandcamp.com/
I am honored to have met Emily Wilkens and to call her my friend. She is full of life and has an amazing story to share in a book called “African Rice Heart”. She actually went on a 23 state book tour, and when she came to my town, I got to sit down with her to ask some questions. I’ve never been on a mission trip before, and Emily has definitely made me want to go even more. Here is the interview:
Please check out her blog at http://www.starsgoings.blogspot.com/ and in the right-hand column, there is info on how you can purchase her book! Thanks Emily! God bless and hope to see you again soon!
Music by Karli Fairbanks
2 boys who had their homes destroyed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake watch as the tsunami unfold in Japan. This really touched my heart. Continue to pray for everyone and try to help in any way you can.
We would officially like to welcome Matt back from his trip. We’re glad he arrived home safely last night, but he did run into a bit of some mayhem before coming home. Here is the wrap-up to his trip. Thank you to everyone that followed his journey and prayed for his safety.
So my Cameroon adventure has come to an end, but the memories won’t fade away any time soon. My work in the hospital has finished, as the ‘real’ doctor, Trixy, has safely returned. I am relieved to be stepping out of the big shoes I attempted to fill. She truly had built strong, healing relationships with her patients, as evident by the constant inquiries into her return. One of the most memorable patients I saw came on my final day. She awoke with intense ear pain, from a cockroach that had burrowed itself and was stuck inside her ear! It had been surgically removed, but she was still having pain, as her ear was now infected. If I saw this patient on my first day, I don’t think I would have gotten any sleep. The staff gave me a nice farewell party, and sent me home with a couple ‘traditional’ African outfits. I will miss my Cameroon family very much.
My last couple days in country, I chose to spend relaxing on the white-sand beaches of Kribi. My many new friends in the Peace Corps were gathering there for a training session, and again were generous enough to let me tag along and sleep on their floor. However, I never would have imagined our lives would be in danger. One evening, the roughly 30 of us were all enjoying a bonfire on the beach near a restaurant that served as the groups ‘hangout’ spot. Half of our group, including me, decided to go for a late-night swim in the ocean. About 5 minutes after getting in the water, we hear a loud ‘bang’ coming from the direction of the restaurant. Not sure what caused the loud noise, we converted our attention to the restaurant patio. We were skeptical at first, but our fears confirmed as we quickly heard 2 more ‘bangs’ from inside, with subsequent frenzy on the patio. 3 men were then seen running around outside gathering stuff from the tables as our friends were getting facedown on the ground. At this point, we knew we were getting robbed and just prayed no one was seriously injured. After gathering as many purses/wallets they could grab, the 3 assailants took off down the beach, where we were swimming. We were frozen in terror, and remained silent. One of the robbers then stopped right in front of us and looked as if he was sorting through the stolen goods. He didn’t leave anything behind, and once he continued running past, we made our way back to the restaurant. When I arrived, the patio was in disarray; many were in shock, crying, or scurrying frantically around. Apparently, the robbers entered quickly, knocking the guard standing outside unconscious and dragging him inside. One man had a pistol, the other two with knives/machetes. The first gunshot was aimed at the owners dog tied to a post in the corner, but fortunately missed, leaving a hole in the wall. The other 2 shots were aimed at the ceiling above. The attackers then proceeded to the patio, waving their machetes in everyone’s face and telling them to get down on the ground. I tried to find out who was hurt, but even those details were hard to sort out initially. Asking if anyone was shot, I was told ‘yes’ and directed to a girl sitting in a chair with her friend holding a bloody scarf to her back. Removing the makeshift bandage, I saw that the wound was not from a bullet, but rather a small, yet deep stab wound. The day after, she revealed to me that she was reluctant to give up her purse containing many valuables, and was subsequently stabbed in the back before relinquishing it. The next person I saw a crowd around, was a girl with a bloody shirt wrapped around her hand. When she saw the attackers storm outside, she grabbed her belongings and ran into the bathroom, locking herself inside. One of the robbers carrying a machete saw her, kicked the bathroom door in, took an overhand swipe at her, which she blocked with her hand, then took her things. Besides being severely traumatized, she too was lucky to have a relatively minor injury. Sitting alone on the porch was one of the restaurant employees with his hand over his mouth. He shook his head ‘yes’ when I asked if he was hurt. He had a long cut across his upper lip that was bleeding profusely, as he reported one of the men tried to stab him in the face as he ran past. The last person injured was the owner of the restaurant. Apparently, he had tried to stand up and talk the assailants out of harming anyone. The gunman replied by hitting him over the head with his pistol. The owner had significant bleeding down the side of his face, and a nasty 2-inch gash on the side of his head. He was applying pressure with a napkin, but would not sit still long enough to be tended to, as he was preoccupied with finding his wife. She was inside when the raid started, but had not been seen since. The owner was panicking as he combed the beach looking for her, unsuccessfully. Once the violence started, she ran out and caught a taxi to notify the police, which she later returned with. The Peace Corps medical officer was fortunately sleeping in the hotel across the street, and was able to stitch the injured wounds. I had trouble sleeping that night, and I’m sure it took the others a while to regain their composure as well. However, we were never able to regain the many important documents/cards, cameras, money, phones, iPods, and personal items that were stolen. When I left, the police supposedly had 2 suspects in custody.
The sour note I was leaving the country on, was somewhat lessened by my housemates, Cherilyn and Moriah, having a farewell dinner prepared when I got back to Buea. They made sweet potatoes (my favorite), chili, and cornbread. Of course, I still had to do the dishes. I then destroyed them in ‘Dutch Blitz’, to become the champion of all time, until next time. The ride to the airport was bittersweet, as we passed through the villages one last time, including the town of Tiko. It took another 30+ hours to arrive in California, thanks in part to every flight I took on Ethiopian Airlines (which I don’t recommend) being delayed. I’m sitting now with my friends/family, devouring mother’s signature delicacies of cottage cheese roast and cinnamon rolls, while watching the Canucks play hockey. Life seems to be back to normal, but will surely be different, as my experiences will help me grow in ways I have yet to notice. I am convinced that I have gained much more than I have left behind. I am greatly thankful for meeting all the brave, altruistic, and inspiring volunteers I met during my travels. Thank you to my family, friends, and Le Grand Cru for supporting me along the way. Happy Holidays!
A weekly ongoing summary of our friend Matt and his time as the main doctor in Cameroon, Africa.
I’ve been lucky to stay healthy so far. Many of the other volunteers have not been so fortunate. There has been an increase in the number of ‘fair-skinned’ patients recently at the clinic. Most with ‘flu-like’ symptoms, a few with malaria, and one with intestinal worms. However, there’s still a lot of suspect food for me to consume in my final week. Work has become a much more manageable routine these days, as I am more familiar with labs/treatments available. Our patient load has been lessened this month due to the holidays. This has allowed some very interesting conversations with the staff during our ‘down’ time. Both parties eager to learn the subtlest differences in cultural customs, from food to relationships. Frequently, we discuss/debate various passages from the Bible. I will truly miss all the friends I work with here, as I have learned so much from them. The end is near for me, as well as a couple other volunteers who have been in Cameroon much longer than I have. Our upcoming departure was just another excuse to get together and throw a party. We enjoyed a dinner of ‘Mexican’ food, finished off with key lime pie. The only requirement was that we wear some piece of African clothing…
Trying to see as much of Cameroon as I can before I leave, I took the opportunity to visit Foumban this weekend. The decision was made easier once I heard that our fearless leader, Bill, was willing to drive his own car and I could avoid the bus. The trip was awesome, with Foumban being a much drier climate. It’s famous for its wood and brass carvings/sculptures. There was much shopping to be had. Given the French-speaking majority, there was much interest in my Le Grand Cru apparel. So much so, that one guy traded me a bracelet, necklace, and sculpture just for my LGC wristband. The other main attraction was visiting the palace, where we were able to see the king and some traditional dances. The highlight of the trip by far happened while walking along the street, a little girl came up and gave me a hug around the knees, then continued on without words, just a smile on both our faces.