Check out my buddy J.R. Biersmith‘s new web show “Just Droppin In” where he drops in on travelers, musicians and other interesting folks from around the world to capture a slice of their lives. This first one with surfer/traveler Kepa Acero is pretty cool and I like how Kepa is documenting his travels through video and music. Check it out!
2010 saw the release of the collaboration album between Damian Marley and Nas that was first teased by the track “Road to Zion” on Marley’s hit album “Welcome to Jamrock”. While their collabo album didnt do a ton for me, this track “Patience” was a true gem. Featuring a sample from the great musical duo from Mali, Amadou & Mariam‘s track “Sabali” (which means Patience), this song really reflects the energy of the overall album which is about ancestry, Africa and poverty issues.
This is a great track as background music while having people over or for driving down the highway to
Musicians have lent their musical platform for centuries to the advancement of causes close to the hearts of them and their communities. In many instances the use of such platform has helped to elevate a particular issue and cause a groundswell at times that can be the cause of political or societal change. Today Im going to kick off a recurring blog called “Musicactivism” which highlights the work artists are doing on various causes.
Ill start with something that has been buzzing around the internet which is the “Kony 2012″ movement. This movement was started by the good folks at Invisible Children. The idea behind the movement is we need to bring awareness to the atrocities being committed in Uganda by Joseph Kony, especially against children who were/are being kidnapped and forced to live a life of military servitude. There is a short documentary going around right now to inspire people into action. You can check it out below. If you want to get more involved in the movement after watching the video you can do so by going to www.Kony2012.com. If you want to hear a dissenting opinion on the effort, check out this blog post.
A band that has been involved with Invisible Children and this issue for a while is Fall Out Boy. Aside from their speaking up on this issue at concerts and events, they also committed the video of one of their songs to the plight of these invisible children. Check it out below, and let me know what does or doesnt inspire you to take action.
And here is the Kony 2012 film:
As I went to sleep tonight I popped on my laptop and put on Out of Africa. The movie was shot not far from where we were traveling in Kenya and it helped keep my brain inspired by my beautiful surroundings until I woke in the morning :)
Our hotel was located right on Lake Victoria and lucky for us, the sun set each day on the water. It was truly amazing to watch…here are some of my favorite photos of these African sunsets.
(written on the plane from NYC to London)
I left for Kenya yesterday afternoon. The trip began on a sour note with the Giants losing to the Eagles, but got better as a brand new Lincoln Town Car picked me up outside my apartment en route to the airport.
Ticketing and security going through the American Airlines terminal at JFK was once again quick and easy. I met up with the rest of the crew there (Jordan and Steve who will be filming, Sean who is the Producer, and Tim who is reporting) and we headed to a restaurant in the airport for some quick eats and to catch some of the Chargers vs. Steelers game. Through a good piece of fortune, our coach tickets were upgraded to business class per a request made by Viacom’s travel group. Had I known this I wouldn’t have bought the burger I did to eat on the flight, assuming as I have grown custom to that there would be no food. I couldn’t have been any more wrong…
The accommodations on this flight represent to me what it must mean to be a jet setter by definition. My seat came with a digital dashboard of various adjustments that can be made to bring your body and legs to the full upright position to completely flat so you can sleep as if on a bed, and everything in between. In front of me is a TV and next to me a remote control that allows me to select from dozens of movies, TV shows, and games on demand.
Before we took off, menus were distributed describing the meal that would be served. Warm nuts to start, followed by salad, breads, a selection of entrees (of which I chose steak with mashed potatoes and spinach), and a dessert of either cheeses and crackers or chocolate ice cream and white chocolate fudge (of which I chose both). The dinner was accompanied by a variety of beverages of which I chose a French pinot noir, some water, and a coke. Often I flights I find myself planning a well thought out strategy of what I will do to make the flight time pass as quickly as possible…from ordering juice, to listening to music, to planning to not letting myself sleep until the right moment that would shorten the trip the most. Today, I found myself a bit sad when the captain said the flying time to London would be just over 5 hours. It feels as though I was being cheated out of all my entertainment options. Ironically, with all these options I feel guilty that I am not using my time wisely and reading some of the background materials on Kenya that I had brought. That said, I did finish the amazing travel guide that my roommate Erica bought for me that describes local customs and tips versus destinations and recommendations.
For my viewing pleasure I chose to watch Casablanca for the first time, which made me realize even more how much disparity there is between the romance felt in the movie and that which actually exists in real life Casablanca. Of course, I watched the movie not on one of the disposable headsets they usually distribute to us Cretans, but on a noise cancelling Bose headset the stewardess gave me which I know retails for over $200.
After writing this, my next move is going to be dig into a book I have been trying to finish for a while now, Fate of Africa and then perhaps another movie. I’m planning on staying up for both legs of my flight to Nairobi as that will hopefully exhaust me for our 935pm arrival, thus allowing me to get a good night rest before we get up at 5am for our flight to Kisumu in the morning.
To get to the Lihanda village where we are headed to in Kenya we have a few legs to the trip. Follow along on your maps at home
Sunday January 11, 2009
A car will pick me up at the apt at 430 to head to JFK. I’m on an American Airlines flight leaving JFK at 650pm headed to London Heathrow arriving at 655am on Monday January 12 (lose 5 hours in the air).
Monday January 12, 2009
Leave Heathrow at 1005am to head to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, arrive at 935pm (lose 3 hours in the air). Stay overnight at the Nairobi Hilton
Tuesday January 13, 2009
Take a 710am flight to Kisumu, which arrives at 8am. From there we will be greeted by a host from a local production management company who will bring us to our 2 Land Rovers which will take us approximately 40 km to Lihanda where we will be working.
1. I love to travel and have never been
2. I am excited to be traveling to participate in a project that will help so many people and give those people new opportunities in life.
3. I have always wanted to go to Kenya ever since I was a kid and heard my cousin David telling stories and showing pictures of his time there while working with the Peace Corps. I have always read and seen pictures and movies of the amazing wildlife, landscape and people and to experience that first hand will be a dream come true. The fact that our project will put us in a village off the beaten path also excites me as it leads me to believe I will have a more genuine interaction with the people and culture. (i know, sounds cheesy, but its true)
4. I’m excited because while I have been to over 20 countries now in my travels I have yet to travel south of the Equator. Its kind of hard to believe but its true, and I cant wait to get my first taste of the Southern Hemisphere in a land where many say our species evolved from.
5. To see the land that inspired such great pieces of art like Toto’s “Africa” and the film Out of Africa is gonna be awesome! (by the way, if you haven’t seen Out of Africa do yourself a favor and check it out…if you haven’t heard Toto’s “Africa” then there really isn’t any hope for you)