Broken walls.

Its been a very busy but successful week, my coworker Colleen hosted an internationally known band and I got to help with hosting them 🙂

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Broken Walls is a band that has been coming to Pikangikum for ten years. Their consistency has made it possible for them to build relationships with many people in the community.

Most of their songs have a traditional First Nation flavour to them and often when they perform they have First Nation dancers in full regalia. This time when they came they had a lady from Alaska who is Eskimo dancing for them. (FYI in Canada it is not considered proper to call them Eskimo but Inuit)I enjoy their music and if you are interested in knowing more about them, please check their website out: brokenwalls.com

So what did they do in four days?

Two school assemblies

One free community concert

6 classroom workshops from elementary to high school

Home visits.

Mentoring youth at a youth club

Concert for the young women and mothers.

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Of course I have not listed everything but these are the main ones that took up a lot of time.

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So did the people enjoy their time? I hope the pictures say it all.

When do they return? Next August, they have been asked to come and be a part of the official opening of the new school that is being built. Thank you Broken Walls!

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Rebel

Thanks to a very good friend, I have finally joined the Canon world 🙂 I am now the very proud owner of a Canon T5 Rebel. As I really wasn’t interested in breaking the 10th commandment (the short of it: Don’t envy what others have) I kept away from researching DSLR cameras until I was sure I was going to get one so for the past month I have been reading all about Nikons and Canons. I chose the T5 cause it was in my price range and its a great one if you are a beginner at using DSLR cameras (at least thats what the numerous blogs I read said). The camera came with an extra lens: 75-300 mm. So its with great pleasure I present to you some of the first shots I took with my new baby 😀 IMG_0390 (2)Last week, three friends and I took 34 youth to Missouri USA to attend a First Nation (or Native American as they are called in the USA) 5 day youth summit. It was interesting for me to observe 700 youth from North America representing 110 tribes intentionally meeting together for the purpose of knowing Jesus more. Friend to be honest I didn’t even think there where so many tribes in North America. As the history between Christianity and First Nations is terrible, it was a learning experience, a privilege to observe how First Nations youth have embraced the Faith in their own way without the extra stuff that has made their past and present a difficult and often bitter reality. IMG_0372 IMG_0375 One of the highlights of the week for me was listening to a hip-hop Christian artist called Trip Lee perform. I am not much into main stream hip hop and rap music because of how they portray women but if you are looking for soul searching, uplifting, God honouring hip- hop, I would definitely recommend him. He is unashamedly honest about his faith and struggles, proud that he is a father and fearlessly teaches on the importance of living a life of purity in a time when the concept is out of style. Is he perfect? I highly doubt it but he is a man that is showing a different side to hip-hop and for that I am grateful! IMG_0387Do I even have to state the obvious? The youth thoroughly enjoyed him!

Hope notes: Musik

The end of April threatened to be another terrible month for Pikangikum but mercifully what most people feared( I included) was going to happen was averted. There is no other way to describe the salvation that came on the eleventh hour other than, a miracle. So, with suicide emphatically denied what it had wanted to rob from the community, I decided now was a good time to write about hope. Today hope comes in the form of a local band called Musik. I often hear these guys practicing and have wanted for awhile to spend a few minutes with them to hear their story and hopefully get their permission to share it.

Nick 23years. Michael 22 years. Rick 19 years.

Nick 23years. Michael 22 years. Rick 19 years.

When was Musik formed and who are its members?

Michael: Musik started in 2009 when my friends and I decided we wanted to start a band. The band is made up of Nick the base player, Me, the guitarist, Robinson the drummer and Nick the lead singer who is singing and playing the drums today cause Robinson is not in.

What do you play, who taught you to play and what is your favorite band and song?

Michael: I play guitar, my older brother Gregory taught me how to play. My favourite band is Muse and my favorite musician is the lead guitarist for Muse, Matthew.

Rick: I am self taught and started to play instruments when I was 15 years old. I play the drums, guitar and enjoy singing. I enjoy alternative rock and my favorite band is called Pierced the veil and my ultimate favorite song is by the same band is, King for a day. I have been playing with these guys for two years now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANick: I have been playing for 6-7 years, I owe my skills to two High School music teachers, Jennifer Morgan and Mike Lafayette. My favorite musician is Adele and favorite song is Rolling in the deep. I like that song because of the way the drums are played in it.

Do you guys just play for the fun of it or you have plans for your band?

Rick: Right now we are actually practicing for a local competition called Battle of the Bands that will be happening sometime soon. Micheal and I traveled to Thunder Bay in 2011 and 2012 to take part in a music festival. We played a couple of Green Day songs to a crowd of about 100 people. It was pretty fun. We would really like to tour other Northern reserves to inspire and encourage other youth with our Punk Rock style of playing. Currently we are waiting to hear if we are invited to play at  a reserve called Sandy Lake. They have a music festival called Muddy Water Festival that we would like to participate in.

Apart from music what are you passionate about?

Rick: my cat Jasper … I like cats … A LOT!

Michael: My dream is to be a dad one day 🙂

What do you like about Pikangikum?

Nick: I like how peaceful it can be by the lake especially at sunset, I would miss that if I ever left Pikangikum for good.

If you live in Pik and know these young men, take time to encourage them with what they are doing, who knows your words could be just what they need to keep going 🙂

(I have been trying the whole day to upload a video of the band during a practice session but to no avail, I will keep trying)

Hope Notes: Trav.

Two weeks ago a group of us road tripped to South Dakota to support a friend of ours who would be playing at the Life Light Festival. A well-known First Nation band called “Broken Walls,” had visited Pikangikum 2 months earlier and had been so impressed by Travs guitar skills that they invited him to join them on stage at this huge festival. It’s no small thing to be a part of this festival, last year 400 000 people attended and a lot of Christian heavy weight musicians perform. Best part for me was, the festival was for free 😀 It was great being there and supporting one of Pikangikums local guys.

I figured he would make a great addition to my Hope Notes and so here is my Q/A with Trav Peters. I hope you are left inspired 🙂

How long have you been playing? I am 34 and I got my first guitar when I was 14 but the strange thing is I never expressed any interest in music when I was younger ..my dad just bought me a guitar out of the blue one afternoon and I have played ever since.

Broken Walls

Who taught you? I am completely self-taught, no lessons whatsoever.

Name some of your music heroes that influence how you play Matthew Bellamy of MUSE is definitely a fave cause he is just an amazing musician AND an incredible live performer …the way he approaches his instrument is just amazing his use of effects and his showmanship have definitely inspired me to play the way I play ….Bernard Butler is also another guitar player that has influenced me so so much …he used to be the guitar player for Suede in the early 90s and his work with the band during this era is probably my fave era of Suede …his technique of playing complicated guitar bits over vocals is what I copy most from this guy …and I also dig Johnny Marr of the Smiths …. Noel Gallagher of Oasis ….Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead ,….all my guitar heroes are british haha!

What is the first song you ever remember playing? smells like teen spirit – Nirvana

Is there anything that you wish you could change from your past? I wish I could have practiced my instrument more when I was younger …I spent too much time in my teen years just making noise on my instrument haha!

Travs fan club 🙂

What’s your favorite album from another artist? DOGMANSTAR – Suede this album was the soundtrack to my teenage years …I must have listen to this album over 5000 times ever since I first heard it …everything about it is brilliant …even to this day I listen to this album at least once a week …..it’s not a happy blue skies record ….it’s a beautiful gloomy rainy day record …

What does the future look like for your music career? Looks like fuzzy carebears hahaha … it looks good cause the Lord has been keeping me busy with saving souls through music ….and yeah it looks superb

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How many guitars do you own and which one is your favorite? own 10 instruments ..9 guitars and 1 bass …….and out of all my guitars my Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 (eriza verde green) is my favourite because it sounds awesome and stays in tune.

Trav is part of a local band called Daystar, they only got together earlier this year but their summer has been very busy traveling to other Reserves in Ontario and Manitoba. Juggling work and being part of a band has left Trav exhausted at times but he enjoys it.

Broken Walls performed at a youth center that weekend and Trav was honoured with a quilt made by one of the Lakota elders.

How would you describe your band? Daystar is just a baby haha not even a year old and Buster is the leader  cause he is the brains of the whole shindig  …and yeah someday if the opportunity ever arises we will record …if we ever write our own stuff that is 😛 DayStar plays mostly country gospel even though to be honest … I hate hate country lol ….but slowly but surely I am trying to lure the group away from that sound and trying to sneak a bit of rock in there and some contemporary worship music too.

What do you like the least about travelling with your band? Farts

I am leaving on a jetplane…

Well friend I like to think that I have an internal ipod in my brain that’s on shuffle. I am known to sometimes walk through a supermarket dancing to a tune that only I can hear 😀 The past two weeks, two songs seem to be on repeat, Michael Bubles Home and John Denver’s Leaving on a jet plane, friend I am ready to go home, I really miss my family. Today I start my travels back to Mozambique, its been an incredible 6 months.

Big thank you to all those who have been with me from the beginning(especially those who have encouraged me in my photography hobby) and of course to others who have joined me along the way. I have learned a lot, made some wonderful friends and best of all got to live close to one of Gods beautiful creations “The Andes Mountains.”

Just incase you are curious:

Ferrenafe to Chiclayo: 30 mins car ride ( I live in Pueblo Nuevo, a small community a hop and a skip away from Ferrenafe)

Chiclayo to Lima: 12 hours bus ride (spend a day in Lima doing a bit of sight seeing and gift shopping with two friends)

Lima to Sao Paulo (Brazil): 5+ hours (7 hour lay over)

Sao Paulo to Johannesburg (South Africa): 9+ hours

Rest in Johannesburg for one day then take a 9 hour bus ride home to Mozambique.

I am not sure whats next for me. . . I am sure about one thing though, Gods got me, I don’t need to worry about the future.

. . .

In other words, my life remains unpredictable.

until later friend ❤

Will leave you with a song by Phillip Phillips called home 😉

music to my soul.

If you hang around me for a couple days you will find I sing all the time, I seriously cannot help myself. Once my friend asked me if I lived in some sort of imaginary musical.lol. I am very eclectic in my taste of music but I think by far, my favourite tunes are indie rock and indie folk especially if the band is not too main stream. Yesterday my friend introduced me to a band called “Paper Kites.” If it is possible for one to fall in love with music then surely I am in love 🙂 I hope you like them too. If you are into this type of music, try out “Jenny and Tyler,” husband and wife from the States who also make me wish I was in a band that sings this type of music.

Paper Kites is a band from Australia, I so wish there was a way I could buy their CD but here in Africa thats just not possible but I am not giving up yet, oneday I will buy it 😀