A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: davidv33

Year Overview

2009


View Trips to America (2007-2009) on davidv33's travel map.

Florida Holiday
(22nd Nov - 28th Nov)

Move to Texas
(28th Nov - 22nd May)

One Thing Conference, Kansas City
(28th Dec - 1st Jan)

Native Inaugural Ball, Washington DC
(16th - 27th Jan)

Commercial video shoot, Texas
(8th Apr - 9th Apr)

Posted by davidv33 01:47 Archived in USA Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Tax Slayer

sunny 18 °C

This morning I was asked if I would help out with a film shoot as an extra. We didn't expect it to take as long as it did but we still had a lot of fun with it. The Knight is Austin, the extras include myself, Dgoody, Laura and Josh. The other two work for the studio company we asked to help out with the shoot.

I never realised that there were going to be two videos! Since posting this blog entry, we shot another commercial in Dallas - I think we all prefer this one.

Posted by davidv33 01:42 Archived in USA Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

Red Warrior

Native Inaugural Ball

overcast 13 °C
View Trips to America (2007-2009) on davidv33's travel map.

Early into my time living here in Texas, myself and Austin updated me on life in America while I did my best to give him an idea of what I was involved with in 2008. We discussed our musical pursuits, spiritual journeys and the recent developments culminating in the economic crisis. The one particular conversation that had me interested was when he mentioned that I should meet a certain group of men at a house church in Frisco, one of whom included Ron Pate. I was eager to meet Ron as soon as his name was mentioned to me by Austin. I am really thankful that he made the effort to connect us. It was refreshing to my soul to have a church that followed a more traditional, Hebraic model. There is also a full spectrum of age groups, which is uncommon in relatively small house church, but this isn't your average house church. The way everyone relates to one another is unique and spirit-led. This healthy atmosphere helped me to establish solid relationships with the group before the trip, which later proved to be the critical success to our trip.

So, when Ron announced that he would be taking a group of people with him to Washington D.C. on a mission/ business trip, I didn't think I'd be in that number. A week passed and I knew it wouldn't be long before all the guys in the house would be leaving to go on this trip and as far as I was concerned I would be left behind to look after the house, until, one of the guys (I believe it was Josh, Chris or Austin) asked me whether I would be able to make it! What a question. I found that somehow I got added to Ron's mailing list and was put in the loop for the trip itinerary. The trip was a launchpad for a new film company called 'Red Warrior', established by Ron Pate and his partner Campbell Dalglish. The purpose of the trip was to raise awareness of Native oppression maintained by the United States constitution over many years and will implore the Obama administration to revisit the treaties made with Native Country and uphold to the agreements established therein.

The initial preparation for the trip commenced 3 or 4 days before we set off. The first task was to get the 'grace' van ready for the road and ready to have people sat in it for the 16-hour journey! Now the thing about this van (and the reason why I've included 'grace' in it's description) is that this very van had already taken me around the country in 2007 when I was with the Cause! It was a little worse for wear after the 'Summer of Love Tour' in '07, so we had to strip out the seats and carpet and refit it with a new hard-wearing carpet. Whilst we were working on this, I had the chance to fill Ron in on my trip to America in '07 - how it came about and how I hooked up with the Cause. It was good to be able to have someone to talk to who was interested in my story! Once we cleaned up the van inside and outside, we headed to Ron's to clean the big RV.

So, the day came and our bags were packed for the adventure that lay ahead of us. The faithful duo, Laura and Amanda were the be the ones to hold down the fort - they seemed a little dismayed that they would be missing out on the road trip and have no company for a week but they had a amazing attitude about it all: not only did they see us off with smiles on their faces, they also did a great job cleaning the house while we were away (which is probably the only time that this can ever happen - trust me). So, us guys disappeared out of sight into one of the several cars outside the house and left the girls to wave us goodbye and see us off. By this time it was around 5 o'clock and the work for the trip was far from done. We still had the task of loading up the RV and the 'grace' van. With all hands on deck we quickly loaded up the vehicles and were strapped ourselves in, ready to have some fun.

DC wasn't just a 7 day trip. There was a week to prepare before the trip and a week to recover after we arrived back. Why? It became clear that DC is not just a place to go for a casual holiday. For us, we had a clear idea of what we were doing there so we could focus our time and energy on the task at hand, but for those without focus, the city will literally eat them alive. It's a difficult thing to explain - when you enter the city you're not just entering a city, you're entering a completely volatile and dangerous environment. This is the reason why this trip was not only a business trip, but also a time to pray and a time to protect one another.

The travelling, taking all of 16 hours each way, was not as painstakingly boring as it may sound. We had plenty of laughs courtesy of Caleb, with his random "woah!" reactions to the smallest things along the way and tag team with Austin doing role-plays as terrorists (amongst other offensive persona's).

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On the way up there we took a handful of stops, a few of them being at some being so early in the morning I don't care to remember. That's usually when I'd get a cup of coffee to clear my head from that 'muggy' travel feeling. We unexpectedly made a stop in Fort Mill too, which was like a walk down memory lane in some ways for me. To be in the refurbished 'grace' van in this town seemed amazingly coincidental. The other stop we made was at a "Quality Inn". We had three reservations - one room for the guys, one for the girls and the final one for the couples. The remainder of the crew volunteered to stay the night in the RV. I had the privilege of being given preference for sharing the room with the two others (Dave Crook and Chris Blaylock). We ended up having a great night - maybe not getting as much sleep as we may have liked for the sake of talking about God and the angelic presence we had felt and seen during the drive up.

Once we arrived in DC, we were given a quick tour of the neighbourhood - which was actually a retreat for people in office who needed some time away from the city, whilst still being in the city! The house we were shown was like the American equivalent of a manor house with its own gardens and swimming pool, pool house etc... Inside it looked like it was being preserved like a museum!

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The house we stayed in very closeby was very nice too, it was situated on a slope, so the layout of the house made it seem smaller on the outside than it actually was inside. Our team stayed on the first floor (ground level) and the New York team (with Campbell) stayed in the 'basement' (which was basically like an apartment with it's own kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and living room.

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The study downstairs was a great room to sit, read or play music and just generally relax. There were a lot of great teaching books and a big wall map of the world (behind me in the picture below).

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After the first night we started business. We met with Campbell at the Hotel (venue for the Inaugural Ball and our film set). We unloaded all our gear in a loading bay at the far side of the building and had to navigate our way through narrow passageways and a large elevator. Once we were set up in the room it didn't take long for the interest to catch on. People inquisitively looked through the double doors to see what the commotion was about. The interviews started shortly after the initial buzz had subsided. It was a long day, but the following few days were even longer. On average we worked 14 hour days without any real break. We even worked through right up until the inauguration. Strangely enough most of us didn't head down to the mall to witness the event, instead we went up to the lobby and watched it on big TV's at a bar. Honestly, I think we saw more than most people who were actually there. I heard that the crowds were so intense that you couldn't really get in any position where you could see or hear much of the procession.

The venue was good and the Native Inaugural Ball that was going on all around us made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. It was a unique opportunity to have an inside, first-hand experience of tribes from all over native country coming together to share their thoughts on what should promise to be a positive future under the Obama administration. Our whole crew had press passes, which allowed us backstage in any of the rooms where there was live activity going on. I also managed to run some errands more effectively as the hotel staff identified me as a press guy and thought nothing of me being around the catering areas etc...

The final day I think came as a relief to us all but I think we all had a positive attitude towards the city when we left and almost in a sense didn't want it to end. It was great working with professionals and being given the opportunity to work in this capacity ourselves. Flower Mound seems like a smaller town now.

Aside from the little sleep and the level of stress on the team to get all the interviews done, we managed to achieve what we wanted and the trip was a success.

Read more!

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http://www.redwarriorfilms.com/

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http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/living/artsandentertainment/39432427.html

Posted by davidv33 18:25 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

Christmassy New Year

When the holidays melded into one...

overcast 8 °C
View Trips to America (2007-2009) on davidv33's travel map.

Living each day as it comes is important when you only have a couple of days at a time to recover from one intense week and straight into another. That's exactly what has happened here, inbetween my holiday to Colorado & the IHOP conference in Kansas City. At first I contemplated not going so I could catch up with things and recover from the cold I'd managed to keep (which I still have even now after nearly 3 weeks of having caught it). But, I knew that I would be seeing my two good friends 'dgoody' and Levi (as both were just visiting) and so I knew it would be a great time to catch up with them and others would would be there.

For some reason, in these past 2 weeks, I've probably been in more car trouble than ever before. On the way to and from Colorado we came very close to coming off the road but this time on the way to KC we actually did. We hit a thin layer of freshly formed ice over a bridge. We tried pushing the car out from the ditch we were in but that came to nothing, so we had to wait for the fire department to show up. They were kind enough to let us sit in the heated cab of their truck while we waited for the pickup to arrive.

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We overheard messages from other firemen further down who had encountered about 15 cars who's done the same thing we had, but it sounded far worse. We also discovered that right near our car there had been an older woman who had come off. She was driving a black car so it was virtually invisible from the road. If we hadn't have come off, they wouldn't have seen her stranded there. They had to use a crowbar to force the door open. She had minor injuries.

When we finally arrived in KC we were greeted warmly by the family we travelled with last year (The Hall's). We were shown our beds in the basement, which wasn't anywhere near as bad as it may sound.

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The Conference itself proved to be an milestone event in my journey. The main focus was on the end-times (eschatology), which is something impressing many people at this time. I had a lot of fun too, meeting up with old friends from last year and making new friends but it wasn't just another Christian "social" conference.

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Posted by davidv33 16:50 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

"Crime Hills"

sunny
View Trips to America (2007-2009) on davidv33's travel map.

After the first week with Kuni, having stayed at his aunt and uncle's house and making the single commute to Universal Studios, we landed up at Levi's mom's house, where I was reunited with two of my brothers Josh and Levi. When I heard that they could see the hazard lights of our car a house down from them it brought about a pretty heartfelt emotional response from me - and the moment that followed when we were stood in front of one another and embraced on their home turf for the first time in a long time, all of a sudden all that was new and unfamilar became familiar and an instant reminder of all the good times we had shared all over the states. I knew that it would be a short stay at Levi's mom's place, but I'm glad I showed my face there that night.

I was also introduced to Alex, a guy who I had never seen or met, but soon I realised he was part of the family and the brotherhood. I was saddened in that he reminded me of dgoody, knowing that I wouldn't see him unless I somehow managed to stay for Christmas in Texas. So, with Alex, we all headed off to Clermont - where we were told we would be staying with one of Levi's uncles. The first evening was short as we had already come from Levi's mom's, so we ended up chatting a fair bit and had a good laugh about things. The next evening we watched "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and ate Papa John's cheese & mushroom pizza. The morning after that second night was thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving with Levi's family was an amazing experience. We took a look around the house and introduced to everyone present, then we went straight into a game of basketball with the three lads who live there (so it was me, Josh, Levi, Alex and Levi's brother. Later, we were sat down at a table of at least thirty people, which was already set with all the different kinds of foods that each side of the family had contributed. Sadly my appetite had left me as I was still becoming comfortable with the cultural adjustments. After another game of basketball and a game of football, I regained my appetite and tucked into my meal. This was when I met Levi's mom - she dished up my food.

We drove back to Levi's mom's house for an hour or so, where we watched "Click" and drank hot apple cider. The guys got their things together and were just heading back to Clermont when Levi's mom and I started talking seriously about why I had come to America. She started by saying that she'd heard that I play the keys well and added that she'd noticed other things about me, musically and spiritually that she wants me to properly understand and make the most of.

Earlier on (the morning of thanksgiving) Levi's uncle asked if there was anyone who'd be willing to cover for the prayer set later (that evening - after the thanksgiving meal) and I agreed to play. The house of prayer felt like home, and it felt like I hadn't been home for a very long time. I found myself saying to God that I would take joy in serving in the house of prayer, wherever it may be. Later, at the One Thing Conference, a girl called Lauren told me that she had a real heart for OHOP and said that "it really feels like they're 'doing it' there". It's made me think a lot about how I will use my time and where I will serve in years to come.

Posted by davidv33 18:23 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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