That’s right! I am currently living on the Hawaiian island of Oahu! I am a full time volunteer with Surfing the Nations — check out the video below to learn about what we do!
THE NEXT 5 MONTHS OF MY LIFE ARE INSANE
(IT ONLY GETS BETTER)
Let’s look at it month by month.
March starts off with Aina Art Festival - an annual gathering of creatives and influencers from across Oahu and other islands to showcase their finest work, and connect with one another. It completely transforms the STN base for 2 evenings into a dreamy art wonderland. There’s live music, incredible paintings and photography, local music, handmade jewelry, pottery, and all kinds of trades showcasing their work. Oh, and by the way, me and the other six students in LTP are planning and executing it as part of our leadership training. The director of the entire event (Kalani Menadier) is an 18 year old, fresh out of high school. Insane. So hyped.
THEN! Just days after Aina, I am going to CUBA AND COSTA RICA!!!! — with my LTP class. We’re going on a networking and scouting mission with the ultimate goal of finding people and a place to pioneer a Surfing the Nations base in Latin America!!! We’ll be partnering with local churches, non-profits, and surfers while we are there - we are hoping to bless in whatever way we can. And surf some Latin American GLASS. The whole trip will be about 3 and a half weeks!
In April, I’ll graduate from LTP, and get placed in a department at STN. I have no idea where I’ll be working, but it’s going to be epic no matter what. The very next day, I fly out to California to be a groomsman in my good friends Chris Gorman and Jennifer Kaufman’s wedding! It’s gonna be BLESSED. Hopefully I’ll score some waves out in Cali while I’m at it.
Then, it’s back to Hawaii for a few days, and that’s when things get REAL crazy. I fly out on April 11th to go to NEPAL!!! FREAKING NEPAL!!! This is another scouting trip for Surfing the Nations. We’re looking to make great connections out there and start scheming up a base somewhere in Katmandu. After several days there, the STN team and I will be flying to BANGLADESH!!!! WHAT!!! We’ll be there for several weeks to continue building a community of surfer’s giving back in a town called Cox’s Bazaar, as well as hosting an epic surfing competition and surf camp with the people out there. Jeff Caliguire may or may not be coming (actually unconfirmed but I thought I’d put it on here to pressure them). Which Jeff Caliguire you may ask? Not telling. But ask both of them about it. You’ll figure it out ;)
Then it’s back to Hawaii for a hot minute.
After getting back from Bangladesh in the beginning of May, I’ll be settling into my department at STN for a bit, until near the end of May. That’s when things get crazy again.
Right at the beginning of June, I fly out to Colorado to stand in another good friend’s wedding, I’ll be in Colorado for about 3 days, and then BOOM! I’m flying to FREAKING ITALY!!! I’ll be out there for a little over a week to stand in MY FREAKING BROTHER’S WEDDING!!! WOOOO!!! The literal cherry on top of my summer!! I’ll get to see people from every corner of my life, exploring a beautiful city and country with my favorite people on the earth, and celebrating my best friend’s wedding to one of my other best friends. Jeff and Kate. I love you both to the moon and back.
Finally, I get back to Hawaii mid-June, and the rubber starts to hit the road. Working for Surfing the Nations still feels like this dream that I’ll wake up from some day. This place is the real deal guys. I’m almost crying every day. The work they are doing, the people I get to do it with, the presence of God here. It' absolutely blows me away. I can’t wait to see what God has in store. & It only gets better.
If you happen to be in the same place as me at any point during the next few months, HIT ME UP! I’d love to buy you coffee and catch up. Oh, and Bangladesh is one of STN’s trips that is completely open to the public. So if you feel at all inspired to go, or are even just curious, hit me up! There’s nothing stopping you from coming and joining me for the adventure of a lifetime. Finally, I am a full time volunteer. That means that I am depending on other peoples love, prayer, and financial support to do everything I am doing. I still have a long way to go to make the next few months a reality, but I am trusting in God’s provision and generosity. There are many ways to support me financially, but if you want to do it right now, just hit up that link above this! Otherwise, just reach out to me and I’ll help you figure it out. Much love to everyone who read all of this. Y’all love me, I can feel it.
INTERNSHIP IS OVER!
(AND IT’S ON TO LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM!)
What is LTP?
Well, in the words of Surfing the Nations,
“The Leadership Training Program (LTP) is our most intense program. It runs for three months and is designed to equip new staff members as they enter into their 15-month commitment to serve at Surfing The Nations. Leadership Trainees undergo rigorous evaluations, lessons and outdoor activities in order to discover their unique strengths of leadership, develop their character, improve teamwork, and learn to impact their community most effectively. The program includes class discussions, guest speakers, student-led events, adventure training and trips, homework, community service projects and an in-depth, hands-on experience of all of STN’s departments.”
Intense is a good word. I lived alongside 5 LTP students during my time as an intern, and it was always amazing to see how much they were accomplishing and how truly vigorous the program is. It is designed to be trying, difficult, and rich. There’s no better program out there that could prepare someone for working for a non-profit like STN, or really any sort of leadership.
Why am I doing it?
This is the required training to be on staff with STN. But it’s also a really sick opportunity to continue on my journey of understanding who I am, and who God is to the fullest extent I can. This is a really tangible opportunity to invest in those two things.
If my journey with Surfing the Nations is something you are encouraged by, please consider supporting me, or getting involved with Surfing the Nations yourself. It is nothing short of amazing! Hit me up if you want to know more about anything with STN 847-346-6710
And if you want to know more about my first adventure with Surfing the Nations, Here’s a quick reflection on my time in internship!