It has been a quick yet fabulous month in Bangladesh and the team has been making their way back home to Hawaii. 12 hours on a bus from Coxs Bazar to Dhaka, an airplane through Thailand, and a couple more flights over the Pacific and I’m sure they will be sleeping for the next day just recovering from an exhausting travel.
Rickshaws rides and elephants, surfboards and street-kids, three-pieces and board shorts. You can begin to realize the world of a difference the sport of surfing might pose in a country like Bangladesh. But after only 30 days, the 2012 Bangladesh team hosted a nation-wide surfing competition in Cox’s Bazar, an all-girls surf camp and outreaches to the neighboring country of Myanmar. Continue Reading
As promised, the Bangladesh team update! Get a glimpse of what it’s like to be there through the eyes of team member Kirsten Jackson, as she shares her perspective on the country, the people, the experience.
After 3 days of flying and a 14 hour bus ride, we finally made it to beautiful Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
We’ve got an awesome team out here! So much has happened in such a short time. Our days are filled with early morning dawn patrols, promptly followed by breakfast at the local hotspot “Poushee” (Our absolute favorite)! Next, we cruise around Bahatchurat, the town the surf club boys live in. There’s so much to see and experience during the ten minute walk down the main drive : constant honking from the rickshaws and tomtoms, people everywhere, kids on their way to school, market craziness, cows walking in the middle of the road, selling, buying, bartering. You’re hot and sweaty (and, mind you, it’s only 9am). Finally, half way through the town we meet all the families we’ve come to love. This is what life’s about. We are so blessed to be a part of this community and to live life with these beautiful people.
In Bangladesh, life and relationships grow over meals. On average we get fed about 6 meals a day!
The rest of our days are filled with cruising with the surf club guys, visiting with their families, taking the kids surfing, meeting new people, sharing life, market shenanigans, dancing and singing.
Coming up soon we’ve got a pool tournament, birthday parties and of course, STN’s annual Bangladesh Freedom Surf Contest on Friday, September 28! We’re amping and ready to share the stoke of surfing!
Keep checking back for more updates from our Bangladesh team!
On July 16th -August 18, founder of Surfing the Nations Cindy Bauer and two STN staff members, Renee Arnold and Julie Nelson, took off on a trip to Sweden and Ireland. STN Sweden is in its early days of forming and developing so Cindy, Renee and Julie went over to meet with the Swedish staff, help cast the vision and equip the leaders. Renee and Julie jetted off to Ireland for a week to get to know the people there and scout out a place where STN Sweden could send teams to for humanitarian and surf outreaches. Here is an excerpt from Julie that she wrote as the trip was coming to an end: Continue Reading
I hope that you enjoyed Josh Garrel’s free album last Friday. If you have not, his newest album Love & War: B-sides and Remixes is available online and you can read up on it in our recent post.
Amazingly enough, Josh Garrels has written, recorded and produced all of his albums, including Love & War & The Sea In Between, from home, outside of the “ideal” studio-space. And with the next full-length album on the horizon, Garrels has chosen the route of building an adequate studio – a space that would cater to his recording needs and be used to create limitless albums for many other musicians. Continue Reading
On September 1st, people all over the US and beyond gathered to participate in ‘Paddle for Daisy’. Surfers from all over came to show their support and help raise the funds needed by the Merrick family to continue Daisy’s treatment as she fights cancer for the third time in her young life.
We believe this act fully embodies ‘surfers giving back.’ Continue Reading
If you are a Hawaii resident and you shop at Foodland, the Give Aloha gift matching program is an easy way to contribute to the work of Surfing the Nations.
At the checkout, you may pick the Hawaii non-profit charity of your choice to make a donation of up to $249, and Foodland will match that donation.*
Simple! Just let them know you are donating to Surfing the Nations, ID number 78555.
For more details visit:
Thank you for helping us bring positive change and hope to communities here and across the globe!
*PLEASE NOTE: Whoops! We weren’t completely accurate in our information on the give aloha program.
Foodland does NOT match donations dollar for dollar. Instead, this is how it works: (from the give aloha website):
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
Today, we sent back 2 of our Bengali friends with a team of 10 STN staff for the 8th annual, month-long Bangladesh trip.
The journey all started eight years ago, when the founder of STN looked at a map and noticed that Bangladesh had the longest sand beach in the world.
Shortly after that, a handful of people touched down in Bangladesh, and through meeting one lone surfer in Bangladesh, the sport of surfing and the culture of giving back began to take roots in the country.
We’ve been going back to Bangladesh for several years, so what’s different about this year?
In the previous years, STN has been teaching surf to the locals and helped them establish a surf club. We’ve held an annual surf contest and provided food for the street kids involved in the surf contests. As the old proverb goes, we were able to ‘feed’ them temporarily, and teach them how to do some things for themselves. Now, the connections have been made, the club is established, and we see that it is vital to move into intently teaching them ‘how to fish’: rising up leaders of integrity to benefit the community and their whole country, one person at a time. Continue Reading
At age 8 after 6 surgeries, 22 rounds of chemotherapy and 2 courses of radiation, Daisy Love Merrick is facing cancer for the 3rd time and is in a battle for her life. The next steps of Daisy’s treatment include, chemotherapy and stem cell transplant with progressive treatments in America and Israel. The estimated cost not covered by insurance will total close to half a million dollars.
In June, Al Merrick met with Dean Plumlee, the national director of Christian Surfers US, who suggested a paddle-a-thon to raise money for Daisy’s medical treatments. This event hopes to provide both emotional and financial assistance to Daisy and her family. Essentially, the paddle-a-thon asks groups to paddle a pre-set distance to raise money and awareness.
On Sept 1, 2012 at 9 am surfers everywhere will come together to support Daisy Love Merrick as she battles cancer. The goal is to raise funds and encourage Al Merrrick, his granddaughter Daisy and the whole family by hosting paddle-outs in over 33 locations around the world Continue Reading
It’s like a dream.
One of those dreams where you find out you’ve been a royal all your life and have a rich inheritance and a crown waiting for you. Or you’ve won the lottery and you’re driving your dream car down a road to your home with an oceanfront view. But then, it’s not a dream, it’s a reality that, perhaps unbeknownst to you, you have a home on the coast of France!
That home has a name and it is ‘Surf Hostel Biarritz.’ Most hostels I’ve been at through my travels in Europe that are within a certain student-esque budget will offer you the following: the comfort of a sturdy bunk bed, and a breakfast of toast and jam with some coffee or tea. Those accommodations live up to most travelers’ expectations of a value hostel. But Surf Hostel Biarritz, founded by Aussies, has chosen to go above and beyond. They are opening up the doors of their five-bedroom rustic converted basque farmhouse and handing you a board, wetsuits, and a bike, not to mention breakfast and a bed! (It seems like a bed would just be obligatory after they’ve given you everything you need to go spend your energy surfing and cruising the town). Surf Hostel Biarritz also offers two large lounge areas and a dining room where you can hang out and get to know other travelers, or simply chill out on the couches with a DVD or cruise the free internet. When hunger strikes, you can cook yourself up a meal in the fully equipped kitchen, which is open from 10 am to 10 pm. But don’t worry about breakfast- you can expect a cooked breakfast every morning of your stay (no need to sneak Mom in your carry on). Continue Reading
Thanks for your patience while the blog has been under construction!
We’ve been up to a lot during this time, so be sure to catch up on all the things that have been happening here!
Go ahead and bookmark this page now to keep up with the contests, music, videos, stories, photos and more fun stuff that we’ll be filling this space with.
We are stoked to be back and here to stay!
Your STN Ohana