Posted by djafan on Friday, July 18, 2014
Photo 1: I don’t think that’s how you properly salute, but oh well haha. We have to wear the body armor sometimes when we travel from one base to another on military aircraft here in Afghanistan.
I have written a letter to my family and friends, but I decided that I should share it with all of you as well:
First off, I am sorry that I can never write less than an essay and that my emails are always so long! But please bear with me and my imperfections with this one.
I wanted to write to all of you seeing as this last week has been quite incredible for me. Right now I am writing this to you as blasting winds full of dust attack my face and my eyes (I’m outside to have some time to myself). I am currently in Afghanistan, and as I don’t know when I will ever be here again I would like to take the time to write to you under interesting circumstances.
What am I doing here? I was invited by a man named Dan Clark. He is a world renown speaker who is the main contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He has spoken many, many times to the troops all over the world. We are joined by a professional impersonator/comedian named Jason Hewlett (he’s hilarious), and my voice trainer Dean Kaelin (accompanying me on the piano and guitar, and performing himself a number) to do a military tour. It is a tour with the focus to inspire and give an uplifting message to the troops as we entertain.
July 8th we left for the Middle East. We began in the country of Bahrain– a country I had never even heard of before. Afterwards we went to Kuwait. It was amazing to see how empty it is here terrain-wise: sand, sun, dust, and desert. However, due to oil and gas these are very wealthy countries. We visited an Islamic mosque and I was amazed to see that they believe in prophets, and even believe in Jesus Christ… As a prophet of God; not as the Only Begotten, yet they believe that He will come again. It is Ramadan here which is the month of fasting, where they cannot eat or drink from sunrise until sunset. We cannot eat or drink in front of them, and have to keep long-sleeve shirts and pants when in public Muslim-eye to not offend their traditions.
Anyway, this is a military tour, not a desert tourist trip. I wanted to express my love for these military men and women. Here in Afghanistan– along with in Iraq–they are in combat and there are attacks going on. I was surprised at the friendships and the respect the local people have with and for the troops, as the reason why we have been in these countries is to protect these people from opposing groups who seek for power and are extremists and terrorists trying to overtake the countries. We are now making transitions to let the Afghan military take charge of defending their own country so that they may strengthen their own sense of duty and value those rights and liberties more by taking the lead themselves.
We have met so many fathers who have yet to meet their newborn babies in person; they are out in this blazing heat of 100-140 degrees day to day (and wow it feels like a hair-dryer blowing in your face!). We have seen and felt their appreciation for us being here as we “come out of our way” to meet with them, perform for them, and let them know we love them — it is the LEAST we can do!! It is amazing to have them come up and say, “you don’t know how much this means to us. Thank you for coming to see us and break the routine. You bring a piece of home.”
These are people who learn what the word “duty” means. They literally put their lives on the line with rockets being shot at the bases, mines exploding their and civilians’ paths, and suicide bombers coming at them. It is real, but they do it because of their duty to our families and to our country, and to their duty to protecting countries and people who cannot do it alone. How grateful I am for their dedication and for them being awakened to their duty.
I hope the next time you see one of these service men and women, you think of their commitment that they have to this duty: to protecting our amazing and beautiful country where we have freedom, and working to help others have freedom as well. We take what we have for granted– whether- we go to the air-conditioned malls, or sit at our peaceful homes bored. Let us think twice about our liberty that we have in this promised land, and how God has truly blessed us. During this trip we are also getting to do some special faith-based events that we call firesides. It has been a wonderful bonus to the trip.
We have one more week of shows, and I will try and give you another (shorter) update as we come to a close.
I hope you are all well!
P.S. I’ve attached some photos.
Photo 2: This is a mortar with some army men that is setup to shoot back quickly at locations where incoming attacks come from.
Photo 3: These army men use those giant explosion-protected vehicles in the back to search for mines. They basically go through explosions many times so that it doesn’t happen to other military troops and civilians in normal cars or walking.
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Dan Clark shares video!
Posted in @DavidArchie, Appreciation, Blog, God Bless America, John Lennon, TROOPS | Tagged: #DA2014, Appreciation, blog, David Archuleta, from the heart, Imagine, Middle East, Soldiers, the Voice | 123 Comments »
Posted by MT on Saturday, February 16, 2013
We all know that David Archuleta is “The Voice.” That’s why we all became so enamored of this wonderful artist from the beginning. David is one of those rare individuals whose voice can reach out and touch your soul through song. I’m not sure why it happens or how he’s able to accomplish such a task. I just know it happens, at least for me.
From his early days on Star Search to the present, there has never been any doubt about his abilities. We’ve all read one article after another about his technique and his natural ability to make a song his own. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an original of his own creation, one that was written for him and sung by him, or a cover of another artist’s song. Once David sings it no other will ever compare, at least not for us. It’s a never-ending riddle for me as to why that is.
Why does no other artist give a song the power that David seems to imbue within its lyrics and melody? I’ve often tried to describe where I feel it comes from and to this day have not found the right words. I’ve said that he has “an echo chamber in his chest.” How else could he give such fullness to his voice? I’ve said that “he has music in his DNA” and it just oozes from every pore. I’ve thought perhaps it’s because of the shape or size of his mouth that he’s able to pronounce and sing words so beautifully. Or perhaps it’s a result of the vocal paralysis and resultant recovery that his tone has such richness. But none of these explain why his voice reaches me, touches me, in the way that it does.
There’s something far more than technique, no matter how perfect, that makes David’s voice so special. In the video below, Climb Every Mountain from Salt Lake City on the MKOC Tour, David gives a performance that, when I am able to make my self pay attention to that aspect of the song, appears to be technically perfect. But what makes this performance so special is something more than that.
While I’m quite sure he has practiced this song to make it as powerful as he can while performing it, there is no evidence that it is “rehearsed” during the performance. There is no spot that I feel is contrived to add power, no place that feels forced. It feels like it’s just being written as he’s singing it. It feels like his own words and his own feelings being released from his mind and heart at the very moment the lyrics are sung.
I have, years ago, dabbled in song writing. As you’ve all seen, I love writing poetry. Rhyme comes naturally to my mind somehow. I once wrote a poem that created its own melody in my head as I wrote and then read it. The result? A song. It took only minutes but was something so personal and powerful to me that when I sang it out loud only moments after writing it, it made me cry.
I tell you this because that’s how I feel when David sings a song like “Climb Every Mountain.” It feels like the song wasn’t written until that very moment and is something very personal and powerful to him. It feels like it’s being created from the very depths of his being and sung for the very first time, in the “here and now,” from the very first note until the last. Perhaps that’s the key.
David was gifted with the amazing ability to perform a song day after day, show after show, as if it’s the very first time, as if it’s an original written straight from his heart in that moment, as if he is speaking his thoughts through song. Once he begins, the technique, which is probably as close to perfect as one can get, is no longer noticed. It’s all about feelings. And what I feel as he begins to sing is his heart pouring out onto his audience on a beautiful wave of sound and genuine emotion.
He has the rare ability to connect very personally and powerfully to the music and lyrics of a song. The second part of that very rare gift is the ability to pass that on to his audience. The result is that, rather than just hearing it, the listener “experiences” the song in the exact same way David feels it. And he knows it. No wonder he’s so very careful what he sings.
It may very well be why his wonderful heart is mentioned so often. It’s the tenderness, the sweetness, the innocence, and the love in his heart that comes through to us in his voice. Each time we listen, we are given one sweet moment of all that is beautiful in this world.
“Climb Every Mountain” is my example. Do you have a song you feel this way about?”
Posted by emmegirl14 on Saturday, December 1, 2012
Photo credit Naree
With all the vids I been watching lately, it again reinforced to me more than ever what a truly consummate performer he is. In the Rainbow vid he has been described as “dizzying” as a groovin’ mic-free David, then we have him flying across the stage dancing to a Zero Gravity, and then the choke-hold-on-the-mic D, giving us the stance and emoting like there is no tomorrow (My Hands/Providence, RI comes to mind), flashes of salsa, a few seconds of are-you-freaking-kidding-me moves during Soul Man, and then you have the Ave Maria’s and this:
Video credit 8throwcenter _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hadn’t seen this particular one before (and I ♥ it) where he just stands there and sings, gloriously sings.
…and I love one as much as the other. I love it all, I want it all. And we can’t forget piano accompaniment and I suspect possibly guitar on his return as well as more dancing! Huh, what, who? I know I’ve said it before, but it needs repeating (so here I go) – who else can sing and perform with such diversity at such high artistry AND look like that doing it!
*If anyone was ever born to perform, to be on a stage, it is him.*
(I know I’m preaching to the choir, but sometimes I just have to get it out.)
Posted by djafan on Thursday, November 1, 2012
Posted in @DavidArchie, @kariontour, Appreciation, Archies, David Archuleta, fandom, music, The Voice | Tagged: Appreciation, Archuleta, Espanol, from the heart, Gotta love him, Gracias, Inspiration, Latin Fans, missing him, regalos, We'll Be Here | 60 Comments »
Posted by djafan on Wednesday, August 22, 2012
credit David Archuleta’s OS
“I hope you know that I never wanted to leave you guys without music, and will continue when I get back.” – David Archuleta
Posted in Appreciation, Archies, Begin., David Archuleta, The Voice | Tagged: Begin., David Archuleta, Everybody Hurts, from the heart, Gotta love him, hope, missing him, Music video, the Voice | 97 Comments »
Posted by FunnyGirl on Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Some of you know about what happened with my older son, but most of you do not. None of this was David related until he announced the mission. It was then that a cycle of pain and loss restarted in my heart, and now, after many weeks of processing it all, I felt compelled to share it, with the hope that it may help someone.
My oldest child, now age 12, was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two-and-a-half. He was a healthy baby and was developing normally until 16 months, when he received 4 vaccinations during a routine office visit. Within one week of that day he lost all his words, eye contact, and started to have severe bowel issues. I am not trying to start a debate about vaccines, I am just telling you what happened to my child. Thus began our journey into the pit of despair and heartache. Several doctors, tests, and hours of research later we began to understand what we could do to begin to try to heal his physical and sensory problems.
The first step was special education preschool. The district here that diagnosed him told us that he would never speak, dress himself, never be able to live alone or have a relationship. We were told to start looking into long-term care options. Words cannot describe the loss and devastation that we felt. I’ll never forget the first day of preschool. I had to take him there; I just couldn’t let him take the school bus; he just looked so tiny. I dropped him off, both of us sobbing. The teacher had to block the door to keep him from getting out. I went out to my car and cried and cried and cried. I didn’t want to take him there. He was supposed to be home with me. Did he know I was coming back for him? Did he understand what I told him about school and that it would help him? Would it even help him? I trusted no one. Who were they to tell me what my child’s future would be? I sat there in the parking lot in my car sobbing. When I finally went in to get him I was so relieved. He seemed fine. The thought of doing it again the next day was too much to think about.
His preschool day was two-and-a-half hours every morning. The longest two-and-a-half hours you could ever imagine. In the meantime we were working on special diets, vitamins, sensory therapy and lab tests to help with the bowel issues. I thanked God for credit cards and that we were able to get high credit limits. Everything we tried with him was very successful and immediate. We did everything outside of mainstream medicine with the help of a doctor who I know is an angel. We went through about 15 doctors before we found her. The preschool was awesome, and it truly was needed to help him catch up on things he had missed. But having him gone everyday, even though it was just the half day, was very depressing. It was a true loss. Then after preschool would come elementary school. I would never get those preschool years back.
I never did get those years back. But what I did get was something even greater. Our son began to speak again. He began to interact with us. He was able to handle sensory input. He has been in a regular classroom setting since Kindergarten. He continued with speech therapy through 3rd grade. He was able to stop the special diet after 5 years. He is now in 7th grade and has all A’s in school. He scored within his grade level on the MEAP test two years in a row now. He has friends, sleepovers, normal relationships and is an awesome big brother.
Over time I began to accept that this journey with my son was somehow meant to be. I ended up working at the sensory clinic that helped him so much. I was able to talk to and give hope to thousands of parents. I was able to work with the children and see them progress. I have been witness to the restoration of my son’s health and well-being. I have come from the depths of despair to the triumph of redemption.
When David announced his mission I was in shock. The next morning I cried for six hours. I had not cried like that since that morning at preschool. All the feelings of loss and fairness and right and wrong and why and how came rushing back. I was losing my baby again. I know he’s not a baby, and he’s not mine, but you all know and understand that is exactly what it feels like. Much like taking my son to that preschool, this was something that had to be done despite how I felt about it. It was going to happen, and all my tears and frustration were no match for it. I came to accept that just as I took my son and handed him over to strangers, I had to support David in his choice because what is best for me is not necessarily the best for him. I could have not sent my son to preschool and kept him home with me. But I had to do what was best for him, despite my own pain.
For those of you that have not experienced a loss, and even for those who have, David’s leaving is devastating. The routine and activities of the last 4 years will change. We will have to find a new normal. And we will. Nothing will stop what is meant to be for David. We must be strong and have faith that the future will bring nothing but the best of times for all of us. My journey with my son taught me that even though things seem impossible you can never give up hope.
We cannot get back the two years that he will be away. What we can do is be here to support one another, buy whatever music comes out, and take good care of the love we have in our hearts for him. One by one we were chosen to be on this journey, for reasons we may never know. His voice took root in our hearts. His spirit made our own start to blossom. Now we must tend to the garden while he is away.
Posted by djafan on Sunday, March 18, 2012
Original Post edited by Angelica
Anyone who doubts that forces greater than this world guide David’s destiny should consider this: what would the past 2 months have been like without this mini-series? On the heels of his mission announcement, he arrived in the Philippines in mid-January, setting off a daily avalanche of updates, mall appearances, photo shoots, interviews, and performances. Once rehearsal got under way, cue a plethora of pics and tweets from David, Kari, the cast, MyDearWriter and director, Mac Alejandre. I don’t think Nandito Ako was a coincidence that serendipitously came together at just the right time. I believe Somebody up there knew, not only that David needed this experience, but his fans needed the distraction during the run up to his mission departure. I believe Somebody prompted the events that unfolded and that we are the recipients of a multitude of tender mercies for standing by this young man these past four years.
Relates Perci Intalan, TV5’s, Creative and Entertainment head, “It started back in August 2011 over a casual conversation with Sony Music Philippines’ head honcho Narciso Chan, following David’s sold out concert in Manila. It was just an idea—a proposal out of the ordinary—but I told Ciso, ‘I’m serious’ if you are’,” Intalan recalled. “Before we knew it, we found ourselves negotiating with David’s lawyers in New York, Los Angeles, Singapore and Hong Kong; and by December, we were told he had accepted our offer.”
The Manila Times
Asked how much TV5 was paying David, Perci was mum, saying, “Mahal but it’s worth it.”
Fearing that David would be mobbed during the mostly outdoor shoot, TV5 offered to assign a few bodyguards to him but David declined.
“He arrived with only one companion,” added Perci. “Walang entourage.”
After the shoot, David said that he wouldn’t be doing any other showbiz-related projects since he would buckle down to his mission to serve God.
“I made the promise even before I decided to come to the Philippines,” assured David.
“He arrived with only one companion,” is not precisely accurate. Somebody else was with him. Somebody he made a promise to and when David gives his word, he keeps it. He’ll be back. He has other promises to keep.
Salamat po, Lord, for tender mercies and the promise of happy endings and new beginnings. Meanwhile, on with the show!
Posted in Appreciation, career longevity, David Archuleta, fan video | Tagged: a gathering of angels, Archuleta, David Archuleta, from the heart, Gotta love him, missing him, Standing by him, the Voice | 240 Comments »
Posted by Angelica on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
picture credit Kariontour
COLLAGE BY DJAFAN ~ PICTURES CREDIT NAREE
Happy Valentine’s Day from David Archuleta!