Posted by: Mark | January 30, 2009


I am awake this morning with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Here is what I’m grateful for today:

-Brent Jordan. I am so thrilled I got to meet this guy and become friends with him. He is a truly talented musician whose career will blossom. And his a giving soul. Last night he performed his heart out at a Daraja Academy fundraiser, all for free, with all proceeds going to the school. My favorite part was that throughout the night, as Brent was playing, he would find himself turning around and watching the footage from Kenya while he was strumming through his instrumental parts, a beautifully symbolic moment that shows how invested he was in supporting Daraja.
-My friends. I don’t want to embarrass them online, but there was a core group of about 8 of us who worked to plan this event, with all of my friends doing an incredible job of taking the event to the streets and helping us gather the enthusiastic crowd that we got out there. I want to highlight my buddy Chris, an awesome guy who in the midst of a 90 hour work week came out, and before going to bed in the wee hours of the night put together a nice video/photo montage from the night for us to all remember it by.

The Park Chalet. The venue was awesome, and the staff there went well out of their way to accommodate us.
-Jason Doherty. Had I not met this guy, I would not have fallen in love with the Daraja Academy, I wouldn’t have visited Kenya, I would not have made this school such a big part of my life, my life would not have been transformed that the way it has. Because he dares to dream big, the rest of us can jump on board.
-The Daraja board. A few board members were there last night and were so huge and helpful in making the event a success, but in general the board has worked so tirelessly and with such perseverance to make this school a reality.
Audioluxe and the exciting new project SonicSF that I’m becoming a part of. It was great to have new friends from the program come out and meet people, interview the crowd, and enjoy the night.
-Facebook. Bizarre to be grateful for this, I know, but through Facebook I was able to reconnect with friends from my grade school days in Japan, after not seeing them for almost 15 years, a friend from my high school days in Delaware, and college friends from DC…all at the event last night.
-The hospitable, open-minded, and open-eared crowd that attended. They were so generous in coming out to celebrate the beginning of the Daraja Academy with us, and made the whole event worth it.
-My puppy Augustus, who was such a good boy at home for the whole time we were gone.
-And finally, my wife. She worked just as hard as any of us did to make this event a success, but much more than that she did it all while letting me take the spotlight. She was understanding and supportive as we all went through episodes of major stress and lost time together to make this happen, and I feel so happy and proud that we achieved this together.

Learn more about Brent Jordan so you can say you listened to him before he came famous, and about the Daraja Academy so you too can become part of the birth of a school.



  1. gratitude & grace. both wonderful things that i need a daily dose of.

    thanks for the lovely post – and I also enjoy the Park Chalet great spot.

  2. Sounds like a great event, wish I could have made it. Keep up the great work.

  3. I think it’s fantastic that you always remember things to be grateful for. A very good example for those who aren’t always grateful for what they have, no matter how simple.

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