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  • Writer's pictureflippyhipped

Touring Panama with a band on a school bus powered by veggie-oil

Updated: Feb 8, 2018

Alright so I have a confession. For those of you who don't know me intimately, I might fit the category of what your parents would consider a "darn hippy". I live out of a backpack for unknown amounts of time, I'm not up to date on my yearly haircut, I often walk without shoes... oh and last year, I ended up living on a school bus converted to run on used vegetable oil, with the most extraordinary artist community.

How did this happen? One may ask. Well, my simplest theory would have to conclude that the events in our life happen because one way or another we draw them to us...but the bus and the Soulfire project, they chose me.

After ending up at one of the Soulfire project's shows in the mountain village of Boquete, Panama, I was hooked. Their infectious energy and music fused the sounds of cumbia, Afro-Latino, and reggae to produce rhythms that would refuse you a seat to sit, but rather a floor to dance.

I went from living in my tent next to the bus on a coffee plantation, to being a guest in the back bunk of the bus, to mixing the sound for live shows, to being a moving part of the project which works tirelessly to inspire and empower eco-solutions in marginalised communities in Central and South America.

There's something magical about living on a 8 x 40 ft school bus with a handful of creative and motivated like-minded people. It wasn't the wildly painted exterior of the bus, the handmade furniture, or sentimental notes etched on the roof.

It was the home-cooked group meals, the endless laughs around the fire, the gentle sway of the bus as we moved to our next destination. It was no matter what foreign land we were parked, the bus was always home, and the people inside of it--they were family.

Now I'm not here to preach, but this passionate 'out of a movie' community on wheels was a gentle reminder that we are in control of our own lives, weather it's the decision to stay parked or drive off into the setting sun, but being stuck in the mud is never an obligation..."the most powerful force on earth, is the human soul on fire."

one love, soulfamily.

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