Hello, hello everyone! What's up with Omni? Well June slid into July with a FANTASTIC splash! Full of travel adventures and business ventures, here are our highlights:
Business before pleasure
Getting to the South African Consulate in Los Angeles to submit our application for Relative's Permit was priority. When I say "our," I'm referring to the children and myself. We began the mouse-maze of prerequisites for application in January, after discovering that we would, indeed, need to return to the States to apply. To our amazement, our experience at the consulate was short and sweet. After a brief interview to insure that we understood a Relative's Permit is a forerunner to permanent resident status, which we understood, we were free to visit friends and family, and travel parts of the US West with nothing but fun on our minds - no schedule except for one Sunday church appointment.
Time for Fun!
From the peaceful Giant Sequoias of the Sierra Nevada Mountains through the infamous traffic of Los Angeles Freeways, across deserts to scenic wonders, Friends and family old and new, and a few checks off the bucket list, too. 12 days, three states, Happy birthday Dad, camping, sleepovers, s'mores, and so much more, our road trip was a ginormous success!
Back to business
Now that I have my relative's permit, Cameron and I can open a bank account for The Omni Foundation. We attempted to do so in March, when we first registered Omni as a Non-profit company, but were unable to without the permit. Once we have a bank account in Omni's name, we can begin more serious fund raising. So far, the selling of "The Tale of a Runaway Toenail" is our primary source of funds. We have about 30 hard-copies left (1st and second editions), until we order more, which will be after most of these are sold. The book is in the process of becoming digital, and will soon be available for download :D
As for other books and ventures, we have decided that "My LIST Book" while important, is not the first priority. We don't have the funds for it yet--approximately $8,000 to start. A greater priority is getting a CD of my music produced. I've put efforts into recording, in the past, but life has always led me away before I could finish. I may be able to incorporate some of what has been done. I have yet to look into that. So here's to another go at it! Now that it's an Omni affair, it's certain to become a reality.
Speaking of music, July Art Hop at Cornerstone Coffee Co, in downtown Fresno, California was a blast!
It was the birthday of my gypsy-spirit, soul-sista, servant-heart, Natalie Marie Pizzo a.k.a. Hazey Autumn, who hosts Cornerstone Art Hop. Hailing all the way from Philadelphia, Natalie is becoming a force to be recognized. She is doing beautiful things in Fresno, uniting artists and promoting the spirit of everyone willing to share.
Another rising star is Jeanette Rivera, a.k.a. Miss Fresno. Jeanette has been to all my Art Hop events, and probably everybody else's too. An elementary school-teacher, by profession, Jeanette recently emerged from her own shy shadow. She now spends her free time experiencing Fresno's creative side, making friends, supporting local businesses, and posting photos as she goes. Jeanette has been a repeat customer of "The Tale of a Runaway Toenail," purchasing them as gifts for teacher friends, and she likes to participate in events such as MIA Studio and Gallery's paint classes.
Which brings me to Wendy and Mark DeRaud, the owners of MIA Studio and Gallery located in Fresno's Tower District. I first met Mark & Wendy just a few months before we (the Pauls family) moved to Canada in 2011. They were hosting their second phase of Art & Soul, which they had first begun in 2003-2005 because they saw a need for Christian artists to unite their faith with their neglected creative gifts. (Aside: this was the same time that I began exploring and expanding my own gift as a singer-songwriter). They discovered that more than the art, they had created a community that helped them transform themselves and impact the world around them.
I am honored to be a part of this community, if even from thousands of miles away.
This July 14th, MIA Studio and Gallery will host an Art & Soul Reunion which will double as a birthday party for me and going away party for Omni. We'll be sharing our message and music and making more memories...to be included in next month's issue of "What's Up Omni?"
Would you like to join our family? There are many ways that will be available to participate in this vision, whether living in community, volunteering, donating, investing, advertising your website in "My LIST Book," purchasing "Tale of a Runaway Toenail," hosting a living-room/campfire/anywhere concert... Think about it, pray about it, meditate on it. Listen to your heart.
Infinite Blessings to All!
Cameron and Leah Kirrane (Directors) The Omni Foundation (Registration no. 2017/109176/08) Graskop, Mpumalanga, South Africa Email: email@example.com