Wynn Walent is the kind of guy you’re proud to call your friend. A couple of years ago he ditched the grid to offer a helping hand to kids in an orphanage in Peru. Then, when the earthquake struck Haiti, he scraped up money from donations from friends to hop on a flight to Port-au-Prince to see how he might be able to help out. In the midst of the recent cholera outbreak there, he sent a heartbreaking yet optimistic email update (reprinted below) to his mailing list.
The reason Wynn has a mailing list, and the reason we’re mentioning him on this blog, is that he’s also an incredibly talented musician. He writes soft acoustic folk songs with earnest lyrics and an effortlessly beautiful tenor. As he mentions in his email, the music is free for download on his website, and if you choose to donate any money for it, 100% will go to needy or sick families in Haiti that he knows personally. I can vouch for him.
i write to send a warm hello and to let you know of a few things…
i’m still in haiti. and i’d be lying if i said that things here are going well. by any standard they are not. many people are suffering a great deal and it’s not right the way things are. i am well though a touch tired. we work hard and we make it through each day one heavy boot in front of the next. there is light and laughter and friendship to be found for sure, and we hold onto it when we can.
but of late it has been a struggle. the despair and death of many haitian people is unfortunately at the forefront of most of my days. it’s a truly terrible thing cholera. preventable and treatable but bringing many to an undignified and needless death. so we sigh and we work, and we try, and we save who we can. and we try to breathe and reset at day’s end. all in all though i am well, and staying mostly centered. i feel i’m where i ought to be, and am grateful to have landed in a place where i can help.
i am going to the states in december to see family and friends and also to play music, which comes from a part of myself that has been fairly dormant here. when i was home in september i sat one evening in richmond with my friend, and i mean friend in the truest sense, jon crawley.
we recorded these songs with one microphone in a small room in his apartment and he added the other parts throughout the last few months. another old friend, kerry hutcherson played pedal steel and mandolin beautifully as you may choose to hear, and jon did all the rest. i like the songs and i like what he did with them. jon was kind enough to also create a webpage for the songs, which you can find below. the songs are snapshots i took from peru, ny, and haiti. each is meaningful to me though in very different ways.
he also uploaded my previous two records on that page. all the music is free now and you’re welcome to it. but if you find them to be worthy of pay you can send money to firstname.lastname@example.org through paypal and all of the money will go to haitian friends here. directly to their hands. part of the problem in haiti is that much of the aid that is sent here gets caught up providing nice jobs to people who sit in nice offices. it so happens that the organization that i work for (nphhaiti.org) does not fall into that category, and in fact i believe very firmly in what we do and how we do it. even so, the idea in this case is to give money to me, and then i’ll give it directly to haitian people be it for food money, school fees, to buy some tin roofing, or to pay for a funeral. basic things. you can send a lot of money, you can send 5 dollars. it will help someone.
glad you could read and i hope you’ll enjoy the songs.