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Summer 2012

Sammy Davis Spreading Vintage Love

table of contents Feel Good fashionABLE spurring Ethiopia economy Pure Water for the World Organic Hair Urban Roots Movie Review

4 5 6 8

Features Cover Girl: Sammy Davis Vintage 9 Guy Next Door 14 Musician to Watch: Graham Alexander 16

Crafty DIY with Grace Atwood 18 Heavenly Headbands 20

Style Runway the Thriftway 22 Lost Feather Vintage 26 Philly Aids Thrift 27


Meet cover girl Sammy Davis pg. 9

Sustainable Living with Leslianna Philly Budgeted and Green How to be Green: At Summer Concerts Green Products for Concerts

31 34 36 38

Adventure A Free Spirits Guide to Travel with Emily Valdez 39 Global Guide to Kenya 42 International Love in Mexico 44


Here I am at the Pier Shows in NYC posing with one of our all thrift outfitted mannequins!

Remember the Titans was my go to movie for inspiration and motivation. Thank you Coach Boone, Strong side!

editor’s letter

Change is an exciting thing. It can mean a better life, moving on and of course growing up. This issue of Tru(4)ia is all about change. It is about how others changed their lives, or their lives changed them. Change has been the theme for Tru(4)ia within the past year. Tru(4)ia went from being a magazine produced by two college students, to a magazine being produced by a team of 30+ contributors from across the country. Tru(4)ia also will be graduating this year - another change. Tru(4)ia was founded in the halls of Elizabethtown College and will be graduating with me this May. After graduation I will continue to grow, nourish and produce Tru(4)ia as a full time job from wherever life takes me. I can’t wait for it! This issue’s cover girl, Sammy Davis fits our theme of change like a glove. She quit her NYC magazine job to take a leap and follow her passion of vintage clothing. She is one of those few people you meet in life who make you feel as if you are unstoppable. This issue would not have been made possible if it wasn’t for some very important people, places and things. The printing of this issue was made possible by generous donations on Thank you to all of you who donated. Thank you to Elizabethtown College for your undeniable support over the past two years. Thank you to Mom & Dad, Wayne Peiffer and Allyson Wells. You four have listened to countless Tru(4)ia ideas, talks and ramblings and I appreciate all your insight. Finally, thank you to all of you, who are reading this right now. Without you, the readers, we would have no purpose to encourage, inspire and empower you through this magazine. So grab yourself a comfy chair, kick off the flip flops and learn about amazing people, places and stories the Summer 2012 issue holds. It will change you.

- Kelly

Pure Water for the World 1 in 5 people on Earth can’t access safe water to drink. 5,000 children die every day because of it.

By Brianna Wiest As we live in a privileged society, it may be difficult to grasp the scarcity of clean water globally. There is an urgency for adequate sanitation and proper education on hygiene. It’s safe to say that the common American has never dealt with the issue of not understanding basic hygiene. Being able to find water suitable for drinking is scarcely a concern. Pure Water for the World aims to combat just those issues, providing simple, inexpensive technologies to supply sanitary water to homes and schools in need. Their mission is to combine water cleansing with hygienic instruction and proper sanitation, thereby eliminating, or at least reducing, waterborne diseases that plague thousands. The organization fights for an intense cause: one in five people on Earth don’t have access to safe water. The result? 5,000 children die every day. The consequences of this dire situation yield further dismaying circumstances. Sick children cannot attend school, and caretakers are kept out of school and work as well. “Recurring waterborne diseases lock families, communities and nations into a cycle of endless poverty and lack of opportunity,” the organization’s website states. Joanna Tanger, a member of the organization’s Donor Relations department, was kind enough to share her personal take on the company, its goals, developments, and the urgent need to call attention to this perplexing issue. “Pure Water for the World is dedicated to improving the health of children, families, and communities in the developing world by providing them with sustainable pure water solutions. Drink, Wash, Waste is simply the model that helps us ‘get it done,’” Joanna says of Pure Water’s motto. The first step, she explains, in establishing a pure water system, is to remove contaminants from water sources, so it becomes drinkable. Next, underprivileged communities need to be educated on hygienic routines and the importance of

eliminating germs and thereby illness. Lastly, a method of properly removing human waste must be instituted, to ensure a sanitary community. Among many other accomplishments, Pure Water has worked with UNICEF to bring water and sanitation to 32 isolated communities in Honduras. Pure Water has further identified 216 communities in that area that do not have proper water sources, remember that is in just one country. In March 2011, Pure Water launched two purification units in Haiti, in collaboration with the Dow Chemical Company. Pure Water continues to work in schools to provide bio sand filters, teacher-training, gender-specific sanitation, hand-washing stations, hygiene education, community training workshops, de-worming medication and follow-up monitoring. Clean water is the substance that sustains human life itself. It’s both unfortunate and unacceptable that there are so many thousands of people living without proper sanitation or knowledge of how to keep themselves and their children safe from infection. “I love that Pure Water places an emphasis on education, because that really is the root of change,” Joanna added. The organization works to provide sanitation and healthcare for communities around the world.

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c i n a g r O re a C r i a H Hours


e Poind a s Alys


can be spent in front of the mirror straightening, spraying, teasing, fluffing, and then huffing and puffing over your hair. Very often, with dead arms and aching muscles, girls must be satisfied with whatever result there may be. Whoever sang those lines “I enjoy being a girl” did not have to endure the woes of wayward hair. Universally, females can agree that proper hair care can be a frustrating process. A female’s next best solution is to grab the nearest product— whatever that may be. Once we head towards that hair care isle, the amount of hair items can be downright scary especially if you don’t understand what works best with your hair. Every product will promote that it will enhance or repair our hair in some sort of clever way. But is that the case? Most desire to have that perfect “do” like the top models on T.V. and we find ourselves purchasing every product from a commercial. Companies are very good at marketing, but are they giving you all the facts? Do you know that a quick fix in a spray-can may actually do more harm to your hair as well as health in the long run? Behind the pretty bottles that have made their way into mainstream consumption, toxic chemicals lie. Cancer has been linked to chemicals such as parabens or preservatives which are found in many common hair products. According to the American Cancer Society, poisonous chemicals in hair dyes can lead to bladder and breast cancer amongst many other cancers. So what’s a girl to do? In the name of



the safety of your hair and health, the wisest decision may be to explore the world of organic hair products. Organic hair care products are eco-friendly and safe for your body. 

According to a 2009 article done by Elle magazine, the ingredients in organic products avoid pesticides, growth hormones, or other odd chemicals not fit for gentle treatment of your precious strands. Organic industries make a conscious effort for sustainability as well. For example, palm oil, which is in everything from shampoo to chocolate bars, is in high demand however it has lead to the devastating destruction in Southeast Asian rainforests. According to the LA Times, 30 million tons of this product is used globally every single year! Organic products make a conscious effort to avoid such ingredients. In other words, by picking up a bottle of organic product you are not only saving yourself, but taking steps towards supporting the environment. As a consumer, you have the ultimate say in what thrives in the hair care industry. Try supporting healthy hair, sustainability, and a healthy environment.

Here are 6 organic products you may want to try out that are not only healthy and safe but affordable

as well! The products on this list are suitable for any hair type unless otherwise specified. Remember, don’t worry so much about the front of the bottle—the tell tale signs that will reveal a true organic product to you is in the back of the bottle.


EccoBellas Natural Organic Vanilla Shampoo This shampoo has rave reviews online and contains all organic ingredients including extracts from cocoa nut and sugar cane. Water has been replaced with organic aloe vera and is paraben free! (eccobella. com)

3. Lusti


Big Baby Conditioner by Tara Smith Celebrity hair stylist Tara Smith has also made a commitment to the organic hair life! Her clients include Demi Moore and Marissa Tomei who testify on her website the greatness of organics! (

Organics Olive Oil


Lusti organics is an ethnic hair company whose organic products are not only healthy on your head but save the health of your bank! These products can be found in almost any grocery or dollar store! If you are going to go green with your hair, Lusti is the perfect place to begin!


Olive Oil Moisturizing Another great brand for ethnic hair that claims “hair reality”. “Rich in essential fatty acids” this greaseless lotion protects hair from the heat of those fierce straighteners and curling irons leaving your hair with a beautiful natural shine. It can be found in any department store or pharmacy.


Fantasia Hair Polisher This product strengthens hair in the most natural of ways! It has this little miracle of ingredients that will have your hair shouting “Hallelujah” for its anti-thinning formula that uses carrot growth. This product can also be found in any pharmacy or grocery store for a really reasonable price.

Miessence Shape Styling Gel This certified organics company is highly ranked in the organic world. This styling gel is all organic and is designed to treat hair and scalp through a natural blend of herbs. (

Tru(4)ia 7

{Urban Roots} movie review By Elijah Murray

“Urban Roots,”

produced by Tree Media, focuses on sustainable living and urban farming, a movement that has been spreading rapidly in recent years. The documentary was enlightening, even inspiring at some points, to see how a simple idea like gardening in inner city neighborhoods can have such a positive impact on society. Community involvement, cheaper, healthier and fresher food, as well as providing a positive outlet for students after school all closely follow the urban gardens that have sprung up in Detroit. However what the documentary has in vision it lacks in scope. Instead of talking about the urban farming movement as a whole, it focused on a few different farms within the albeit massive city of Detroit. The viewer is left wanting to know more about the overall movement. How did it start? What are

cities' responses to crops of corn where dilapidated offices used to be? What is the scalable vision and ultimate goal of this movement? Regardless of these unanswered questions the audience loved the film. Students were there from all over Philadelphia as well as a strong general population interested in the urban farming movement. "I think urban farming shows how you can break down complex engineering to the people's level. You can create an entire business…practical farming techniques pretty much anywhere," said Dev Sharma, a junior in Drexel’s Business and Engineering program. Perhaps this documentary is just what Philly needs—a kick in the butt to start spreading its farming tendrils and grow some of its own urban roots.

Urban Roots was shown at Drexel University thanks to Drexel Green, an initiative dedicated to transforming Drexel’s campus into a sustainability leader. The initiative covers all aspects of operations, buildings, academic initiatives, and student life and is responsible for the strategic plan to further sustainable practices and policies.



Inspiring Others by Spreading Vintage Love

We are not talking about Sammy Davis the Rat Pack crooner; we are talking about Sammy Davis (Sammy D.) the enthusiastic, eclectic, vintage-wearing pioneer of our time who is changing the game of vintage clothing - for the better.

Sammy Davis Tru(4)ia


The path to happiness

Sammy Davis, Founder and Owner of Sammy Davis Vintage, is a Lancaster, Pennsylvania native that has turned her hobby of thrifting and shopping vintage into her career. This 25-year-old moved to New York City right after graduating with a journalism degree from Temple University in 2008. During her undergrad years Sammy was set on pursuing a job as a fashion journalist for a well-known magazine in New York City. She interned for magazines Life & Style, Glamour and SELF. Her favorite internship was undoubtedly with SELF magazine because, “The duties I performed were so varied (from reporting, writing articles, attending press events, helping out in the fitness closet to working the assistant’s desk for the Editor-in-Chief!)” says Sammy. With a plethora of magazine internships under her belt it comes as no surprise that she landed a job in New York right away as the Assistant Web Producer for Esquire. com and While working at Esquire for Hearst Digital Media Sammy read the book “Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk and was beyond inspired. “The book was a quick read and very inspiring. I had much faith in myself and already started Sammy Davis

Vintage to sell vintage clothing online. I was unhappy at work because I did not like the direction I was going in. I said to myself, I am only 23, all I have to do is take this leap,” said Sammy D. She followed her heart and launched, a place where women come to share their love for finding, selling and styling vintage. Sammy posts to her website almost daily about her latest thrifty finds, tips and tricks on finding the best pieces and of course - how to style vintage, thrifted and modern looks.

Sammy D: Right out of high school I really wanted to leave and get out, so I applied to eight different colleges and found myself smack dab in the city of Sammy D: So many! If I had to pick just brotherly love, Philly. I loved living in Philly because I felt united and conone it would be being featured on the Nate Berkus Show. It was so incredibly nected to everyone. That feeling of connectedness is what I loved about awesome; there is no other way to put it. I was on national television, and that growing up in Lancaster. It was also the allowed me to be exposed to so many place where I bought my fist piece of vintage. strangers and tell them about what I represent. Being on the Nate Berkus Tru(4)ia: What was your first vinShow made me realize that I am doing something that makes people feel good tage piece and how did you discover that you loved vintage? and that is perfect. Tru(4)ia: What has been your biggest highlight thus far about Sammy Davis Vintage?

Tru(4)ia: Growing up in Lancaster, which is a small city, how did that influence your personal style and career?

10 Tru(4)ia

Sammy D: I love this question! My Mom has always worked in Downtown Lancaster so I always found that area to be very creative and inspirational. I was 16-years-old and dating this goth wan-

nnabe and I wanted a dress to fit his look. I went to Zap & Co. in Downtown Lancaster and got this early 1990’s black lace dress with a feather boa and gloves. At prom everyone said, ‘You guys look awesome.’ From that point on I was hooked on vintage. Tru(4)ia: How has your style changed from that high school girl and what pieces do you usually look for when thrifting? Sammy D: I have always had a very eclectic and fun, funky style.I am sick of the legging, oversize sweater and boots look. I am going to start channeling my ladyhood. When I go thrifting I always look for that avant garde, one-of-a-kind piece. The vintage hunter in me wants to reveal vintage finds by iconic designers of decades past. I love the history behind the fashion that when I wear it, I’m sharing it with the world. Tru(4)ia: What pieces are you predicting that will be popular this Spring/Summer season? Sammy D: The beauty of the warmer seasons is that anything goes. Wear what makes you feel your personal best! I do believe that crop tops, cut-off denim shorts and combat boots will still reign supreme for casual ‘n cool downtown style. Circle skirts with cat eye glasses and colored tights for a vintage-inspired professional look. Springtime is an inspiring time of fresh energy because more smiling and more laughter is brought on by sunshine and green grass is always a good thing for the mood of mankind! Tru(4)ia: Who are your style icons? Sammy D: I really like Jeannie Mai from the Style Network. She carries herself so well, and she is very compassionate with everyone. I like Fergie a lot because she came from a hard knocked life and has grown in style so much. I don’t have many style icons that are famous; I use the everyday people around me as inspiration.

Twitter, Pinterest and website that you are really passionate about inspiring others, why do want to inspire others? Sammy D: Inspiration is about simply being you and doing what you love while on this planet. Seeing someone be the person they love to be is the most authentic, organic form of inspiration there is. I believe that inspiring one another is the highest form of love we can give to the world. When we decide to do what makes us happy inside and loving outside, we inspire others to find the same joy in themselves. Tru(4)ia: Do you have any life mantras? Sammy D: My favorite life mantra is that life is a river. Living our life is like riding a current that is moving downstream. When we let go of controlling our ride on the river, we allow destiny to take us exactly where we’re supposed to go. I believe that we are destined to pick up certain people, things and knowledge on our “river raft” as we float downstream. Tru(4)ia: So what is next for Sammy Davis Vintage? Sammy D: 2012 started off and is continuing to be an exciting year for Sammy Davis Vintage. With a web site redesign in place, plans to begin creating vintageinspired products as well that hugely exciting news of a TV show in my not-so-distant future, let’s just say that 2012 is shaping out to be my favorite year yet! Tru(4)ia: Do you have any advice for soon to be college grads? (We are always looking for some!) Sammy D: One of my favorite quotes is that ‘dreams don’t change, they evolve.’ The secret to life is letting go of controlling our future and rather embracing what the universe presents us. That is not to say we shouldn’t have goals, desires and ambitions. These are important because they set our intentions in motion.

Tru(4)ia: It is obvious from your Facebook,



From one vintage enthusiast to another Elizabeth Hine, a friend of Sammy D’s and owner of Hinesite Vintage in Lancaster, has nothing but compliments for our cover girl Sammy D. Hine has been in the vintage selling and buying world for over 28 years in Lancaster, and she was baffled as to why she never met Sammy before reading an article on her in the lifestyle section of the local newspaper. Hine’s like Sammy has a deep love and affection for vintage. Hine said, “I love the vintage business because even after being in the vintage business for as long as I have, I see quite often something I have not seen before. I am always discovering and learning about fashion or vintage items in general. The vintage business never gets old. Constant discovery.”

on blogging and social networking to bring awareness to those who might not think outside the box about wearing vintage. “ She is making vintage more mainstream,” says Hine. Hine recongizes that Sammy has incredible determination and drive towards Sammy Davis Vintage and making it fun yet compelling for all viewers. “ Sammy Davis will be successful because she is very focused on her brand. She has an incredible work ethic and uses her talents to full advantage,” says Hine.

“What I find most inspiring about Sammy is her enthusiasm. When she comes in a room she is like a breath of fresh air. She has a very positive energy, which is She comments on Sammy’s wonderful use of the Internet contagious,” says Hine. to spread vintage love as well as how she is capitalizing

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Sammy D. really knows how to use her social media tools. Be sure to stay on top of everything that she is doing and the thrift finds she is grabbing. Here are links and sites you can find her on!

Where to Fin Sammy Davis V d intage

Website: Facebook: Twitter: @sammydvintage Pinterest: YouTube: Flickr:

She even wears vintage to the beach!

““I believe that we are destined to pick up certain people, things and knowledge on our ‘river raft’ as we float downstream””



Zach T

14 Tru(4)ia

all, dark and handsome, with a huge heart, strong environmental conscious and great personality, Zach Coss is the epitome of the “Guy Next Door.” Casually dressed in his signature navy cords from Uniqlo, bowling shoes, tee shirt and touseled hair, Zach sat down to lunch with me and shared the inside scoop about life as a GND. I had the pleasure of meeting the Philadelphia University junior through an on campus learning community geared toward understanding Philadelphia’s LGBT community and gender theory during the fall semester. As the class’s peer mentor, Zach led our small group of eight freshman students on volunteering and community service projects throughout the semester. When asked what motivated him to take eight freshmen under his wing, Zach responded, “I did it because I wanted you guys to know that it is okay to be who you are and to embrace what makes you different. Working with our group, I learned so much about myself and people in general. It changed the way I view our community.”

next door Guy THE

Zach Coss - Philadelphia University

by Brittany Buckmire The Texas native is no stranger to community service and social activism. Since moving to Philadelphia for college, Zach has held many positions dedicated to improving the community and the environment. Last year Zach was PhilaU’s TOMS shoes campus coordinator. As the brand ambassador and events coordinator, Zach was instrumental in spreading the TOMS mission and organizing campus events such as Day without Shoes to promote awareness of the need for proper footwear in improvised countries. As a marketing major, Zach has also just completed an internship with Philly-based clothing company United by Blue. UBB is unique in its mission to do its part to keep waterways free of trash; for every item sold, the ocean friendly retailer cleans up a pound of trash from local oceans, rivers and waterways. “I worked as the marketing and social media intern, leveraging analytics for campaigning and branding.” Aside from working the office grind, Zach also went on a cleanup project to the Anacostia River helping UBB removed 3,989 pounds of trash. “The project had a profound effect on me. We thoughtlessly use and throw away so much but seeing it all at once was shocking.” As for the modeling Zach did for the company on UnitedByBlue. com, don’t expect to see Zach on the cover of GQ anytime soon. “I am actually really camera shy!” Currently, Zach is focusing his energy on working as the marketing chair of PhilaU’s SOSA (Student Organization for Sustainable Action). Since its establishment, SOSA has already been successful in the enactment of only biodegradable plastic and washable dishware for meals. This year the group has big plans to improve Philadelphia University’s environmental footprint- starting with an initiative to stop the selling of plastic water bottles on campus. As an alternative, SOSA hopes to his water coolers placed in every building. “It is up to the students to put pressure on the school for eco-friendly change. I am just

doing my part.” Zach is pretty much always busy with something, but don’t be fooled— Zach certainly isn’t all work and no play! In his (limited) free time, Zach likes to read, teach himself how to read tarot cards, ride his bike, go out dancing and explore Philadelphia- especially on the city’s notorious First Fridays! Zach admits that balancing school, a job, an internship, extra-curriculars, and a social life can sometimes prove extremely difficult. Which makes me wonder… how does he do it all? The answer: breathe, turn on some Toro y Moi, Wu Lyf, or Erykah Badu and cook to relax. A self-proclaimed gourmet chef, Zach loves to cook and lists couscous and pesto pasta among his best dishes. The GND also has an awesome network of close-knit friends in Philadelphia. What makes his network so special is that his friends aren’t just there for the social aspect. “Every Wednesday we get together to talk about our futures and business ideas. It is great to get feedback and suggestions for your aspirations. We all are there to push and support one another.” Deeply rooted in his Spanish culture, Zach loves anything Latino. “The town I grew up in was right next to the Mexican border so, in high school, my friends and I would just cross the border into Mexico just to have a burrito at our favorite spot.” “What I miss most about Texas is definitely my family. We are very close so it is hard to go long periods without seeing them.” While nostalgic, our GND isn’t stuck in the past. He is excited to finish college and leap into the real world. “I can’t wait to graduate so I can see the world and really make a difference.” When asked who his style icon/personal role model was, the GND had a surprising answer: Socrates. Handsome, funny, an activist AND an intellectual? Zach Coss is the perfect Guy Next Door!



Graham Alexander: A New Age Musician with an Old School Style

Graham Alexander, the 22-year-old

Paul McCartney, selling out World Café Live in Philadelphia and of course but not least, being complimented from none other than Daniel Radcliffe (yes, Harry Potter!).

indie musician is using what he learned while playing Paul McCartney in the hit Broadway musical “RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles” and is kick starting his own solo career in the Rock/Pop genre. Alexander, a Haddonfield, New Jersey native, realized that he had a talent for It must be mentioned first and foremusic at the age of ten. His Mom actumost that Graham Alexander is not ally got Alexander his first instrument your average 22-year-old. As we talk at age five; a drum kit (from a mobin his studio, which is a converted dairy ster!). At age ten he trash picked (talk factory in Merchantville, New Jersey, about going green) his first guitar and where he and a few friends/band started writing songs. Writing songs mates work, live and rock on he tells is what Alexander says is his biggest us how his music career started. passion.

In his short life he has accomplished more than most will ever in the average 70 or 80 year-old life span. His credentials include: playing music professionally since he was 12, playing Paul McCartney in “RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles” on Broadway, playing alongside James Taylor, being the simulator for Beatles Rock Band as

“Writing songs is what I love to do. I don’t know why I love to do it, I just do. I saw other people writing songs and wanted to do it too. People don’t write songs anymore, artists don’t write their own songs anymore, too many artists are just figure heads for a bunch of producers,” says Alexander.

“Daniel Radcliffe said to me, ‘Man, how did you study that stuff?’ It was such a cool thing to have that level of respect for each other.” 16 Tru(4)ia

Alexander is a songwriter to the core. He gets inspiration and motivation to be a true independent artist from past and previous artists such as Bob Dylan, the Lennon-McCartney writing team, Gershwin, Glenn Burtnik, Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. When he lived in New York he says how “vibey” it felt to be in the Gershwin theatre. Although most of us would pass out in excitement if we were told that we had a chance to be on Broadway, Alexander says, “I always thought that I would be on Broadway, I just didn’t know how. When they announced the show RAIN, I knew how.” Alexander comments on how “cool” Broadway is. Being 19-years-old and touring nationally with a Broadway company is what millions of Glee watchers dream of. Alexander got to live it.

There is no substitute for talented people. You are around talent all the time and gain a really great respect for each other. Backstage at a Broadway Award Show, Daniel Radcliffe said to me, ‘Man, how did you study that stuff?’ it was such a cool thing to have that level of respect for each other,” says Alexander. Playing such an iconic role such as Paul McCartney has been a huge part of Alexander’s life, and it has helped shape his solo career. Alexander says that he started perfecting his Paul McCartney impres-

sion because it was the least expensive Beatles member to replicate. In order to play McCartney all was needed was a Hofner bass. Alexander admits that he would have much rather been John Lennon but he couldn’t afford all those Rickenbacker guitars.

Breaking out of The Beatles It was during his time on Broadway that Alexander started to record his own album. Being the independent artist that he is, he was determined to produce, write and of

course perform all his own original tracks. The recording and production of his first and latest album self titled, ‘Graham Alexander’, took three years because in Alexander’s words, “ You do a lot of things wrong and then you do them again and again and again. To my own detriment I am really picky and if I don’t like something I have to get it just right.” Already, his song “Biggest Fan” and favorite track has had over 200,000 plays on Spotify.

This summer Alexander will be playing weekly gigs in Atlantic City at the Trump Plaza Hilton, every Friday night performing his solo music along with some classic rock covers of songs that have inspired him.

If you are a die-hard Beatles fan or just a classic rock junkie be sure to check out for a great selection of exclusively Beatles shirts all for under $25 Download his latest album from iTunes and Like his Facebook page at: GrahamAlexanderMusic

Enter TRU4IA at checkout and get 5% off your entire purchase



y a w Y t f i r h T e

h t y a w n Ru

Photos by:

Glenn Knight

The WONDERFUL and GLAMOROUS Sarah Hawkins picked out her favorite Spring 2012 looks from Chanel’s runway. The collection was designed by none other than Karl Lagerfeld himself as he used buttons and belts (inspired by Coco’s iconic pearls) coupled with pastel colored skirts, shorts, blazers and sweaters to reach the ultimate romantic feminine look. After a full afternoon of scouring the racks of Lancaster’s Salvation Army with Sarah and a team of Tru(4)ia fashionistas, we put together three 100% thrifted looks to match their runway counterparts all for under $20!

r e z a l B Blue Blue blazer: $4.99 Tube top shirt: $2.99 Belt: $2.99 Shorts: $2.99 Shoes: $2.99 Chain purse: $3.99

Total: $20.94 22 Tru(4)ia

(with a 10% student discount total = $18.84)

Shades of Pink Sweater: $2.50 Vest: $3.99 Shirt: $4.99 Shorts: $2.99 Shoes: $1.50

Total: $15.97

(with a 10% student discount total = $14.38)

u t u T & Teal Blazer: $5.99 Beads: $2.99 Skirt: (it is actually a dress!) $7.99 Shoes: $2.99

Total: $19.96

(with a 10% student discount total = $17.97)



Meet Sarah: S

arah is a 21 year old model, actor and director. She graduated from Messiah College this past January with a degree in Broadcasting and won Bergdorf Goodman’s Faces of 5F campaign, from a pool of over 1,200 fresh faces. Sarah is currently acting, directing and modeling for a number of businesses, clothing lines and agencies. Sarah will move to Los Angeles and continue pursuing roles in front of the camera. Be sure to Like her on Facebook and follow her journey to L.A. (she is gonna be big soon!)


the s



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Lost Feather Vintage Q & by Lauren Stine

Amy Rossi, owner of Lost Feather Vintage, Tru(4)ia: What sparked your inTru(4)ia: What is your Whatever you decide to do or shares her contagious terest in vintage clothing? goal/mission with Lost be, confidence is the key.” love for off-the-wall Feather Vintage? prints, stunning florals, Amy Rossi (AR): “My passion for vintage Tru(4)ia: What fashion adand old-time favorites. clothing began when I moved away to college AR: “I dream big, somevice do you have for wearand started to become more of an individual. times I need to pinch ing vintage clothing? I was finally forced to break free from the myself so I can be brought back to reality. pack of carbon-copy high school students One of her main goals is to continue to carry AR: “Avoid a head to toe costume diand match my style to my personality.” products online while building and expanding saster. Mix it with your current clothing. our inventory and customer base. Repeat Have fun with it. Those oversized chunky “I was unsatisfied by the boring used customers and good feedback is something sweaters from the 80s worn over tights clothing and dug for the one-of-a-kind I strive and work towards. But through every are a must have. A feminine long floral vintage pieces. I was inspired by this happy shopper, I gain more confidence and dress from the 70s is another. I adore refreshingly new concept of an afforddream a little more.” the structure and feminine fit of the 60s able and one-of-a-kind wardrobe.” clothes. A polka dotted piece from the Tru(4)ia: In the spring, what do 50s tends to always get noticed. ExperiOver the years, Rossi has modified and you foresee being a hit? ment with what looks best on you.” reconstructed vintage pieces so she didn’t appear to be “channeling Marsha Brady.” AR: “Dress up the prints! Don’t be afraid of big, bold prints. Especially Tru(4)ia: What’s Lost Feathmixing. er Vintage’s history? Don’t be intimidated.” AR: “I began collecting items and started running out of closet space for all my new Tru(4)ia: vintage pieces. I bought racks to keep up What about with my new expanding hobby. Friends for those and strangers approached me about my of us who discovery, and I started wondering how might be a I could share this passion with them.” bit hesitant to go bold? Tru(4)ia: When did Etsy step into the picture? AR: “Very AR: “I began selling clothing on Ebay but feminine, soon moved to Etsy, calling it my ‘home ethereal away from home.’ The Etsy community is moments such a creative environment and more are deficonducive to my work aesthetic. I have nitely in this met other local Etsy storeowners, so we season. Try gather together and showcase our goodies pleating to local customers in person. I have made with a little many connections and friends who have lace or nude similar interests or fashionable goals.” colors and pink belts.

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Oh the places you MUST go

PHILLY AIDS THRIFT By Brittany Buckmire


stablished six years ago, PAT is a non-profit thrift store located in the artsy and off beat South Street area of Philadelphia. The thrift store was started by three friends and born out of their shared desire to do their part to fund the fight against the AIDS epidemic. Run by donations, a dedicated volunteer and staff force and support from the community, PAT has defied the odds and raised over $400,000 to date for its beneficiaries!

“When I think of Philly AIDS Thrift, three words come to mindcommunity, clothes and cool.” -Brittany Buckmire

made to the store. This was a great experience because I learned so much about how to turn social activism into dollars. While it is great to be passionate about a cause, Philly AIDS Thrift taught me that actions speak louder than words. To create Spanning two floors, Philly AIDS Thrift carries everyreal change, one thing from knick knacks, dishware, furniture, books, apparel must act. and toys- all of which has been donated to the store. In fact, I encourage you PAT is the number one site for donations in the Philadelphia all to stop by area! Although the thrift store has a wide variety of inventhe Philly AIDS tory, its bread and butter is definitely its clothing section. Thrift located at Filled with great vintage finds and contemporary pieces, the 710 S.5th St in clothing section offers something for everyone at an affordPhiladelphia. Take able price. The store even has a room dedicated to items all an afternoon to sold for only a dollar! look around, talk to the people and A staple in the community, PAT is home to many find some truly charitable, creative, down to earth people. “Many of our one-of-a-kind customers are regulars,” explains one of PAT’s founders pieces. I promise, and current manager, Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou. “They you won’t be have been with us for years and continue to support us. We disappointed and love seeing familiar faces in the store; it really is like a family you will leave with here.” All throughout the store you can find quirky notes, a new purchase displays and signs. The atmosphere is extremely open, creand a warm ative, welcoming and just the right amount of strange. The feeling for doing unique environment, sense of community, awesome finds something good and affordability of Philly AIDS Thrift is what keeps people and being part of coming back visit after visit. the greater move ment to stop the As someone who has personally worked at the AIDS epidemic. store, I can tell you that this place is a unique treasure. As a clothing processor, I sorted and priced clothing donations



INSPIRED BY:Inter Brittany, being a thrifty college student and a CollegeFashionista Style Guru she is naturally in tune with style, trends and having that ‘it’ factor when it comes to fashion. Brittany and our own Editor-in-Chief, Kelly went to Philly Aids Thrift to piece together five outfits that are “internship professional.” We know you are all prepping your wardrobes for your summer internship. Since you are not going to be making bank during your internship we have detailed five outfits for under $13 that will help you not only be the most memorable intern ever but help your style become a little more 9-5 with a touch of quirkiness.

SoLID Prof

essional er

Blazer Pow Black Blazer: $1 Peach Skirt: $4 Polka Dot Blouse: $3 Leather booties: Own Total: $8 White Silk Skirt: $5 Peach Button Up: $4 Black Leather Belt: $3 Leather booties: Own Total: $12

Make it a Long Skirt, Not a Long Day

Long Blue Skirt: $4 Purple/Blue Tank: $3 Brown braided belt: $2 White Purse: $4 Total: $13

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ern Professional Grandfath

er Chic

Blazer: Vintage (from her grandfather) Pink denim skirt: $4 Striped sleeveless button up: $5 Black Leather Belt: $3 Leather booties: Own Total: $12



Leather jacket: Own Blue button up tank top: $3 Black/White floral skirt: $3 Leather Booties: Own Total: $6



ABOUT Brittany Brittany is wrapping up her First-Year at Philadelphia University studying Fashion Industry Management. She has volunteered her time working for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, attended Teen Vogue Fashion University (twice!) and had an internship with Charlotte Ronson. While studying at Philly U she spends her time keeping a watchful eye out for oncampus fashionistas, being a CollegeFashionista Style Guru. Brittany devours fashion magazines and has a dream of being a jet-setting market editor.

All looks here are from Philadelphia University on


CollegeFashionista is a fashion blog site for those who are passionate about the latest college fashion styles and trends on campuses around the world. The website allows students and other young adults to view photographs of what their peers are wearing around college campuses and become an on-campus fashion insider (Style Guru) and report on what styles are trending on each campus across the country. CollegeFashionista has hundreds of colleges and universities across the country-reporting daily, posting pictures of what students are wearing. It is the ultimate place for college students to get their fill of campus style right from the source, real college students!

To find your school go to:

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Sustainable Living:

ols One woman’s life travels and to

By Leslianna Federici

A few shor t years ago, I thought sustainable living

was about one idea: how I treated the ear th. The sun rose and set according to my commitment to environmental stewardship. I composted, grew veggies, shopped organic and local. I also juggled a corporate career, volunteering in my community, training for marathons and maintaining a fairly active social life. My life was about trying to “fit it all in”--whatever “it” was. While my actions looked ear th loving and responsible from the outside, my day-to-day experience of life was anything but sustainable. I was completely stressed out. As a longtime life practice, I reflect throughout the year on my vision for my life and the goals I need to accomplish to get there. I am a driven woman. I take great pleasure in checking things off my list. About three years ago, I star ted to feel an itch. Something had to give. My frenzied pace of life, my checklists that ranked visiting loved ones right up there with getting in my daily run...these were not and would never be sustainable. They would never lead to a deeply happy, balanced existence. Slowly, I began to make conscious changes in my life: I made quality time with loved ones my top priority, found counsel in therapy, traded in my Blackberry for a good old fashioned flip phone - but the past twelve months were the most dramatic of this transformation. And all the conscious work I put into my growth as a human BEING rather than a human DOING has star ted to pay off--in adventure, passion and a truly sustainable life style.

So: what happened during those twelve months? For star ters, I quit my corporate gig. The plan: move from my favorite city (Philadelphia) to Nantucket to live with my boyfriend, Jared. It was late February, my belongings were packed, and Jared and I were ready to head off into the sunset. Surprise! A case of cold feet set in, and the plan totally derailed. One of the many gifts I am grateful for cultivating is that of adaptability. Rather than give into the panic and freak out that all of my life plans had been kicked to the curb (“What do you MEAN life isn’t working how I WANT IT TO???!!!”), I took a deep breath, leveraged all my new life-loving tools and asked the great Universe, “What next?” The response I received, in moments of quiet meditation: “Make the choice that aligns with sustainability, freedom and peace.” When the Nantucket dream evaporated, I turned to my halo of family and friends for suppor t. Not all of my loved ones lived nearby. I had a bit of savings tucked away, and I used that to suppor t my travels and time I would need to cultivate a sustainable career. Off I went, across the country to regroup and rebuild my life!



Along the way I gathered some tools that have become essential in my Sustainable Lifestyle Toolbox:

he gave me the green light. Which leads me to Tools #3 and 4...

Tool #1: Have great friends and the courage to

Tool #3: Honor your relationships. Don’t cheat or

work out difficult communication with them. Personal relationships are our canvases for growth. Our friends and family love us as is--a gift that can be hard to give ourselves when we are not living a life we are truly connected to.

Tool #2: Make a point to squirrel away some

money. Money is freedom-- unless it is

imprisoning you in a situation you hate. First stop: a visit with Mom and her husband, Peter, in Texas--where, I made my home as a young woman, and where a dear friend, Linda (rest her sweet loving soul), ran a broken china jewelry business. I had always admired Linda’s work and over the years and had wondered what it would be like to do something like that myself. At a barbecue with her husband, Tim, I floated the idea of star ting a similar business back in the Nor theast. Without hesitation,

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steal from others. Don’t be afraid to ask for permission AND forgiveness if necessary.

Tool #4: Stay open to possibility. You never know what a conversation will create. Communication creates oppor tunity where none might have existed two minutes ago. Out of the conversation with Tim, my small business, Wild Bull Designs, was born. A few shor t months later, I was crafting jewelry from antique china--along with anything else my soul creatively generated. Surprisingly--or maybe not so surprisingly--not long after that, through clear communication and staying true to my values, Jared and I found our way back in each other’s hear ts and lives. I moved to Nantucket last Fall. In creating my business and rebuilding my relationship with Jared, I firmly rooted my commitment to creating something I had never known before: a truly sustainable life--a life that features time with loved ones, that nur tures a relationship with nature, that provides an ease for growing food and the means to truly sustain my living here on ear th. So here I am, twelve months later, cozied up on a little island with the man of my dreams, trucking along with a fulfilling small business, giving it a go! I wake up daily and deal with the fears that come with taking the risk to live an authentic life. (P.S. There will always be reasons not to GO FOR IT: the economy, the loving yet safe opinions of parents, teachers and friends....) I am grateful that my longing to live the life I truly want-- a sustainable life--never went away. I am grateful that I gather my courage each day and follow my truth.

Tool #5: It is ALWAYS wor th taking a risk in the direction of your dreams, passions and longings, provided that your actions are aligned with the highest good of yourself and others.

Tool #6: Be curious about life. Be willing to be pleasantly surprised. I am always amazed by the kind of love and suppor t that shows up.

Here is Leslianna with

her boyfriend Jared.

ith Leslianna at dinner w ds Philadelphia frien .



A Day in Philly:

Sustainable and Budgeted

By Zee Fulton-Anderson You’re planning a trip to the city for a day and you have sixty 60 bucks to do it. So, you ask yourself what you could possibly do all day long that will cost less than sixty dollars. You begin to look around online for things to do that will not only be cheap and fun, but will also help you preserve the economy. After hours of searching, you find nothing but touristoriented websites, tour and museum information, gardens, and cheap, but not cheap enough restaurants. Frustrating, right? Although looking for inexpensive and fun things to do can be annoying sometimes. It’s actually not that difficult to find fun, cheap, “green” things to do in a large city. Philadelphia, PA, for example, offers plenty to do for people in similar situations. Philly, my hometown, the City of Brotherly Love, is a city full of life, color, energy, and most of all, love! It is a great place to go to have fun, to catch up, hang out and to check out the nightlife with a group of friends! Philly is also home to a large population of young innovators, entrepreneurs, musicians, dancers, photographers, fashion designers, and more! There is something for everyone in Philadelphia. Take it from an experienced Philadelphian- the best way to have fun in the city is with a great group of friends and an even better pair of walking shoes.

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Over the years, we’ve become more aware of our surroundings and of our impact on the economy. A number of organizations have been created in Philly to help achieve the goal of becoming the “Next Great City.” Next Great City Philadelphia is a coalition of organizations dedicated to making the city cleaner, healthier, safer, and more attractive for Philadelphians and visitors. All of the organizations involved are great at what they do, but you do not have to be a part of an organization to make a difference. There are plenty of activities to do and places to go in the city to have fun with an added bonus of being economically and environmentally savvy. Philly is a rather large city and each section of the city offers something different in terms of activities. One of the most popular areas is Center City. The downtown center is a great place to go exploring, especially if you are just getting to know the city. One way you can help preserve the environment and save a few bucks along the way is to use Philadelphia’s public transportation system to get around. Just like in other big cities, there is always a lot of traffic downtown. S EPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system, will take you to just about every crevice of the city and help you avoid the dreaded downtown traffic. It’s also pretty cheap! You can expect to spend no more than about six bucks to and from center city – that is if you’re already in Philadelphia. Now, we’re down to fifty-four bucks…what shall we do first? While on a public transit bus or train, you’ll be able to view all of the amazing public art in Philly. Philadelphia is the number one city in the United States when it comes to public art and murals. The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program was created to allow anyone with a passion for art to collaborate with fellow artists in order to create art that “transforms public spaces and individual lives”. The artistic project has produced over 3,000 murals. Each illustrates the history of the city and inspires the residents and visitors

that encounter them every day! Once you’ve reached your destination, you will have seen and fallen in love with more art in in the time it took to get where you’re going, than you have seen in a museum or other art institutions. Walking around downtown Philly will allow you to see more beautiful art, but after a while you begin to fatigue and get hungry. Well, with fifty-four bucks left in your pocket, you’ll have no problem paying for food. But, just because you have it, doesn’t mean you should spend it all in one place! Opa, a beautiful modern Greek restaurant, offers the most authentic, delicious Greek dishes and cocktails. Soups, salads, lamb gyros, bifteki, and more for no more than 11 bucks! Now that’s good eating! Also, Opa uses all local, sustainable ingredients, and a lot of Opa’s décor and seating is “green,” as well – made from reclaimed wood, gathered river rocks, clay, and other environmentally friendly materials. After a delicious meal, you’re down to 43 bucks. Your belly is full and happy, and now you’re looking for something a little more exciting. Shopping! Shopping in Philadelphia is such an amazing experience. Whether you like the hipster look, bohemian, laid-back, more formal, athletic, or even if you like a little

bit of everything, there is a shop for you! The streets of Philadelphia are crawling with aspiring fashion designers and trendsetters. It’s often difficult to ignore Philly’s style and resist the urge to shop! The best way to go shopping in Philadelphia and save money – who knew you could do both at the same time—is to thrift! Visit stores like The Big Green Earth Store, an eco-friendly boutique located on South Street or Circle Thrift, a network of thrift stores, for cool finds. Also try Greene Street Consignment and Buffalo Exchange, both very cool thrift shops, offer plenty of products, clothing, shoes, and furniture at great, cheap prices. Forty-three bucks should be more than enough to purchase an entire outfit, another cool pair of walking shoes, accessories, and maybe a new purse. If you thrift wisely, you may still have a few dollars left to spare. For dinner, check out Night

Market Philadelphia, a street festival that celebrates Philly’s best local restaurants and street vendors, hosted by The Food Trust. Talk about cheap! You’ll have the opportunity to sample dishes from some of the city’s ethnic restaurants, gourmet foods, and delicious drinks in some of the most amazing neighborhoods. The day is over and you did quite well! You did a little sightseeing, checked out the beautiful public art scattered throughout the city, had a delightful lunch and did a little shopping. Sounds like a pretty good way to spend the day in the city, to me! If you’re looking to stay a little longer than just a day, then you’re in luck! A lot of Philadelphia’s hotels and inns are making great strides toward becoming more energy and water efficient, more eco-friendly in other respects, and a little easier on the wallet. Sofitel Philadelphia, for example, is a great place to stay. According to Uwishunu, a tourism blog of Philadelphia, Sofitel Philadelphia “has been awarded the highest recognition in the Sofitel chain’s Green Key EcoRating Program.” This hotel is doing its part to save the environment by using local organic foods and incorporating water-filtering systems to eliminate the need for bottled water. Philadelphia is a great city. Full of life, rich in art and history and packed with adventures! If you’re looking for a good time in the city, you can’t go wrong with a little Philly fun! For more on what Philadelphia has to offer, you can check out a number of websites and blogs. Here are just a few to get you started:,,, and Maybe you’ll find some more cool, fun, and eco-friendly activities to do while in the city. If so, share with us!



How To Be Green: at Summer Concerts Your favorite band is coming to your hometown. You are jazzed. You’ve got your ticket, your friends and your favorite icy beverage all ready to go. But with the millions of Americans who attend concerts and festivals each year, the impact that these events have on the environment can be extremely damaging. You as a concertgoer can do your part to help positively contribute to the environment. Here are some sure-fire tips to make your concert experience a truly green one.

1. Buy your ticket online Purchasing your ticket on the internet allows you to print it off on plain white copy paper. Did you know that the average working American uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year? According to, that’s four million tons of copy paper used annually. Instead of contributing to that insanely high number, call your venue and see if they will allow you to pull your ticket up on your smartphone instead. When you reach the gate, let the attendant see your confirmation number and you might just breeze right through.

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2. Travel with friends Help reduce CO2 emissions and go in one car with your friends. Everything’s more fun with your friends and this way you can all split the cost of gas. If you’re riding solo to your favorite gig, check out to see who you can catch a ride with in your area. It’s free, safe and groups such as Home Depot, Nike, Virgin and Live Nation are all using it.

3. Air-dry your hands The debate rages on as to whether using electricity or paper products to dry your hands is the greener answer. The truth? Neither! Both options pose a major environmental hazard. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), they predict that if paper consumption continues at its current rate, the carbon dioxide emissions from paper production will double by 2020. According to in terms of electric hand dryers, a typical warm-air dryer uses 26.61 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions if you dry your hands three times a day for a year. So, if you really want to make a different, leave the paper towels and hand dryers behind and let the warm summer air do its job.

5. Buy green t-shirts Keep your eyes peeled for cool apparel made out of organic cotton material. According to, organic cotton doesn’t use any persistent pesticide or synthetic fertilizers when being grown. And, cotton is naturally fire resistant. Who can resist those odds?

4. Reusable water bottles Make sure you bring those reusable water bottles. Check with the venue beforehand to see if water refill stations are available during your event. If you’re headed to some huge extravaganza like Bonnaroo, there may even be Brita stations where you can get clean, filtered water at your fingertips. Do your part to help reduce the 60 billion tons of plastic waste produced every year.

6. Visit the Reverb tent This very unique organization based in Portland, Maine, strives to educate both musicians and their fans on how they can make a positive impact on the environment around them and help build a more sustainable future. They connect with fans all around the world to teach the most basic and effective ways to go green. Reverb not only works backstage with the musicians to calculate carbon offsets and coordinate waste reduction and recycling initiatives, they also set up an eco-village to educate and engage fans. Look for the Reverb tent at your event and check out more information at

Follow these tips and tricks and you and your friends are sure to have a killer concert going experience. It’s easy to enjoy your favorite show while still being conscientious of the environment around you. So do your part to help and rock on party people!



GREEN PRODUCTS Concert Must Haves

Soulflower Sun Scrunchie Yes, schrunchie’s are back, or we are trying to bring them back. Instead of fiddling around with your hair, accept the fact that it isn’t going to look perfect and throw a scrunchie in. American Apparel offers a huge selection of scrunchies and they are of course made in America.

n Shady Day Sunscree Wearing sunscreen during an outdoor concert is a no brainer. This sunscreen stick is not only organic but oil-free so you won’t look greasy.

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You want to keep your clothing loose, comfy and of course stylish. This fair trade dress made in India will do just that. Not only will you look good, but feel good too.

Paisley Floral While jumping, dancing and grooving around the last thing you want is a big bulky bag holding you back. Make sure you keep things minimal and use just a simple cross body bag to hold the essentials (chapstick, cellphone, camera, money).

Vintage Aviators The last thing you want is the sun glaring in your eyes the whole show. Prevent this and rock a stunner pair of vintage shades. These aviators are circa 1980 and will bump your cool factor up three points instantly.

s t i r i p S e e r F A l e v a Tr o t e Guid by

Emily Valdez

Are you a dreamer or a realist? It’s a simple question, but have you ever really taken the time to think about the answer. What if you could have the best of both worlds and bring those dreams into reality, thus declaring the impossible possible? At the beginning of 2011, I had this same idea. I was asked, “If you could be doing anything in the world right now what would it be?” My answer,” Traveling.” I was then confronted with this question, “Well, then why aren’t you?” That small conversation encouraged me to take a leap of faith and start making some pretty radical decisions! For the next six months my friend Suzanne Artley and I started to prepare for an around the world adventure. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but at this point I was so passionate about the trip that I was prepared to make some pretty big sacrifices. I started to save every penny I made and took on extra jobs on the side. I had also started to hand-make and sell one-of-a-kind jewelry. I was so encouraged by one individual to help me take the leap and follow one of my biggest dreams that I wanted to bring the same encouragement to other women. So I created Yireh, jewelry with a purpose to inspire. I design each piece for the free-spirited and use natural elements from my island Oahu’ and Native-American inspired detail (to check it out see details below). I worked extremely hard for six months and when that wasn’t enough I decided to start selling most of

The w or do not ld is a book a travel only re nd those wh ad one o page. –St. A ugusti ne

my possessions, then gave almost everything that didn’t sell away (cutting out frivolous spending was really helping me decrease my materialism). I also decided to sell my beloved truck! When the day arrived to finally depart on our first plane I had just enough money to go! With a semi-set itinerary and smiles on our faces, Suzanne and I walked onto our first plane headed to Sydney, Australia. We had no expectations and no real plan, which we discovered was actually the best way to do a trip like this. Stepping off the plane in Sydney was one of those moments in life that I will remember forever… A free travel trip like this had always been a dream of mine, and as I stepped off that plane, it was bringing that dream into reality. It was 10:00 p.m. Sydney time, and I was suffering extreme jetlag, but I felt fully awakened and fully alive. I was excited for the adventure ahead. I could have never have foreseen what we experienced while traveling. It was the best months of my life so far. Our travels took us to Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Qatar, Italy, Paris, Greece and Israel. I’m constantly asked, “What was your favorite part of the trip?” And my answer is always, “getting to meet so many different people.” I have so many new friends from all around the world who I got to share some pretty amazing experiences with. We had a low budget so we decided early on we would be doing a lot of couch surfing (see below for more details). I am



so happy we did this because we stayed with mostly all locals in every country. This really helped us get a taste of each culture and see what it actually felt like to live there. The best part about couch surfing is hanging out with your host who almost always went above and beyond to make you feel comfortable there. I also had the opportunity to stay at some amazing places such as a beach house and a mountain house in Australia, a tree house home stay in Indonesia, a village in Thailand, a vineyard in Italy, waterfront property in Venice, a five star hotel in Qatar, a college house in Athens, and a mansion in Israel! The people you meet and the places you stay play a huge role in your travel experience but the best parts are the hidden adventures along the way. While planning the trip, Suzanne and I decided that we weren’t going to plan at all. For example we landed in Sydney, Australia, but our flight was leaving out of Brisbane, which is a lot farther up the east coast. We had no idea how we would get there; we just knew we had to. However, we met an awesome local guy that gave us a ride up to Byron Bay, and then had his friend drive us up to Brisbane. So we took a two-day road trip to our destination and stopped at a bunch of hidden secret spots along the way. The best spot was a secluded beach where we found a Kangaroo and saw dolphins! While we were in Thailand we went on an elephant riding tour and met six crazy Israeli guys that we ended up becoming good friends with. One of them offered up his house for us to stay at while we were touring his country. Our whole month in Italy was pretty much played

40 Tru(4)ia

by ear. We were there for a month and saw a lot. Everyday we woke up and decided where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to see, we were commitment free. The best part was getting to stay on a vineyard in Arezzo and harvesting grapes to make Chianti wine! In Israel we met up with the guys we had met in Thailand and did everything from riding camels in the Negev desert, roaming the streets of Jerusalem, to hanging out at a local reggae bar. I also met a woman in Bethlehem (which is Palestinian) territory and had the opportunity to talk with her for two hours and hear her story of the atrocities her and her family have suffered because of the IsraeliPalestinian war. All the places I went and faces I met along the way I will remember forever. I loved the feeling of being completely free and waking up each day and beginning it as a new adventure. However, I also went through some trials. We had a nine-hour layover in Athens, Greece and decided to venture out of the airport and into the city. While there my bag was stolen which contained my passport. My nine-hour layover turned into three missed plane rides and a thirty-two hour visit. However, we met an extremely nice guy who let us stay at his house for the night, which was luckily within walking distance of the U.S. Embassy because the whole city was on strike! I didn’t have any cash in my bag just a lot of sentimental items such as the eight thousand travel pictures I had taken, on eight different memory cards. It was extremely hard to lose those pictures but I learned that sometimes things like this just happen with no real explanation, and you can’t dwell on it. I was blessed to have lived through the memories the pictures held, and that I had amazing friends with me who stuck by my side! I learned to always be prepared for the

unknown! I ended up traveling for a total of six months. I visited 8 countries (9 if you count the Vatican), 29 cities outside of the U.S. and 4 states inside the U.S. I can honestly say that was the best six months of my life. I learned more than I could have learned in a classroom and experienced it all firsthand. I’m so thankful that someone challenged me to stop dreaming, and start turning those dreams into a reality. I started saving for this trip with little in my bank account and was told many times that it was an impossible feat. I ended the trip with almost as much money as I started, moved back to Hawaii and now have a new truck. I took a leap of faith on something that I knew was right and was provided for along the way. I watched the impossible be made possible. So I challenge you with the initial question I was asked, “If you could be doing anything in the world right now what would it be?” Now why aren’t you doing it? Aloha.

s p i T l vea Free Spirit: 8 Trafrom

much as you may Do not over plan! As ally preventing some want to you are actu l stories. pretty amazing trave



Have no fear! It is good to be cautious and aware, but do not let fear keep you from traveling.

ally if you are Backup all of your data. Especi possible to put it taking lots of photos, if it’s d drive, DO IT! on a flash drive, or external har



Make sure you have all of the embassy numbers handy for the countries you are visiting.


Be sure to separate all of your credit cards, debit cards and travelers checks! This is important because if one card gets stolen you will have a len backup but if they all get sto you are stuck!

6. Try staying in home stays, hostels, and

couch surfing rather than sleeping at fancy hotels every night. This way you get to meet more locals and travelers. n you are traveling 7. It is OK to rest! Weheoften you get tim for long periods of mode, but sometimes into this go, go, go, lax and take in your you just need to re surroundings.


Go on some adventures, rough it a little, and do the things you’ve always dreamed of doing. HAVE FUN!



Global Guide:

Kenya by Wayne Peiffer

“Wow. Now that’s a floor!” These seemingly mundane words

entered my mind one warm afternoon in January of 2011. Floor? Warmth in January? You must be asking, what is going on?! This story is one of a floor, a very important floor, being laid in a very interesting part of the world. Kenya, a country on the eastern coast of Africa, is best known for its beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountains, and most of all, untouched and untamed savannas. I have had the privilege of taking two trips to Kenya within the past two years, but my journeys were not to see these great sights, or to go on a safari and experience the real Lion King. My purpose in Kenya was much different and, yes, it has to deal with a floor. Deep in the mountains of central Kenya lies a community known as Gatamaiyu. Although Gatamaiyu is only about an hour drive from Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, it is much further removed culturally. While the two most commonly spoken languages in Kenya are Swahili and English, in Gatamaiyu the primary language is a tribal tongue known as Kikuyu. The village is home to a people whose lives are founded on farming (mainly tea), and the community is composed of people who have little contact with city life. This is because the majority of folks in Gatamiyu cannot afford a vehicle for transportation. These humble people are accustomed to a life consisting of crops, small block structures for housing, few livestock, and a water pump. Despite living in a society, which, Americans, would consider poor, the people of Gatamaiyu seem content. However, this community faces one major hardship: they have no access to regular medical or hygienic care. This is a

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community in which toothbrushes, Band-Aids, and Tylenol are unheard of. Children are even delivered at home! Only in the most severe cases are these villagers ever seen by a doctor. Even if a person is sick enough to need a doctor right away, the location of Gatamiyu and lack of transportation makes it hard to get help. From Gatamiyu, it is about a two hour walk to the nearest paved road. It takes much longer to get to the city where the hospitals are. Most of the Kenyans in this area accept this as a way of life and know nothing better. However, one man from Gatamaiyu had a dream where this was not the standard. Peter Mbogua grew up in Gatamaiyu and studied hard in school. After graduation from high school Peter showed exceptional promise and was bound for one of Kenya’s finest universities. But his plans changed when a missionary couple from the Philadelphia area decided to bring Peter back to the states with them. Suddenly, Peter was off to America to study and live a new life. After some time, Peter found himself with a degree, a wife, and career in America. Life was good, but he could not forget his origins. His dream was to help to provide regular medical care to the people of his home village and to improve their health and wellness. Finally, in 2010, Peter’s dream became a reality. Money had been donated by many parties to begin construction on a building that would be known as “The Benjamin Wellness Center” in the heart of Gatamaiyu.

The name of the center comes from the name of the family that took Peter to America. With a dream, a location, and funds, Peter only needed a team to get the center started. This is where my path crossed with Peter. Peter assembled a team of college students from Philadelphia Biblical University to travel to Kenya and help break ground for the Wellness Center. Traveling alongside the group of students was a small team of nurses who established a free clinic while the construction was ongoing. Upon arriving in Gatamaiyu, I was surging with pure excitement. I was thrilled to be in a far part of the world, which was full of speechless beauty; while at the same time eager to meet a totally new culture. Work began right away and our task was to construct a block building from the ground up. As American college students, we knew nothing of building. We were following the lead of the reserved hired Kenyan men who would be the backbone of the operations. On day one of building there was a huge pile of blocks, sand, small stones, and a pile of scrappy wood. No power tools, no dump trucks, no blueprints. Somehow the Kenyan contractor had the plan all in his head. The large blocks were moved into place where the walls would be. Concrete and mortar were mixed by hand. From this point on the project was done one block at a time. Slowly but surely, after about 10 days, the Benjamin Wellness Center had 4 walls. It was beyond surreal to look at the landscape and see walls where there was nothing just ten days earlier. The people of the community began to understand the hope and help that they were reviving. After our time was up, we packed our bags and said goodbye to a project and a place of the world we thought we would never see again. However, as it turns out, Peter had already begun planning a return trip to Gatamaiyu soon after arriving back in America. The following January, Peter once again led a team of college students and nurses back to his home village in order to continue work on the Wellness Center. Upon arriving in Gatamaiyu, I looked around the property where the Wellness Center stood and saw what I had seen the day I left the previous March. Progress was almost non-existent because of lack of funding. Donations saved up were able to buy supplies needed to continue work in January. We began to work along-

side many of the same Kenyan men. Over a very short two weeks the walls of the center were completed, support pillars were erected, the ground was leveled, and a concrete floor was starting to be poured. On my last day in the village, as the sun was setting, I stood looking over the ground of the Wellness Center. A warm breeze caressed my dirty skin and thought to myself, “Now that’s a floor!” The floor was only poured in about one-fourth of the building, but it meant much more. My emotions could not be controlled as I thought about my first sight of Gatamaiyu less than a year ago. At that time there was only uneven ground, now there was a firm structure with endless potential; potential to reach the people of Gatamaiyu for generations to come. Our team had now become a part of the village’s history. I share the deepest of connections with my friends of Gatamaiyu. We are connected with a bond that was built through dirt, sweat, and one man’s dream for his people. I can never forget the culture and the way the village accepted our team and the help we tried to provide them. A piece of Gatamaiyu is forever in my heart.

I dream of the day when I will be reunited with my Kenyan brothers and sisters.




A study abroad experience to Mexico turns one Pennsylvania native into a Mexico enthusiast and an international girlfriend.

Have you ever just had a feeling about something? Something that didn’t necessarily ensure happiness, bliss, or true love, but seemed too worthy to pass up? Cue me: a sophomore at Elizabethtown College. I was beyond happy with friends, classes and the illustrious college life—but I had an old breakup weighing down on my mind that I just couldn’t seem to shake. Despite the dark cloud looming over me, I could sense that there was something on the horizon that was going to change everything. Little did I know what fate had in store for me. I am an International Business and Spanish double major and now a senior at Elizabethtown College. As part of my majors, I was required to spend a year’s equivalent in a Spanishspeaking country (and believe me, no one was twisting my arm!) Although I had always had an interest in Spain and Europe in general, my advisor suggested I look into the Mexico program due to my Spanish level. Who knew that acing Spanish in high school wouldn’t cut it in the real world? Since Mexico tends to have a slower pace of life than Europe (making it easier to pick up the language), I accepted the advice with open arms. The next thing

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I knew, I was mentally preparing myself to uproot my life to move to a country where I didn’t know the language well, nothing about the culture (expect tequila and piñatas!), nothing about

By Allyson Wells

the food, and no idea what I was getting myself into—only a feeling that somehow life would work itself out in Mexico. And wouldn’t you know it, it did just that. The first step on our study abroad took us to a city called Cuernavaca, literally translated to “Cow Horn” in English and known as the “City of Eternal Spring.” Although we got caught in a freak weather pattern (it was the first time it had rained that much in thirty years), I immediately fell in love with it. I learned more Spanish in the four weeks I was there than my whole educational career and, along the way, made some amazing friends that were also marveling at their progress. However, it wasn’t just the Spanish that I was falling in love with; it was the culture, the people, the food, the colors—all of it. Even with some minor translation pickles (I accidentally told my whole class that I only liked tattoos in “sensitive places”—sensible is not a direct translation!), Mexico was slowly growing very close to my heart.

A month later my friends and I made the trek down to where the majority of our program would take place: Xalapa (pronounced HA-lop-a), the capitol city of Veracruz, Mexico. The city, known as the “City of Flowers”, immediately captured my heart. I knew the second I met my host family the first night in the bus station that they would become like a second family to me. For the next year of my life I lived with “Ruki” (translated to “old man”), “La Huevis” (translated to “the lazy one), and “Daniela” (translated to Danielle). Their nicknames didn’t exactly represent their personalities— Ruki (my host dad) is the goofiest but sweetest retired military sergeant I’ve met; La Huevis (my host mother) is the least lazy person I’ve ever met with such a beautiful curiosity for all aspects of life and Dani (my host sister) who is a master chef, became like a real sister. Needless to say, I hit the jackpot. They immediately took me under their wing and I was nicknamed “the Babygirl” since I was not only the youngest student they’ve hosted (out of 26), but also the tiniest. They became a second family and I sincerely felt as if I were living in my own home. As the days went on, my Spanish improved and my knowledge of the city grew stronger—after getting lost a couple of times, of course! The first semester I only took classes at the School for Foreign Students located in the center of the city and about a 30-minute walk from my house. Along with intensive Spanish, culture and pronunciation classes, the international

students were all given what we would call “Cultural Assistants.” They were Mexican students at the University of Veracruz, the college that runs the School for Foreign Students. Their job was to show us around the city, take us to museums and places our director really couldn’t take us (aka clubs, bars, etc.). I personally was not given a student due to an error through the school, but I was still excited to go out and meet everyone-- including Jesús Omar Aparicio del Moral. Omar was the Cultural Assistant of a good friend in the group. During the second group outing, myself, Omar and his student, along with his sister Yahana and other friends they had met throughout their duty as Cultural Assistants planned to go dancing. We all met, exchanged ‘mucho gusto’s (“nice to meet you”), and were off to a club! My plan going into the night was trying to hook Omar up with my friend, but the kid just made me laugh. He was so goofy and silly and naturally adorable. Through my broken Spanish, I learned Omar was going to school to be a farmer, had his own graphic design business and was an avid lover of chess. Not surprisingly, I was confused, since those things usually don’t go together. Somehow, none of that mattered. I found myself giggling the whole night (and I promise it wasn’t the tequila!) and found myself crushing on Omar. After a while, it just kind of happened. Throughout the night I accidentally observed that Omar really wasn’t interested in my friend; some-

one else seemed to have caught his eye. Later on in the night we found ourselves half salsa/half club dancing, and, if you’ve never been exposed to any kind of Latin dancing, let me tell you, it is deadly passionate! Before I knew it, he swept me right off my feet (literally) and kissed me. Although we had just met a few hours before, I felt like I had known him my whole life. That kind of became the theme for my year in Mexico; a sense of complete comfort with my surroundings in a place so initially unknown. After that night, Omar fit perfectly into my new, adventurous Mexican life. He introduced me to waterfalls, tacos, Mexican slang, and most importantly: his family. Once again I was given a second family, people with whom I spent so much time and made so many beautiful memories. Mexico not only gave me the opportunity to develop my Spanish, but develop my soul. It is amazing how much one experience can change so much, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. ¡Viva México!

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Allyson and Omar just celebrated their two year anniversary and are going to be reunited in mexico this summer!

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Contributors Ally Rohland Allyson Wells Amy Malloy Brian Clayton Brianna Weist Brighid Flynn Brittany Buckmire Clara DeAngelo Courtney Leiva Elijah Murray Emily Valdez Glenn Knight Huntley McGowan Lauren Stine Leslianna Federici Melissa Clark Melissa Mandia Micah Aumen Michelle Hare Sarah Gonsalves Sarah Hawkins Stefon Marquette Wayne Peiffer Zee “Boo” Fulton-Anderson

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