Walt Barber

“It is better to do your own duty badly, then to perfectly do anothers: you are safe from harm when you do what you should be doing.” - BHAGAVAD

Walt Barber, or as his friends like to call him “Lightnin,” after guitarist Lightnin’ Hopkins, is an enthusiastic 18-year old born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the oldest of 3 siblings, one brother and two half sisters.

Walt loves to play old blues guitar and the harp. He likes styles and songs from the 1950s back into the late 1800s. Music is a constant in his life! Some of his favorite types include blues and everything from Stevie Ray Vaughn to old prison work songs. “I never feel such soul as I do when I listen to theses old records from the 1930s and before. BUT, I have plenty of CDs from places in Africa, and rock like Led Zeppelin, reggae and ska,” he says. But, the blues is in him like no other rhythm.

Walt is looking forward to this summer’s internship for so many reasons! “I have always been one to strive to live and understand different lifestyles and cultures,” he explains. “The diversity in the cultures of peoples across the world absolutely astounds and mystifies me. I cannot wait to travel to a place that is so different from where I live and to meet people who live a completely different way of life than I. Not to mention the opportunity to help solidify the grounds of a new country is one of the most incredible things that has happened in my life.”

Walt’s passion for engaging in new and different cultures shines through in his previous travels. The one place that stays close to his heart at all times is Reynosa, Mexico. For the last two years, Walt has ventured to Reynosa to build houses for those who are only able to call a simple cardboard box, home. In his eyes, the people in Reynosa are some of the most amazing people he has ever met.

Walt loves to be in and around nature. He feels most at home in the mountains, where he grew up; however, depending on his mood, he loves being by the beach.

Walt’s motivation and inspiration comes from the love that his family and friends give him everyday. He appreciates the wonderful opportunities he is blessed to have, the wonderful people he is blessed with, and the desire to someday be able to support his family. “Life motivates me to do what is right and work hard for the things that I want. I live, so I make the best of it,” Walt says.

Many people, dead and alive, influence his everyday thoughts and actions to the point that he feels, “I am a conglomerate of what I hope is the best of all teachings.” And boy is he in store for the most ancient teachings of all the world.

“ I am hoping to gain a better understanding of the world itself,” he says. “From what I have heard, the people are as close to the land as one can be, and I am hoping to gain just a sliver of understanding from them. Also, the idea of possibly being able to hold fire is pretty unreal!” he exclaims.

A guitar, bass guitar, and harmonica player, Walt will bring with him some music for the soul. But what he is most looking forward to, is “being apart of something so profound as constructing a country!” Additionally, he is excited with the idea of being so far removed from his everyday troubles in life and gaining a new sense of life from those in East New Britan.

Walt compassionately says, “I am touched and honored that I have been given this amazing opportunity and unable to find the fitting words to describe my excitement! 
I look forward with great anticipation to meeting all of the wonderful people involved in this selfless undertaking and wish to do all that is in my power to help.”

There are not enough words to describe his excitement for this once- in- a lifetime adventure!