From dust to tribe . . .

Dust and Tribe (D&T) is the experience of growth through adventure.

Our fall and spring signature excursions are annual opportunities for Muslim men and women to push through the boundaries of supposed mental and physical limits into a new awareness of what we can be when we support one another.

It is where we discover what we are (dust) and what we become together (tribe).

Spring 2016: D&T Grrrl!

On April 22nd, fifteen women left for three days and two nights camped out on an island two-hours off the California coast. This blog is their story!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


You'll be shipping out of Ventura, insha Allah.

I drove by the marina this past Sunday.

It's such a beautiful place, masha Allah, and once you're out of LA, even the drive there is delicious. Passing through the rippling foothills on the north side of the Santa Monicas, you can almost imagine what California was like way back when.

I parked across the street from the Channel Islands Visitor's Center and took a walk out to the beach. I saw your island across the Santa Barbara Channel, rising out of a bed of fluffy haze. Just beautiful.

The surf was rolling in big and swirly. I listened to the gulls and drank in the salt air. I thought of each and every one of you, may God bless you and your families.

I was out there to pick up tickets for the upcoming premier of West of West, a new documentary on the Channel Islands. But I also wanted to walk the marina. There was something there that I wanted to show you:

That's your boat, and this will be your view as you step onto the gangway and prepare to leave the mainland.

Some of you may have family to see you off. The crew will signal. With butterflies in your tummy, you'll lumber down the creaking platform with your gear. The crew will have you separate out your fuel tanks and they'll get everything stowed. You'll board the boat and find your spot and settle in for the ride. You'll chug your way around the slips, past the long, rocky breakwater, and out into the open sea.

I thought about all of that and smiled.

Then I made my way over to the visitor's center.

They have these nice scale models of the islands in relief. You get to really check out the topography and so I took a picture:

Looks vaguely intestinal, I think.

The last time I was out on Santa Cruz, we were talking with some rangers about the Chumash, the island's indigenous people. We were asking about where they used to hang out. I'll never forget his answer. People, past or present, will always congregate in the same places. Shade, protection from wind, access to fresh water. The Chumash had the same needs that we do, and so when you look at the little camping icons you'll see that they are nestled in a cool green valley. You will sleep on ancient and hallowed land, insha Allah.

But that little pier on the model is gone. It got washed away.

There were other neat displays. I find the older I get, the more I enjoy these visitor centers. They really are a reflection of the love and passion that the local community has for its natural treasures. And I almost always walk away with something from the bookstore.

That's a book all about how the Chumash used plants. Awesome bedside reading. And those are tickets to the documentary. I was able to convince four super-cool chicks to come with me.

My daughters, beardo.

But if any other super-cool people want to join us, send me a note and we'll make a day of it, insha Allah.

We'll close this post by introducing our two newest participants, Sisters Farah and Tracie. Your tribe is now locked.

In Saturday's upcoming post we'll talk about clan-work, insha Allah. You'll each receive your assignments.

Discharge them with excellence.


  1. So exciting! Especially knowing that our boat looks the way it does... I thought we will be on a life raft lol phew! Our tribe is locked alh thanks Tracie and Farah...welcome!

    1. It is exciting. You'll likely get a little raft action on your landing with that pier out, but that's all part of the fun.

      Tracie and Farah are amazing additions to your group, masha Allah.

  2. What time is the boat scheduled to depart Friday and arrive Sunday?

    1. You're set to depart 9 am on Friday,insha Allah. Expect a crossing of close to 2 hours.

      Your boat will be back to pick you up around 4:30 pm on Sunday, insha Allah.