Cultural Consultants for Africa, Bulgaria and Ireland!

Today, we want to highlight and thank another three valuable and highly skilled consultants that bring added credibility and authenticity to their specific episodes. This is a vital part of the Moon Drake vision and purpose, because we are presenting stories that show the children of the world how diverse and glorious Humanity is and all of Creation.

We will never run out people and places to write about in the world. And as we strive to learn and understand each other, we believe the people of the earth will one day come together in an embrace of love. Though the Moon Drake stories are simply written, their truths and characters will open hearts.

Rose Atweng’a

Rose (Rosie) Atweng’a, Kenya, Africa – is the startup entrepreneur for a small business in Kenya. She is also involved with youth groups that advocate for self-development and integrity. “Having grown up in extreme poverty I relate so well to Lesadi. Sometimes people in need, can be tempted to get involved in anything to earn a living. So, it takes a strong will to say “no” to both criminal and immoral activities. Living in Nakuru, Kenya, and especially through the writer’s background of the story, the storyline is so vivid. In our youth groups we encourage young people to avoid illegal activities. Therefore, in our next meeting we will be reading this script and point out the vices and virtues the story teaches.

Rose is the Cultural Consultant for Episode 1.1 – Lesadi & Her Star, (Kenya, Africa, African Continent) – “This story gives me a mix of emotions as the background of the story is very familiar. The cultural wisdom, ‘Be a woman of light’ encourages the spirit of integrity. I love the characters of Lesadi and Jabari showing us that vulnerability shouldn’t lead us to crime, we should be strong-willed. In essence, the poachers are the least in the chain of this crime because we have more powerful people who are in charge of poaching, who are also involved with the authorities. But the story gives us hope that all is not lost since there are still good people in authority who collaborate with Jabari to do the right thing. Though the exact location is not mentioned, it takes me to the area around Lake Elmenteita. The story is not only exciting but also educational and reflects on societal morals.” Rose Atweng’a

Nadia Nuza

Nadezhda (Nadia) Vulova Nuza, Bulgaria, Europe – is the perfect consultant for the Moon Drake story set in the beautiful country of Bulgaria, for it is her original homeland. In addition, Nadia understands what it takes to create a relevant story in film, as she has worked in the film industry for many years from Production Assistant to Production Manager. She has been a program host and even worked behind the camera. As well, Nadia has an eye for detail through her work as a still photographer. She went to the University of Gibraltar and is the wife of Moon Drake producer and writer, Martin Nuza.

Nadia is the Cultural Consultant for Episode 1.3 – Zhivka & Mitko (Bulgaria, European Continent) “It is my greatest pleasure to be the consultant for this episode because it has the backdrop of a Bulgarian village, a place dear to my heart, and follows the story of a young girl’s heroic struggle to fight an evil and corrupt system. It is her quest, for the sake of saving her mother and neighbors, to keep those she loves from a pending environmental catastrophe. This episode, as with all Moon Drake episodes, is truly a heart-warming story filled with inspiration and hope for a better planet.” – Nadezhda Vulova Nuza

Mark and John Rickerby

Mark Rickerby, ancestors from Ireland, Europe – As a Moon Drake producer and writer with roots in Ireland, I could see no other person but my late father, John Sidney Rickerby, as the posthumous Cultural Consultant for this episode. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1933. After leaving Ireland in 1957 for Canada and later America, he founded the John S. Rickerby Company, which operated for over fifty years. He was interviewed on television and radio and contributed numerous articles about Ireland to the Los Angeles Times, the Belfast Telegraph, and other publications. However, his main claims to fame for those who knew him best were his singing voice and seemingly endless supply of jokes and stories. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 81, but many of his stories can be found in his memoir titled The Other Belfast – An Irish Youth. He was always an inspiration to me in many ways, but particularly singing and writing. Here’s part of a poem his influence inspired.

I was born and raised in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
But my heart also belongs to a place far away,
An enchanted isle of leprechauns and banshees,
Of shining green fields, craggy hills and bent trees.

Where ever-falling sunshowers light up the grass.
Their emerald beauty dazzles the eye as you pass.

The life’s work of John Rickerby is the Cultural Consultant for Episode 1.8 – Eamon & the Last Forest (Ireland, European Continent) “My father’s influence is present in this story in several ways. First, he always used to tell me stories about climbing Cave Hill, which looms over Belfast, and his love of the solitude and nature he found there. Secondly, during World War II, he was sent to the country to live with a relative, as many children were, to be safe from German bombing raids of the city. He spent most days exploring a forest near the cottage he lived in. And lastly, my father instilled a love of nature in me as a child, particularly forests, because he would often take my mom, brother and me to a cabin deep in the forest of Big Bear, California. Much of what Eamon discovers in the forest reflects my own childhood impressions.

If he were alive today, I’m sure my dad would love this episode because of his deep connection to nature, which was especially strong when he was a child and escaped his sometimes-harsh reality in the alternate world of forests, and because he was a storyteller much like Eamon’s grandfather, always regaling anyone who would listen with wild tales. His imagination was every bit as fertile as Ireland’s ‘40 shades of green’.”  Mark Rickerby

We close this blog post with memories of John, for this Ireland episode will be dedicated to him. Here is his most popular Irish poem:

ULSTER

There are those who say that Ulster is a place of hate and pain,
But many who have left it would still go back again.

The strangers do not see behind the bombs and flames and smoke,
And fail to see the character of the kindly Ulster folk.

But we have memories of the days when we were young and gay,
Of carefree romps through Ormeau Park
 or over Cave Hill’s Bray.

The Saturdays at Windsor, the Sundays by the sea,
The bathing belles at Pickie, the sands at Donaghadee,

Our best suit pressed and ready and we were Plaza-bound,
But first a stop at Mooney’s and pints bought all around.

The Sunday morning papers, the bacon and dip bread,
Then a dander to the castle where all the scores are read.

Back to work on Monday, the weekend’s tales are told,
While the oldsters smile and chuckle as our youthful tales unfold.

A new girl in the office, she’s a quare wee bit o’ stuff.
Is she going strong, you wonder, as you act so big and tough
.

Those were the days, there is no doubt, as my memory wanders back.
That is what we all recall, not the rifle’s crack.

Will it ever be the same, you ask. Will today’s kids ever know
The simple life we all enjoyed a long, long time ago?

Moon Drake says Happy Earth Day 2022!

Moon Drake Anime Series is perfect for Earth Day!! For it is all about the Earth and Humanity. Each storyline focuses on ISSUES we face with ANSWERS we can embrace – together.

CHINUA and her passion to protect nature and the difficult lesson she must learn, to let go of something she loves. (Asian Continent)

EAMON and his revelation that the forests are being cut down and his decision to go beyond his own fears. (European Continent)

LESADI and her commitment to protecting endangered wildlife as she embraces truth and walks into her light. (African Continent)

WAYA and his bad choices, which effect his spiritual self, and his ultimate decision to save someone he loves. (N. American Continent)

Each of the 12 Moon Drake episodes teach children about loving themselves, loving others, and cherishing and protecting the earth. Kids will have an opportunity to earn an EARTH HERO Certificate and become a Moon Drake Earth Hero Ambassador!!

Episode 12 – Ihaka & the Rainbow Warrior by Jane L. Fitzpatrick

A 12-year-old boy, Ihaka, loses his arm in a tragic bicycle accident. He also loses Hope and the Will to continue on toward his dreams. But his Maori caretaker has other plans, determined to make sure Ihaka finds meaning again. What unfolds is an experience neither of them ever expected.

Episode 1.12

Cultural Consultants for Suriname, Metis Nation and Cherokee Nation!

MOON DRAKE Episodes 1-12 present stories for children that are impactful and diverse, passionate and purposeful. Subtle lessons like: You can make a difference. Your heart can heal. Sometimes you must let go.  Always believe in your dreams.  And many more.

Our production research team and our writers have done extensive research for these episodes. In addition, our cultural consultants help us retain authenticity of costumes, traditions and cultures, making our stories powerful and relevant. Today we want to highlight and thank three of these consultants from Season 1, covering the Indigenous people of North and South America:

Monique Wijngaarde-Bekema

Monique Wijngaarde-Bekema, Multi-racial Dutch and Surinamese, Suriname – Monique is the Founder and CEO of Growing Seeds Worldwide Foundation. Her diverse family has held a deep bond with Suriname, its culture and traditions, for generations. Her non-profit operates in the Netherlands with this purpose: preserving nature, preserving cultures – especially Indigenous cultures, bringing different backgrounds together, stimulating self-reliance and educating youth.

Monique was the cultural consultant for Episode 1.6 – Rakesh & the Rain Dancer (Paramaribo, Suriname, S. American) – “I recognized so many things from the story, the reference to specific family names that you didn’t even know. The use of actual language like the ‘watrasneki’ on the beach. I loved how you drew into the storyline the message my own Surinamese grandmother gave to me, in my search for myself. I loved the story – it just brings us all together.” – Monique Wijngaarde-Bekema

David Bouchard

David Bouchard, Metis Nation, Canada – David is a Metis author, educator and champion of Indigenous rights. He is an engaging storyteller with a passion for helping to shape a future of which all Canadians can be proud. He relates to both young and mature Canadians and understands that by acknowledging our past, we are better equipped to positively impact our future.

David was the cultural consultant for Episode 1.7 – Namid & Star Dancing, (Metis Nation, Vancouver B.C. Canada, N. American) – “Your story touches on several things that we believe deeply in. There is no better teacher than Mother Nature and our Elders. We also believe that there is no such thing as date. What some think of as fate is in truth, genetic direction. Our Grandmothers live in each of us. They direct us if only we are open to following their direction.” – David Bouchard

Delwin Elk Bear Fiddler, Jr.

Delwin Fiddler, Jr., Native American, United States Delwin is the Chief Executive Officer of PAZA Tree of Life a non-profit organization that works with and supports Indigenous people across the United States. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Sans Arc band, and a world renowned Native American performing Artist.  He was also a champion Grass and Hoop dancer on the pow-wow circuit.

Delwin was the cultural consultant for Episode 1.2 – Waya & Two Wolves, (Cherokee Nation, Appalachia, United States, N. American) – “I was proud to be able to contribute to the authenticity of this story and bring to life the depth of my Native people. The lesson is powerful for our children. It’s really awesome – beautiful.– Delwin Elk Bear Fiddler, Jr.

It is wonderful to see such dedication from everyone involved in this production. We thank our consultants who have given their experience and knowledge to this cause. Children who watch the Moon Drake series deserve the very best when it comes to content, characters, activities, programs and products. That is our absolute promise to the children of the world. With a broader understanding of our sisters and brothers everywhere, our children will realize our differences do not make us separate, but instead they make us uniquely and gloriously One.

We are SHOOTING FOR THE MOON!
Moon Drake Production Team

Namid & Star Dancing

By Jane L. Fitzpatrick – As Moon Drake’s writing team moves closer to completing the episodes for Season ONE, we have been blessed and changed by the research required. The vibrant and inspiring cultures of this Earth teach us lessons in Humility, Diversity and love for Humanity. It is our prayer and hope that what we’ve learned as writers translates into a transparent understanding for children – and also for adults.

Today I completed Episode 1.7, “Namid & Star Dancing” – which takes place in Vancouver B.C., Canada (N. American Continent). The Soul of this story is the Metis Nation – a brave and courageous People who have struggled for generations to be recognized and respected.

Ami (Namid) is a 12-year-old girl who experiences great personal loss in her life. But her spirit is renewed when she learns she is Metis – and the wisdom from her great-grandmother shows her how to rise above her heartache, to ultimately gain great joy.

I was hoping to finish this story by today, the birthday of another 12-year-old girl (now 233-year-old), Sacajawea. I see parallels between these two spirits, for they both endured heartache at a young age, and they both claimed their gifts to inspire the world.

We are OVER THE MOON! ❤

Andrea & the Carpayo Campaign

By Martin Nuza – When it comes to the environment and protecting the earth – the old adage is certainly true – “A few committed citizens can change the world!” This is the premise for Moon Drake’s episode 1.11 by Martin Nuza, “Andrea & the Carpayo Campaign.”

Martin has created yet another masterpiece that is filled with wisdom and human success. It draws together the dreams of children and shows how they can reach them, even at a young age. The conflict is based on ocean and beach pollution that is seen on many shores.

Andrea, a charismatic and determined 13-year-old girl has a dream for her town and she puts it into action! The story is the most magnificent tale of an Earth Hero and it will ignite the hearts of children, and also adults!

Thank you, dear Martin, for your amazing gift of storytelling and the insight you have for the purpose and passion of the Moon Drake series! We are all so very grateful for you!

There are only two episodes of Season 1 still to be completed. The project animators are working toward creating a dynamic teaser reel and we will begin our quest for voiceover actors very soon. There will be more on that in the coming weeks.

WE ARE SAILING OVER THE MOON!

Episode 11 – Andrea & the Carpayo Campaign by Martin Nuza

A young girl has an idea to help her city’s polluted beach issues and she decides against all the odds, to mobilize a campaign to save the beach and end the pollution by asking the city for help.

Episode 1.11

Eamon & the Last Forest

By Mark Rickerby – As the Moon Drake global journey continues, we are thrilled to bring you another episode script for the series. Mark Rickerby has completed episode 1.8 – “Eamon & the Last Forest.”

This time the story takes us to the European Continent and the country of Ireland. It is the tale of a 11-year-old lad addressing the conflict of deforestation and a family feud… and there may also be an enchanted forest! So, the question is, what would an Irish story be without leprechauns?

Mark has created a powerful episode that will delight children. It is a relatable topic, and kids will learn about that part of the world and the Indigenous wisdom it holds for each of us…

This story unfolds fun, conflict, resolution and a strong passion for family love. I am so thankful for Mark and his creativity and writing talents. Indeed, he has created a powerful addition to the first Moon Drake season.

With only three more scripts to complete for the 12-episode season, we are very proud of our writers, and we look forward to the next exciting steps. Thank you, all, for your good wishes and encouragement! Indeed, we are SHOOTING FOR THE MOON!

Chinua & Bayarmaa

By Martin Nuza – Moon Drake producers are humbled and grateful to present to you Episode 1.5 (Asian Continent). Once again, Martin has touched our hearts, our minds and our spirits through his newest creation, “Chinua & Bayarmaa.” It is a story set in a most intriguing and remarkable place, Mongolia.

Throughout the storyline there is cultural wisdom and an adversary to conquer – there’s illegal poaching and also love… But the greatest lesson in this tale is a battle within for this Mongolian huntress. It is the hardest choice of all, to let something go – something that must be free.

Personally, I absolutely loved the power of this story, the colorful culture and traditional beauty portrayed through the characters and their relationships – all presented in the backdrop of this mystical place. I believe children will fall in love with Chinua and her golden eagle!

Over the next few days, watch for Episode 1.8 by Mark Rickerby, and other episodes coming soon. We are working to bring this rich series to children and adults around the world, to spread the wisdom from the earth.

Koen & the Wandjina

By Martin Nuza – I was so inspired to read Moon Drake’s newest episode 1.4, “Koen & the Wandjina,” by our magnificent writer, Martin Nuza. The story takes place in Tasmania, Australian Continent, where we follow the powerful experiences of Koen, a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy.

This story is a coming-of-age, spiritual tale that teaches and deals with the Human condition and conflict. It addresses Spirit, Mind, Body and how we respond to the challenges we face in life. It takes us to a place that is always with us, but we must open our eyes and heart to know it.

The Moon Drake series is for children ages 8-13. Each episode is rich with adventure and powerful Indigenous wisdom and story lines that take place all around the world, from every continent. Children experience and learn from ancient cultures and traditions as Moon Drake makes them relevant for today.

This is the fourth episode written by Martin. We can all look forward to seeing his stories, and all the wonderful stories of this series in animation! Watch for more coming very soon!