Monday, September 27, 2010

I believed in wasps long before I was stung.

This was the first weekend on the road without screenings and these are the first nights I haven't been able to sleep.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ask for forgiveness, not permission.

The other day, we we're at a school and this middle school kid wrote James a note and then wanted to say goodbye to him before we left. He said he had gym class next so I told him we'd stop bye. We go into the gym and the instructor is talking to the students, so we we're just gonna wait until the activities began before intruding, but this kid just runs from his seat yelling "James!" and gives him a hug. Instantly his coach made him run laps he started crying, but later he found us, got pictures with us and totally thought it was worth it the laps.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I don't to work and I don't go home. I just do things.

Roadie life is all about decisions and priorities. I guess that's not much different from regular life, whatever that is, but it's just more apparent in certain situations.

For instance, our workload isn't necessarily overwhelming in your typical sense, but it's not definitely not easy. In fact, it doesn't really fit into the middle either. The road is very busy and yet very free. It's an odd combination that I haven't totally figured out. The best way to describe our workload is basically just that there is never a point when we have finished our work for the day and can stop. You just get to point where you have to say, "Okay, it's more productive for me to go to sleep right now than keep working."
Taylor doesn't always make that decision. He just falls asleep with his face on the keyboard.

But work is funny too, because what exactly do we do? Work could be speaking in front of 2000 kids (or 30) or it could be sitting with one lonely kid all of lunch. It could be playing a movie or selling merchandise or even just reading the news. Phone calls. Emails. Logs. Team meetings and team hangouts. Blogs. High school football games, volleyball games and dinner with contacts. It's all work. It's all free time.

See, one cool thing about this job is that there is no longer a separation between work and regular life. This is just my life. I don't go to work and I don't go home. I just do things. And everything I do is a decision made out of my priorities. I think however, this is not so much unique to the uniqueness of being a roadie, but rather a realization of reality. All I have is free time. What I do with it, determines what will become of it.

Work is bobo. This is life, and with mine, I know what I want to do.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Inspiration and truth are always worth spreading

I just saw this posted and thought it was well worth sharing. (Jacob via Tessa via Hannah.)


“we are just vehicles… thanks be to God”

Yesterday afternoon, my friend/co-worker/room mate decided to send a facebook message to Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons. She didn’t expect a response.

Hannah Jones September 19 at 4:27pm

I expect you get 4 billion emails from fans, so here’s another to add to the collection.

On July 11 2010, my friend, Nate Henn, was killed by a terrorist bomb attack in Kampala, Uganda. He was the only American casualty. I’d just spent the last 5 months of my life touring around the USA with him, spreading the story of Africa’s longest running conflict. We both were full time volunteers with Invisible Children and he was in Uganda with our friend, Innocent.

I just wanted you to know that your music has been incredibly healing, and his tribute video uses ‘Timshel’.

I wish you could have some understanding of how much your music has healed our hearts after this loss. Mumford and Sons have helped us through this heartache, and for that I will be ever grateful. In fact, a bunch of us are coming up to see you all play in LA next month. I saw you play at the Eden Project and it was wonderful. I can’t wait to see you again.

This is just an email to encourage, so I hope if you read it, it did just that. You’re doing incredible things through your music.

Thank you over and over. Please take 5 minutes to watch the video if you want… it’s very, very well made. And it’s incredible.

Thank you again.

Benjamin Lovett September 19 at 4:48pm
Dear Hannah,

I will be praying for Nate tonight, and for you.

I cannot imagine what you have gone through and watching this video as I sit in my kitchen in the still of night has blindsided me. I wish I’d met this man. The initiative looks incredible and I hope it continues in Nate’s spirit.

As for our music, we our just vehicles, as Nate was with his work, and thanking us I feel is misplaced.

Thanks be to God.

And Peace be with you.



Friday, September 17, 2010

PN-dub Love: Who are these people?

After miles
Of nothing.
will appear.

So after 30 minutes of unsuccessful blogging attempts. I decided I should just introduce you to my team. These are the some of the greatest people existing, and I've got mad respect for each of them, so let me introduce you.

These are the team bios that go out in our promo packets:

-Plus a little commentary of my own :)

Taylor Swift (Team Leader)
Taylor is 24 and fresh off the Legacy Tour (Spring 2010). He graduated last year with a BA in Visual Journalism and is pumped to be traveling to the one of the most beautiful parts of the country. He loves hiking, climbing, apples, sweet treats, and is quickly developing a healthy coffee addiction.
-Taylor tye latela mabe. That's Luo for "Taylor is a good leader". Homeboy's pivotal in keeping things running smooth for the team, PNlove, but he still prioritizes living life all out. If it's awesome, we will pull over and check it out, because awesome is more important than sleep. Taylor has an eye for both punch bugs and unique beauty, so if you don't want to become one of his thousands of twitter followers, or send him emails about songs to write, you should at least check out his amazing pics.
Meagan is a 22 year old hailing from the Dirty South aka Atlanta, Georgia. She recently graduated from Georgia College & State University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Painting. You can either find her giggling about baby animals or chit chatting about what’s happening in the world around us.
-Meagan's pretty much down for rad activities always and super fun to be around, not even just because of specific actions but just her general aura. If you don't know where it is...she'll tell you where to look. We bounce around deep thoughts in the van and she's just great to ramble with. Meagan's a hard worker and stuff, you know, get's things done at whatnot. But that's whatever. What really matters is that she laughs at my poop jokes.
Sarah Chaplin is 22 from the great state of Alabama. About to graduate from Auburn University with a degree in Industrial Design, this is Sarah's second tour with Invisible Children. She does not have a southern accent and isn't sure why, but she would love to teach you how to say "y'all.”
- A friend, a teammate, a coworker, and a mom. Sarah is the ultimate encourager. She often thinks she's offending us and apologizes for pretty much nothing, which is hilarious to me, and a testament to her caring nature. Sarah brings in honed skills from her past roadieship, but still makes us newbies feel secure in taking our roles on fully. Refusing to do cartwheels, Sarah makes up for it with jokes and hugs.
Stuy is a 20 year old International Studies major, currently enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University. This musician, from Savannah, GA has dreams beyond being a one-hit wonder, but is taking the next 5 months to travel and sing for Invisible Children. After college, Stuy would like to work with a non-profit, or be a famous rapper, or both.
-This is not the bio I sent them. I said I was planning to pay for college with Buffalo Lovin and marry Taylor Swift (the girl) after graduating. Apparently, that was unprofessional, so they came up with this. Now people will expect me to sing for them, which is awkward, because I only want to rap, but rapping to people is weird. (Unless you're Mark Cuenca)

Ugandan Advocates
Okema James Okullu
At 19, James has managed to do what many students in northern Uganda fail to do: complete all six years of high school. A graduate of Anaka Secondary School, James is eager to start college to pursue a teaching degree. While on the road, James will teach communities about his alma mater, a school that was displaced by a decades-long war with a rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army. James is a history and geography buff, so his trip to the US—an influential country described in history books the world over—is bound to fascinate him. James loves documentaries (especially films about East African wildlife), and although he’ll see more falling leaves than giraffes this fall, he’s eager to begin his roadie adventure with open eyes and ears.
-Okema is my twin. You may not be able to tell at first, but that's just because you're wrong. James is so funny, we have so much fun, and he is now one of my best friends. Though we're are "agemates", I've developed a respect for him I have for few people. He's super willing to learn and try new things, which is perfect for his current position. We work great together, feed off each other and laugh non-stop. Also, he can do back handsprings. That's a plus in my book :)
Robert Anywar
Robert, 31, is the Program Assistant for Invisible Children’sLegacy Scholarship Program. Hailing from Amuru district in northern Uganda, Robert works in IC’s Kampala office and serves as the organization’s main point-person for communication with university scholarship students. Having already worked at Invisible Children for almost two years as a mentor, Robert knows what it takes to bring about holistic change in the lives of scholarship students. A teacher by trade, he received a degree in Secondary Education from Kyambogo University.
During the height of northern Uganda’s conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army, Robert was displaced to southern Sudan, and later, back to Gulu, a Ugandan town. He spent years walking out into the bush each night to sleep, which was safer than sleeping in his home village at the time. Although he endured a difficult past, Robert—one of the most optimistic people you’ll ever meet—is able to recognize how the conflict helped shape him into the man he is today: When he was displaced and forced into Gulu, he gained access to formal schooling. Living through the conflict also taught him valuable leadership and survival skills. His trip to the US this fall will be his first outside of Uganda, so Robert is eager for tour to start.

-Although Robert is technically James' mentor, I have taken him as my own as well. We've spent hours discussing history, politics, ideas, thoughts, religion, etc., and I have learned so much from him. He understands the need for constructive feedback and really fosters communication on our team. Today we tried slack-lining with some university students in Idaho, and Robert's first go was better than my own. I skateboard, I do ninja training. My life is built on balance.... Tushay, my friend.

This is My Family.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Lessons of Loss

For Me,

The hardest part of life is experiencing greatness alone.

Let me unpack that a bit-
I often feel as though whatever I am currently experiencing rules so hard and yet my only wish is for all other humans to be there with me.

Maybe this is why I'm outgoing.
Maybe this is why I'm so open.
Maybe this is why I blog.

...because when I see beauty, I want only for your eyes to be my own.
If I cannot share it, it is difficult for me to fully enjoy it.

This past year has been full of intense friendship followed by s e p a r a t i o n.

I moved out of Manzone as February came to a close.
I parted with the Wolfpack and AASU as the school year ended.
I spent an incredible week at Sharptop,
then gone.
Savannah summer with family and old high school friends,
then gone.
Blitz, camp, IC event "meetings"
And finally I have just spent a month with some of the greatest people I have ever met on this earth and again we must divide... As our IC family embarks on separate journeys for a time, I am reminded of a thought I had earlier this summer:

From time to time, I have been asked whether I would rather have loved and lost or not loved at all. I always thought better of the former, but I never really knew why.
Now I get it.

Because it is through loss that I have come to understand love.

To my many friends,
new, old, and still to come,

Thank you for the time you have gifted me with.
Thank you for sharing your life with me and allowing me to do the same.
I love you. I miss you.

Now let us,
as I saw on Levis billboards
all over San Fran today,
Go Forth!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Drowning with Friends and Old Life Preparation.

Launch is in three days. I'm not sure if you can really be prepared, but I'm too tired to write a thorough blog about all that. I don't want to leave you with nothing to read, so I'm just going to cop out and give you a glimpse at my life the past year. It was a lifestyle that, whether it prepared me or not, at least gave me the confidence to think I can do it. Check out my Palace-

One more thought:
It's an all encompassing life situation, being a roadie.
It's a lot of work, and we're kind of drowning in it.
Day and night.
Weekends. Mornings.
Dreams. Blog posts.
Learning. Booking.
It's all Invisible Children.
Who am I? Who cares?
To quote one of the deepest movies ever, High School Musical:
"We're all in this together."
And there is no room to breath.

But the lesson I've learned is this-
Drowning with friends is so much better than breathing alone.