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)
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, 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.
AND I LOVE THEM.