Since August, I've managed to keep up an average of two blog posts a week. Not bad, but not easy. And as I look back though my blogs, I realize that I most often wrote about my adventures, my experiences, what I learned, blah blah, etc. But it was never really about that in the first place was it? The excitement. The adventure. The grand allure of new places each day. All by products of a much greater cause.
So here I find myself, 41,000 people later, sitting alone in an upstairs room in the suburbs of San Fransisco, thinking back on what I've learned and what's been accomplished, and honestly I'm just humbled. With team PNW making $87,705, on top of more than 122 new Ugandan students receiving an education and over $90,000 to come for rebuilding Anaka Secondary School, I can't believe what has been done. I'm blown away by the generosity of those who've supported Invisible Children and by those who've supported me. And as the views for my blogs approach twenty-five hundren, I feel as though I may be receiving undue credit for much of what has been and is being done. So I want to thank an brag about everyone who's supported me and this crazy movement. So here's my shout outs. They'll come in parts because I've got a lot of people the thank.
Thank you: Part I
To: My team:
For putting up with my nonstop beat boxing and irrelevant singing or ukulele on top of the radio. For your grace when I forgot important things like laptop chargers, my notebook, what school we're going to or my own age. For your ears when I rambled on about God , philosophy or how Scrabble is stupid for not accepting my words. For your patience with my millions of questions. For your friendship despite our differences. For your hugs when we smelled. For your smiles when we we're tired. For your willingness to get krunk and jump into freezing water. And most of all, by the examples you set in striving to follow Jesus through your dedication to the service of those whom you and I have have never met (James and Robert, there's no way you met all of them).
You leadership has been more than a status. Your friendship has been more than a claim. While rarely needing to declare executive power, you always left an example to follow. Finishing your nights with your face to the keyboard and starting our mornings leading devotions. You've worked too much to ensure the success of our team and it has shown. You've provided thought provoking conversation and set the standard for humble service. You're passion for what you love has driven me to rethink my own and it's been the highest reward serving along side you. You've taught me more than you know. One day, when this is over, maybe we can do some of that real life stuff like rock climbing or backpacking through New Zealand. Oh wait, you've already done that...well I haven't, guess your jobs not over ;)
Morning after morning, coffee magically appeared. Your powers astound me. With your knack for the intricate and eye for excellence, you brought more than professionalism to the team. You brought organization. You brought trust. You brought beauty. As much as you were a "mom", you were friend. While keeping you're eyes open and watching for our success, you also kept you arms open and watched our for our enjoyment. There are few things we both love to do, but I somehow love to be around you. You showed me the ropes with Schools for Schools. You engaged with me in deep conversations with various high schoolers. You drove us through the thickest fog, both literally and figuratively. You are an absolute trooper, even sleeping in hiding to avoid my camera. I'm inspired by your commitment and challenged by you drive. It's been an absolute pleasure, and I can't wait to see you soon!
I'm not a bunny, and I wasn't fuzzy until recently, but somehow I still feel welcome in your presence. You've got spunk and I like that. I remember when you first came on board a little late and I was worried you'd have a hard time catching up after all we went over. How silly of me! Instead I was impressed with you daily. We began getting in deep discussion the first day we of tour, riding up the 101, and it hasn't stopped. I love hearing your thoughts on various matters. What we're learning, religion, relationships, life in general. You've always got great things to say and I dig it. Even since the office, when things are lost you still tell me where to look...but I've gotten to trusting you so much I sometimes think that's actually where I'll find it. Maybe we could be friends in real life....but don't expect me to text you 3000 times a day. haha
I feel as though I've known you forever. Every morning I wake up and just about crap my pants out of excitement to start my day with you. With the wisdom of a 50 year old and the playful curiosity of a toddler, you fit right in with my 20 years old self. We get along better than kuku na mchele and see eye to eye on so many things. I love your humble attitude and you skills in detecting new ways to improve our presentation/life. There are many people I feel blessed to have met, but few that I will forever be blessed having met. You are one that will forever bless me, long after returning home to Uganda. You have punched me for dead trees. You have stepped on my toes and put nutshells in my pockets. And I wouldn't change you for all the coffee in the world. I'll miss you soon, but for now, I'm stuck in awe, trying understand how such great people exist.
Bro. Omera ki larema. Siwezi kusema Luo mengi. Niweza kusema kiswahili. As rough as my non-English languages are, I've loved practicing them daily with you. You've taught me so much, not just through your stories or through your ridiculous knowledge of African affairs, but also through your attitude and determination in life. As we've partnered to lead schools for schools meetings, and spent countless hours/days together working to inspire kids to action, we've also spent hours just chatting with each other, sharing our lives, talking about girls and rapping. And in the time we've spent, I've come to know you like a brother, as much as there is still to learn. From our Swahili rambling ukulele jams to you showing me up with your back-flips-out-of-no-where, to your willingness to spend hours in a row answering the questions of students even after a full days work, I've learned that we truly can work with our present to change our future, and others too. When we meet again, I expect to be greeted like a President.
You've all been amazing. I love you :)