The Advocates’ Arrival

My teammates and I at the 3-D Dinosaur Movie
at the San Diego Natural History Museum last Sunday
 Concentrating on my crayon sketch of T-Rex at the Dinosaur Exhibit

A large group of us volunteered last Saturday to clean up and help 
paint a local high school before school starts up

It is truly a blessing to have a weekend to rest and recharge after going hard for about 55 hrs at the office last week. The last two weeks at the Invisible Children office have been incredibly dense with trainings on everything from public speaking and merchandise to van and personal hygiene (yes, they want us to be clean!).

We have also been booking screenings like crazy during the earlier hours of the days. I’m proud to say that I received 3 screening agreements this week and our team, East Coast, is out in front with 79 screenings as of Friday night! As a whole, the tour has about 715 screenings booked, leaving another 285 to go to reach our goal. It was crucial to make as much headway as possible this past week because we knew that on Friday afternoon, the remaining members of our teams were flying in…

If you want to see where I work and some of the people I work with, check out this Justin Bieber lip-sync video that we made during lunch break (I'm not in it though)

So there we were, deep into a gender/team relations training that Margie Dillenburg (former head of Movement Dept, current head of Alumni Relations) was leading, when Zach Barrows (current head of Movement Dept) interrupted the meeting and said, “This is probably the worst training to have to cut short, but we have to—your advocates have just landed.” It was as if we had all practiced an emergency office evacuation drill several times before: in less than five minutes there were 60 employees loaded into all the vans and down the parking garage!

We were short on time and it just so happened to be rush hour in downtown San Diego. Thankfully it was only a mile or two away and we were parked in about 10 minutes. Everyone burst out of the vans and began sprinting full speed toward the airport lobby—Dale ran so hard that he actually broke both of his flip-flops in the process! It took us a minute to figure out just which way they would be coming from, but then we spotted two dozen Ugandans all wearing the same Invisible Children shirts; we ran faster than the wind until we collided with them and greeted them with a 20-minute long hug fest!

To my surprise, we didn’t get disciplined by the airport security, but they were definitely paying close attention to our massive and loud group. Here is a photo of our completed East Coast team after things settled down a little bit:

from left to right: Lawrence, Dale, Sunday, Me, Tracy and Jaymie

Today we met up with our Ugandan teammates again at Mission Beach to swim and play soccer before another long week at the office.  There is only one full week of booking left and our team has a practice screening (but real audience) on Tuesday and Sunday this week.  We will be launching out on September 8th for a 3,000 mile drive out to West Virginia to start out our East Coast tour for 10 weeks -- we can't wait!


September 2, 2010 at 7:28 PM David and Laura said...

Loving that photo of your team... heads above the rest!

September 5, 2010 at 9:00 AM Kevin said...

Looks like a ton of fun, Josh:) I hope you guys are safe in your travels! We'll miss you till you get back!


September 9, 2010 at 10:44 PM nafarren said...

What a great group! Thank you for sharing your time with us. Have a blessed trip - we'll be praying for you all. Come back anytime - you always have a place here in Amarillo!