So, I haven’t posted in ten days. What a slacker! I will make up for it by posting a thousand times this week*. It’s been a busy few days. I’m waste-deep in schoolwork, trying to figure out the logistics of getting myself to Uganda, and trying to move forward in wedding planning. I think a few blog posts will be forthcoming to address all of the recent events. The first of which will be a post which I am very proud to write.
In September of 2007, I started a student organization to help end a war. Lofty ambitions, I know – but it all began with raising money to rebuild a school. Each spring, Arizona State’s Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) holds a Hall of Fame awards event honoring some of the clubs on campus. I’ve thrown our name in the mix every year, mentioning camp-out events and national conferences, fund raisers and educational screenings. Each year, I’ve nominated us for the Social Consciousness Award, and each year we haven’t even been mentioned. But this year?
This year our bullet points looked pretty damn good: we contributed to the Rescue, How it Ends, Schools For Schools, the Hometown Shakedown, the Legacy Tour, and our own lobby days. I had high hopes at the award ceremony. I was talking to the guys at my table – part of a society for business majors – and they wished me luck. I was listening to what the other groups had done and, albeit great work, I was convinced that we were going to win this year.
WE WON! I was so ecstatic to be recognized! I marched on up there, probably with a goofy smile, and accepted a fancy framed certificate. It was a good feeling to hear my club’s name at the awards ceremony. Thinking back, the past year’s work has included the help of soooo many people and I appreciate it so much. Looking forward, I hope that we can keep it going and run again next year. Talking with club members and supporters from the community, I think we’ll be able to keep up the work. I guess the work starts now? Let’s go!
Tuesday night, the ASU campus hosted the Invisible Children roadies. I met up with them and helped set up in the Memorial Union, and we just kinda hung out for a while. I met the new roadies and the two Ugandans with them, and I also got to catch up with some familiar faces.
I talked to Richard, a Ugandan from IC’s Mentor Program, a bit before the screening and he seemed like a really interesting fellow. Easy to talk to. Then I greeted some familiar faces before starting the film. I’ve probably seen this movie over twenty times. The crane shot still just floors me. And Jacob crying is still one of the most heart-wrenching things to behold. If you haven’t seen this film, I feel that you need to.
After the screening, a former night-commuter from the film spoke to us a little. After he spoke, his mentor spoke for a while. Richard is very well-versed. He reminds me of my maternal grandparents with all the proverbs and deep thinking. Hell, he invented proverbs as he spoke – comparing people to light bulbs and turning life into a highway. And while I didn’t record the Q & A, I got most of their addresses beforehand. I hope you enjoy:
Every fall and spring (and even sometimes in the summer) Invisible Children sends dozens of determined and dirty youth in vans across the country to tell a story. Sometimes it is an inspiring story about resilience and sometimes it is an progressive story of advocacy. This spring, the Legacy Tour will be completely different from anything they have done before. Why? Because instead of four American kids, one or two of which had been to Uganda, showing me a film about Ugandans, each team will be bringing a person featured in the film. 2 Americans and 8 Ugandans are getting ready to join the ranks of the roadies and go out on the road.
My representatives in the San Diego office, the Mountain West Team, will be hitting the road soon. With them is a young man named Tony. Tony has been a part of the Invisible Children movement since 2003, when they met him on their first trip to Uganda and made Rough Cut. I am so, so excited to meet him. In 2003, Tony was a night-commuter, walking long distances to find a safe place to sleep in the big cities. He and a handful of boys slipped away from the crowded bus park and slept in an abandoned hall under a hospital. Since night-commuting has gone down in the passed three years or so, it’ll be interesting to see how he has changed. So, so stoked!