Traveling across this country, we have met people with the biggest hearts who open their homes, schools and communities to us with love and open arms. It amazes us each day to see people we have never met before cook us their treasured family recipes, leave us encouraging notes on the toaster in the morning and sit with us as we fold our laundry in their living room. They tell us about their lives and ask us about ours, even though we may never see each other again. We have met people who have just heard about Joseph Kony and the LRA for the first time and are already planning multiple events to organize their community around action. It is incredible to see people of all ages come alive with excitement and realize the potential they have to create change.
There have been so many highlights along the journey. We’ve never had to turn people away from a screening before, but when 900 people showed up to an 800-person venue at East Carolina University thanks to the stellar club there, we were absolutely blown away. Powhatan High School fed us the most delicious meal (complete with KONY 2012 cupcakes), had us all in tears as we witnessed the beauty of an entire community coming together to fight for justice, and had us rolling around the floor with their ridiculous antics and humor. We can’t wait to see what these groups do for Cover The Night because whatever they do, they go big.
While we knew we’d love staying with families along the way, we never imagined that we’d come to truly call so many houses “home.” We spent most of our time in Virginia Beach with the Park family. These people know how to laugh and how to make you laugh. They specialize in imitating each of the members of our team, especially Lawrence. When Emily’s dad and our host dad were skyping and becoming the best of friends, and when we grabbed breakfast after a beach sunrise the next morning, we knew we’d become part of the family.
We’ve had a couple of epic all-night drives so far on tour. During the day, we have the beautiful landscape to keep us entertained and awake, but at night it’s another story. When Lawrence is driving, Emily keeps him awake with The Food Game. Here’s how it goes. Ready? Emily puts some kind of fun concoction from our snack collection on the back of Lawrence’s hand. He eats it and guesses what he has just put in his mouth. Who knew Oreo’s taste like vanilla wafers and Fig Newtons taste like chemicals? Top two concoctions to date: strawberry coated in Emergen-C powder (to which Lawrence responded, “Spicy gummy bear, spicy gummy bear! NO!”) and an apple slice coated in cocoa powder, which was incorrectly identified as a “dusty sponge.” Send us your ideas and we’ll let you know how it goes. When Freesia’s driving, Emily just periodically spits water at her and Dyanna gets her talking about life, while we are all calmed by the soothing snores coming from “Kizito’s Kave.” Needless to say, we love long van drives.
As we keep making our way through the Mid Atlantic region advocating for the world we envision, we are excited to continue to see the beauty in each day: the beauty in the landscapes we are driving through, the beauty in each other, the beauty in the people we are meeting, and the beauty of this movement.
Team Mid Atlantic