12 am. May 4th. Where are you? Probably in bed.
Team Middle America? Quad Cities, Iowa. At the local movie theatre. Masks on. Waiting in line for The Avengers.
8 am. Easter morning. The majority of the world is waking up to the delicious smells of bacon and pancakes.
Middle America is getting a sugar high from a breakfast of ring pops.
2 pm. Team date. Most teams go out to eat, lounge in a park, catch up on life.
Middle America and Mountain West engage in a real-life Hunger Games, complete with stick-swords.
Children. We are absolute children. We may be one of the oldest Roadie teams, but we retain a childlike joy and penchant for fun. As the Darth Vader bobblehead leads our van (Dorothy, a.k.a. Toto), we stay sane by remaining giddy and pursuing fun around every corner.
Liz and Andrew talk in outrageous accents, quoting Kony 2012 left and right. The team learns the lines when we’re not throwing impromptu dance parties behind the merch table. Like children, we can’t be alone; we’re absolutely addicted to each other’s presence. So we eat our lunches together (packed lunches from an amazing host mom), we cuddle together while watching every Marvel movie created, and we hug almost constantly.
Our drives consist of Hunger Games reading sessions, buffered by the most intriguing and hilarious pit stops: cornfields for frolicking and fake sword-fighting sequences, the St. Louis City Museum to play alongside children on a giant metal playground, Pizza Hut tattoo dispensers for Andrew’s lower back.
Laura makes the funnies faces. Andrew geeks out over all things Star Wars. Liz falls asleep absolutely everywhere (name a place, she’s fallen asleep there). Emily just giggles until she cries. Lawrence pulls the “I-can-stay-awake-I-can-I-can…” head bob during every van ride.
Oh, and you can’t forget the nicknames – the unoriginal but meaningful nicknames: Larry, Lorax, Drewski, Komla, Andy, the list continues…
…as does Middle America’s tour. What keeps us going is the love, the childlike love between us that never wavers or dissipates. We love each other deeply as we serve, affirm, and support one another. Hugs abound here in Middle America; we find them the best medicine for sorrow and the most apt manifestation of joy.
We strive to carry this team love beyond ourselves, directing it at our job. We use our silliness and childlike happiness to sustain us as we live to bring such joy to our brothers and sisters in Central Africa. We will stop at nothing (not even Loki).