Week 6 | Rebecca

The difficulty with writing this week’s blog entry is finding the words to describe all that has happened! On Monday evening, Benita, Davy and I took off for an adventure road trip to Soulfest 2010. We took the redeye to Washington, arriving the next morning.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the knack of being able to sleep on planes and so was pretty tired when we arrived! We had to be in NH that night however, and so Benita and Davy took turns to drive while I attempted to sleep in the back seat. We briefly drove through Washington and saw the National Monument and the Capitol before setting off to drive through Baltimore, past NYC and then on to Boston before our ultimate destination in New Hampshire. We had rented a condo not far from Soulfest and had the privilege of sharing with Kevin, our amazing Abolitionist Faith Director, and his awesome daughter Lydia.

Most of the rest of the NFSC gang were in a large house practically next door to the site. For those who are unaware, Soulfest is a huge Music festival on the East Coast and goes for 4 days. This year Not For Sale were the main sponsors and so had a large tent right next to the main stage. The one and only David Batstone spoke each night, telling people about who we are, and what we do – inspiring them to get involved. Not for the first time, I was so impressed with his gift of communication and so thankful that he has chosen to use his talents for this cause. We had a great response and it was all hands on deck to deal with the amount of people wanting to get involved.

The team did an amazing job of presenting the message, and I had so much fun being a part of it! It was incredible to get to spend some time getting to know some of the bunch a whole lot better. I have whole new level of respect for the people who work so hard at NFS and the dedication and expertise they bring to all they do. And they do it all with a sense of humor! AND, as an added bonus, I got to hear the OC Supertones, who had reunited especially for this festival! It brought back so many great memories…

In what felt like no time at all, Soulfest was over for another year and it was time to head off again, but not without having made some great connections with people from across the country that I hope will last for many years to come. It was so amazing to meet people from all walks of life who are united by their passion to end slavery in our lifetime. It encouraged me so much so see their enthusiasm and dedication to the cause, and I’m excited to see all that they accomplish!

So the next day, we set off on our road trip adventure! We drove Kevin and Lydia to their hotel in Boston and then explored a little of the Commons area before setting off to NYC! It was dark by the time we hit New York, but fortunately it’s the city that never sleeps. I loved my time in NY on a previous visit and couldn’t wait to share that experience. It was a little surreal for me to be acting as the tour guide for this leg of the journey but I loved it.

We stopped at ground zero and saw the beautiful memorial on the fire station wall. From there we headed to a very late dinner in Times Square, before catching the underground to Central Park before heading to the Apple Store! It was so great to be back at the Cube, especially as it meant that Davy is one step closer to seeing the light and buying a Mac! I was proud to watch him buy his ipod, and took great delight in taking photos of him holding his Apple bags. It’s only a matter of time….

So by the time we were done in NYC, it was around 3:30 a.m. and after seeing the statue of Liberty we decided to keep driving though the night. We landed in a very hot Washington DC the next morning in a zombie-like state and proceeded to walk around the National Monument and up to the Lincoln Memorial. Despite the heat and the tiredness. I was so thankful we made the trip. I loved standing reading the words of Lincoln as he grappled with what equality should look like, understanding that if we are not all free, then none of us are. It was a powerful moment for me.

From there we took the journey further south to Benita’s home in Virginia. We surprised her mother who had no idea we were coming and we all enjoyed some southern hospitality for the night! Then it was an early start back to Washington to take us back to HMB and all that awaits us at the office! Sarah has done an amazing job looking after things while we’ve been gone, and I’m looking forward to getting back into it all tomorrow!

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