We had a late start on our drive to Salt Lake City, leaving Los Angeles at about 10 AM. This didn’t give us much time to drive 500+ miles to Utah, through rough terrain and multiple borders. We drove through Las Vegas, taking pictures from the highway. We met up with a couple teams for lunch and even though it had just been a couple of hours since we had seen them, it felt like years. We also had a tumultuous last couple of hours of driving, trying to find a place to sleep for the night because of our 12 AM to 5 AM driving ban.
Our first couple of events the next day were crazy! We were thrown into everything but it all went really well and we were proud of how everything turned out! We’ve done 5 events in total now, but this includes a 7-hour long presentation day in which we had 6 different classes that we needed to present to. This means that I’ve present 3 times in total.
Learning a 9-page script that involves 20+ minutes of talking was not easy for me. I practiced my freaking butt off even when I was so tired I didn’t think I’d make it through the day without falling asleep. So finally when I gave the presentation this week in front of an attentive college audience of over 125 people, I was super proud of myself! I didn’t think I could do it, my heart was panicked, but I made it. And the next two presentations after that have been easier than ever before! I think I’ve overcome my fear!
Our contacts in Utah and Colorado have been amazing. Everyone has been kind, generous, and so fun to be around. Relying on the kindness of strangers like this is something I’ve never done before. We rely on them for shelter, food, company – it’s kind of strange but also cool. And everyone is also incredibly supportive of what we are doing. They think it’s amazing that we are going to such lengths and travelling all around the country to share Liberty in North Korea with others. I think it’s pretty awesome too!
Right now we are driving through Nebraska in hopes of reaching Omaha before nightfall. Salt Lake City was fascinating and a lot nicer then I expected. Our contacts, like I said earlier, were amazing and went out of their way to show us some fun areas in town. The whole city is pretty conservative, controlled by the Mormon presence throughout the city. It was interesting learning a bit more about Mormons in SLC and viewing their temple and places of worship. That being said, because of their presence, laws are strict within SLC regarding almost everything and a lot of people kind of resent it. We went out on Sunday night with our contacts to a cool place in town but the streets were dead because of these laws. Crazy!
We drove to Moab on our way to Colorado, which is one of the most beautiful natural parks I’ve ever been too. After a night in the van we watched the sunrise overtop of massive orange-y/brown peaks jutting up into the sky. I can’t explain it except for inserting a picture. A few friends and contacts had told us it was a place we could not miss. Thank goodness we took the time to see it!
Colorado has been fun. We’ve had little time to sightsee because we have had a lot of events and still have to book and table. That being said, the mountains are breathtaking and we even hit some snow driving through them. It reminds me a lot like home, without the ocean though. Again, our contacts were amazing and we did have a few hours yesterday, after work, to explore. I like Denver; it’s a nice city that one day I hope to have a few more hours to explore.
My team and I are getting along great. No problems yet! They’re awesome to travel with and we are getting closer to each other each day. No complaints.
So those are my reflections on this past week and a bit. My turn to drive is coming up and then I have to navigate these flat lands, these great plains, for a few hours of boring nothing. Until then I’m going to pull out my book for a little rest and relaxation!