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by Craig Juntunen


“I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze,
but I, I think maybe it’s both.
Maybe both is happening at the same time.”– Forrest Gump

Boise was just a great experience, a near full house that offered a rich and undeniable special sense of humanity. I was really touched by the human warmth that has embraced the tour. Boise accentuated a very meaningful and successful four-night run in the pacific northwest. The volunteers arrived on the bus for our 5 o’clock gathering as strangers and when we said goodbye to them later that evening, they seemed like old friends. I am lucky to be around so many good people every night.

The tour is making an impact in a short period of time. Going from city to city every day is exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I am very grateful to be working day in and day out with two very remarkable individuals: our driver Ron and our road manager Samar. My days on the road are stress-free simply because of Ron and Samar’s can-do attitudes.

During the last 5 days, Ron has driven 12 hours, then 5, then 7, then 10, then 6… all during the middle of the night as we seldom leave town before 11 PM. You can imagine the physical and mental stress this would cause, but Ron takes it in stride and I always wake up to his positive attitude. I am amazed by his stamina and mental toughness.

The volunteer teams in each city always rally around Samar because of her graceful manner and charm. The energy on the bus and in the theaters is remarkable.  I frequently ask myself, “How have I gotten so lucky?”

ron_samarThe course has been steady and energized as we travel from city to city. Samar has been the anchor, and what is amazing is she was not on the original tour team and was literally thrown in at the last minute. She is a filmmaker by trade, and has never managed a tour.

But… somehow she showed up, and in more ways than one takes on the day-to-day challenges, and the ever-present unpredictability and stress. Her positive energy has been a difference for the volunteer teams, to me and to Ron as we try do things, like convince the police our illegal parking is only temporary and if just this once they could look the other way, the tour would be better for it.

The tour was my idea and of course there was plenty of proactive energy asserted by a wonderful team of people to launch the tour and influence its success. As we roll out of Boise, I am not in a position to question how any of this happened…just that it is happening and what we are trying to do is for millions of kids.

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