Saturday, June 15, 2013

I just don't get it.

I'm vexed, stupefied and shocked... The last 7 days have been.... ridiculous! Every step I took was just completely blessed. I want to start out by saying I have been around the world Russia, Europe, Mexico, Canada and everywhere in the USA. I have been in church and a part of the church community as a whole for 20 years now. In all my travels I have never met a community of people as generous, kind, encouraging and just all around wonderful people like the people here in the Uintah Basin, Duchene, Utah tribe and up through Vernal! Don't get me wrong I have met a ton of amazing people on this trip and people that have gone out of there way to help me, but they have always been the exceptions. Here in the Uintah Basin.... I swear its taken what I have learned about generosity and multiplied it by 10! I have said this before but I need to say it again. I want the rest of my life to be marked by giving! The time I have spent out here; the 7 days have just been.... inspiring. It has given me even more resolve to walk tall and be even bolder about Uzima and Needle2Square.

That said, lets get back to the story. I walked into Duchene early Friday morning and headed to Cowans Cafe. I got there and tied leeroy up to a pole out front by the flowers hanging in little baskets from the lamppost. I walked into the cafe and as you can imagine in a small town such as this anything out of the ordinary makes big waves. I stood just inside the door waiting to be seated when an older lady siting at the table with a few other people says to me (it sounded to me as an annoyed voice) "he better not eat those flowers!" I look at here and smile and say, "no I don't think he will. He's not tall enough to reach them." In my head I was thinking, maybe I should just push on. I find if someone is annoyed with the goat up front, it's better to move on. I went outside and stood next to Leeroy, waiting for him to lay down. I took a quick look at my phone to see what was next. If there was any other cafe in the are. There wasn't anything close so I decided to check the web and be ready to move out quickly if I needed to. I sat I do every time I order food from a restaurant I ask the waitress to just surprise me. I don't let her ask any questions I just tell her I don't like jalapenos and I would like to drink coffee. There was that look of confusion and every time they just want to ask questions. "Are you allergic to anything? What do you like, breakfast or lunch?" I just put my finger over my lips, "shhhhhhhh....just surprise me." Fortunately I don't have any allergies (except for fussy girlfriends, yard work and those ugly crock shoe things) hahaha.

 While I wait for my food I plug in my phone, IPad and IPod getting them all charged. In my mind I'm thinking, should I stay here for the night or should I press on to the next city? I look over the maps app on my phone and I check the distances to the next town. About a two days walk. So I decide to stay the night in Duchesne. I get on Facebook and see that I got a message from a guy named Dustin. He's a reporter for the Vernal and  Roosevelt newspaper. He wanted to meet for an interview and I'm always  excited about that because the interviews always get the ball rolling. Once people see me in the paper  they want to meet me and take pictures and ask questions. It's always a great way to get started in a new city. I  called a couple hotels (well there were only two in town) the first place was Duchenne River Inn. The receptionist was unsure about the goat so I politely said thank you and hung up. Later the owners daughter of the Duchenne River Inn came into the restaurant and said that I could stay there with the goat and that they had a place for Leeroy. I turned it down because I worked out a place for Leeroy at the other hotel. I continued eating while checking Facebook and working on my school stuff (making plans for the next few weeks).

 During that time a couple people from the restaurant had donated to the project. Another lady had left and then came back and paid for my meal which I was so grateful for. Those people were so kind and that's when everything seemed to turn around and all the craziness started. Generosity from that moment on had been outrageous!!! The owner of the Deschenes River Inn found me and said that I could stay at their hotel for free and that they had a place for Leeroy! I had a hard time passing that up so I gratefully accepted. I walked half a block from Cowans CafĂ© to the Inn when I was greeted by the owners daughter. We took pictures and talked a little then they gave me my hotel key. I was headed to the room and man was I excited. They even had a little fenced off area for Leeroy so I could look right out my window and see him. I got settled in my room and was getting ready for my interview.

We made plans to meet at the hotel I was staying at so I didn't have to go anywhere. When I first started doing interviews at the beginning of this trip, I was very nervous but now I'm very very casual with reporters or whoever is interviewing me. I just do whatever is on my to-do list and let them ask me questions as I work. Dustin was on his way but I needed to do my laundry. So we were going to do laundry together (hopefully he didn't mind). Not to long after Dustin showed up. An average height man, big thick mustache with a short average hair cut and glasses. He had his hands full of camera stuff and seemed kind of quiet, not like some reporters who are just talking talking talking non-stop; full of questions. Dustin just seemed like more of a listener.

 I  went about my business washing my socks in the sink (side note, man they were nasty/sick/gross). He walked over to the bathroom where my socks were soaking and we got down to business. I get asked the same questions often so I tried to change it up a bit and tell Dustin things that I didn't tell the last reporter. I poured more soap on my socks while squishing them around and dunking them in the water and squishing some more. I told him "this is how I save money on the road. Its not a lot of savings but every penny counts."  He started taking pictures and writing things down. As I get done and squeeze  the water out of my socks the sink looks like dirty black mud. I hung the socks on the curtain rod and we head to the main room so we could sit down. We ended up talking for a good two hours that flew by. I don't know what it was about Dustin that made me feel comfortable enough to share really personal things. I started telling him about my struggles, my sins, things that you don't really tell people up front, especially a reporter.

The most important thing to me was that he was asking me about my relationship with Christ. He seemed sincerely interested and wanted to know the real story. Who I was as a person, what kind of a man I was. Not just "why you walking across America with a goat" or "where do you sleep". It was refreshing so I spilled my guts to him. We talked about Uzima and he asked all the right questions. He listened as I shared about my friend ST and how it all came about.  It was pretty perfect! We ended the interview and he took some more pictures of me and Leeroy walking on the road. I thanked him for taking the time and doing the interview. As he left I sat there thinking to myself.... I may have just given him way too much information!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for coming through! I think a lot of people around here enjoyed the news article, and I for one wished I could had snuck out long enough to at least wave while I was at work (you happened to walk right by but I was helping a customer at the time, darn!). My mom had a good laugh seeing Leeroy have a midday snack on a bush somewhere along highway 40 when she drove by.