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Hello Friends and Family!

I hope this letter finds you well with all of life’s adventures. I am writing you to say hello and update you on the past year, from working with Invisible Children, participating in Rural Studio and finishing my college career.

My time working at Invisible Children as a “Roadie” was beyond any expectations. I was blessed with an amazing team- Nathan, Ivory and Joleah. I could not have asked for three better people to live life with. We never fought, we laughed constantly, and we shared in the beauty of the experiences the road brought our way. Over those 5 months, I was shown the deepest love and the darkest parts of who I am, all maturing my spirit in ways I can only say were profound but unable to put those specifics into words. Those days consisted of no sleep, getting in a wreck, taking a hike with a family on Easter, walking dogs in New York City, snow fights in Pittsburgh, arguing over whether Chick-fil-a or Wendy’s has a better chicken sandwich, almost blowing up a gas station, and the best…getting on Oprah’s show. Yes, it’s true. For the whole of our 10-week tour we were planning an advocacy event called The Rescue. It took place in 100 cities around the world, raising awareness about child soldiering and support for the apprehension of rebel leader, Joseph Kony. The event ended up lasting six days and ended in Chicago. People from all over North America traveled to the city. The event objective was to stay in peaceful assembly until the news media and a well-known public figure recognized what we were doing and brought attention to the situation in eastern Africa. We were not “rescued” until we received substantial attention. Our goal was to get Oprah, and with little hope of that actually happening, we decided to do a choreographed song and dance with 400 people outside her studio. The next morning, we lined the entire block around her studio and greeted her and her guests as they came in for the morning show. Long story short, she ended up coming outside and giving us the first seven minutes of her live show. Bam. Rescued. If you are interested in watching the videos, you can go to these links.

The dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRZlEHR8hbA&feature=player_embedded

On Oprah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAENDkB8FSU&feature=related

After getting the Big-O herself, I returned to Auburn and joined Auburn University’s design build program, Rural Studio, as the first non-architecture student to participate. I lived in a small town of 200 in west Alabama for the fall semester. While there, I worked with architecture students on designing and building a kitchen and sustainable garden. The people of Greensboro have captivated my heart for years while working with the Sawyerville Work Project, but this brought me into a new perspective. It was a rough semester of ground breaking and trying to build relationships in a discipline of which I had no previous knowledge, but I look back and am so grateful for the things I learned. This Spring, I was back in Auburn and have spent the past months finishing my degree. And yes, in the next two days, I will complete all requirements to be an Auburn Alumni. Now THAT warrants a War Eagle! I am so excited about what life has in store next. I am pursuing a design job, but during this process, I am going back to Invisible Children to finish out 2010.

This decision came without intention or pursuit in continuing my career as a Roadie, but God has a way of pulling loose ends together. Starting on August 8th, I will join my teammates Stuy, Nicole and Taylor as we prepare to tour the Pacific Northwest. Big mountains and rainforests and British Columbia are awaiting this southern girl. And I am anxiously waiting for the weeks to come. This tour will be focused on raising funds to rebuild schools in northern Uganda. Because of this, we will have two Ugandans on tour with us. A student from Anaka Secondary School named James, and his mentor. It has been quite a journey over the past four years of college, raising funds on Auburn’s campus to provide education for James’ fellow students. What an opportunity it will be to share life with him for five months.

For those of you who supported me last tour and have continuously supported me over the years, THANK YOU. I am so grateful for your relationship and encouragement. As I go into the next few months, I will continue to need that kind support in the form of encouragement, prayers and finances (if you wish). If you would like to read stories from my travels throughout PNW, I invite you to read this blog. If you wish to provide financial support, I am humbly accepting donations here: http://pledgie.com/campaigns/12157. You can also send checks directly to Invisible Children if you wish to make a tax deductable donation. Invisible Children is a registered 501c3, so you can request a tax receipt. Also, you can write a check made it out directly to me. Mail it to this address: Sarah Chaplin 1620 5th Ave, Ste 400, San Diego, CA 92101. If you choose to support financially or through prayer, please email me your mailing address. I would like to send you a postcard from the road. Thank you so much for your love and support over the years. I am blessed with incredible friends and family and you are such a part of why I am in this stage of life. Thank you and if you have any questions or would just like to chat, please contact me. All my best.

Much love,

Sarah Chaplin

chaplsar@gmail.com

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog. Since the last one, I’ve finished tour, moved back to Auburn and almost completed summer classes. And I can’t believe it will be August on Saturday. Where have the days gone?
I was sitting earlier today ready to start this thing back up and thought about how. I’m going to start my photo project again. Last year, I started taking a picture everyday, but stopped after a month. One year later, I’m picking it back up. I thought it was also an appropriate start since I just moved into a new house, yesterday. This is the kitchen. When I was sitting in the sunroom this afternoon with one of my (9) roomates, Ellen, I decided to make chocolate cupcakes. My boxes of things from my apartment are slowly being emptied and as I was searching for my baking supplies, another roomate Sarah Francis walked in with a little girl she was babysitting. 2 year old Jill wouldn’t stop crying for her Dad, so I asked her to help me make the cupcakes. I would say they are probably the best ones I’ve made from scratch before. I’m sure she made all the difference. Holli (roomate #3) brought two of her project uplift kids, Cory and Tae over and all of us ate cupcakes straight out of the oven.

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The Rescue is so close- it’s like that scene in Jurassic Park. You know, the one with the water glass. But before the 25th, let’s go back to the reason why we’re sleeping outside and riding buses across America. Watch this video and see the faces who inspired this event.We’re fighting for our friends’ freedom. And we won’t stop until we finish what was started. Download the pdf to learn your options and choose your adventure.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Search and Rescue on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

Together, we are free.This is going to change the world. The end. AND….the end of the war. Bam.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Rescue Riders on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

So- the goal of my tour this Spring is to promote our big event called The Rescue. It’s taking place in 100 cities in 10 countires around the world. AND- fo the first time ever, Birmingham is hosting an Invisible Children event!!! I’m so excited! My friend Lauren has been planning it from the office and I want to help her out. If anyone is interested in volunteering to work the event, please email her at lbazan@invisiblechildren.com.

1- she amazing
2- tell her I sent you her way
3- sign up for The Rescue

http://therescue.invisiblechildren.com/en/#/birmingham/

Also, in order for the event to be as successful as we wish, we want these people to show up:

Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby
Gov. Bob Riley
Condoleezza Rice
Mayor Larry Langford
The Avett Brothers
Mathew Mayfield

If you know any personal contacts with these people or any way to reach them, please email Lauren for for more details.

APRIL 25th. BE THERE!

Buffalo:

We’ve spent the last few days in Buffalo. Thursday we got to spend the day with Aditya, former Roadie, and take pictures on his campus. These are the result.

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http://theithacan.org/am/publish/news/200903_Speakers_to_bring_attention_to_the_invisible_children_of_Uganda.shtml