It was easy to look around Djibouti and feel sad, but I think that sadness is based on an unfair assumption about its people and their lives. On the drive from our hotel back to the base I saw this woman sitting on the train tracks holding her baby. I liked the contrast of the bright colors of her clothes against the drab backdrop of her surroundings. I think that even in a place full of poverty people can find happiness.
During our tour we spent one night in Djibouti. We didn’t get to see much except the base that we played on and the hotel that we stayed at. We did take a ten minute trip from the base to the hotel and back and we got to see a little bit of the city. I tried to take in as much as I could in that short time. It wasn’t like any place that I’ve been before and I wish I could’ve spent more time there.
Here’s a shot of the plane that we took to and from the aircraft carrier. I can’t remember what kind of plane it was exactly. We sat strapped in over our shoulders and waists and faced backwards. When the plane took off from the deck of the carrier it had to be catapulted so that it could get up enough speed to lift off before going over the edge. It went from zero to one hundred fifty miles an hour in about one second.
We stayed the night on the John C. Stennis and played our show at 9:30 am. At around 6:30 I went down to the area where everyone smoked cigarettes to catch the sun rising over the ocean. It was a beautiful sight and I’m glad I was able to capture a photo of it.
While we were in the middle east we played a show on the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier. The carrier was out in the middle of the ocean and we flew from Bahrain to land on it. We were required to wear helmets, goggles and a vest full of survival equipment for the flight. Our plane had to land and catch on one of four wires that run across the deck of the carrier. If the plane doesn’t catch on a wire it won’t be able to stop itself in time and has to immediately take off again. This photo of Brad and Nate was snapped right before take off. There was a sort of giddy tension that I think we were all feeling right about then.
I didn’t vote today and I’m not proud of it. I do have some excuses. I’ve been on the road for over a month now and I would’ve had to plan ahead and get an absentee ballot way in advance. I recently had a baby and I was a lot busier and more distracted this year than I’ve ever been. When it comes down to it though, it was really cynicism that kept me from doing what I needed to do to vote. I’ve watched more than a few campaigns over the years and I’ve seen the same things happen over and over. There’s the extremist rhetoric, the empty promises, the sensationalized media coverage. The country divides into two sides who blindly and ferociously support their team no matter what. This year I just had enough of it and it made me feel sick and disheartened.
Now that election day is here the simple reality of what’s going to happen has hit me. At the end of today one of these guys is actually going to be president of our country. For real. One of these guys will be our president and the winner will run our country in drastically different ways than the loser. Despite all the absence of substance that comes with the campaign season it’s all lead to something extremely substantial. That very basic reality made me embarrassed about how cynical and disinterested I became. I’ve just been sitting here focusing on everything that’s wrong with the process and these candidates instead of focusing on what I agree with and believe in. I accomplished nothing. Contributed absolutely zero. It was stupid. Being cynical is easy. Believing in something is hard.
Lincoln, Nebraska (Taken with instagram)
The best picture I’ve ever taken! (Taken with instagram)
Self portrait. 8 years old. (Taken with instagram)
Self portrait. 33 years old. (Taken with instagram)