As promised, I will introduce the Fab 5 and Boundless 8 in this post. The Fab 5 are actual employees at IHQ that did most of the headwork for Congress so we could come in and do the fun stuff.
THE FAB 5
Lt. Colonel Eddie Hobgood is the Congress Coordinator and in charge of the department. He and his wife Kathy (the Assistant Congress Coordinator) have been at IHQ for a few years. They’re very friendly and very Southern. As in Southern US, not England. Kathy has Jodi’s favorite accent. They worked on Congress for a year before establishing the rest of the Fab 5. They were chosen for their roles because of their work with the Millennial Congress in Atlanta and their various events since then. They hired Robert, Peter, and Louise about a year after to help with the rapidly growing list of responsibilities.
Robert Ball is the guy everyone is happy to have on their team because he does everything no one wants to do and keeps us out of trouble. This brilliant mind focuses on legal matters, contracts, logistics, and keeping everyone on the same page both legally and mentally. He is Irish and Jodi can’t really understand him.
Peter Haskew handles all things web and design. And registration. And ticketing. And customer relations. And phone calls. And the IHQ Fantasy Football League. Well, he made sure we were included in the IHQ Fantasy League. His main focus now is registration and all of the headaches that come with it so we love him.
Louise Rutterford was our main contact before we came to the UK. She is in charge of delegates and volunteers and making sure they are all cared for. She did a lot of the ground work involving our visas and is basically the reason we are able to be here legally. She loves charts and spreadsheets and is the main person Jodi will be working with this year.
THE BOUNDLESS 8
Alexa is from Portland, Oregon and is our social media guru. She’s the bubbliest and arguably the loudest member of our team, which keeps us nice and vibrant.
Cameron is from Napier, New Zealand and works with Peter on registration and delegate… uh… affairs. They spend a lot of time answering emails and phone calls about registration and its complexities. Cameron is the only one that dances naturally at Hillsong services.
Carmen is from San Francisco, California. She mostly works with Robert on contracts and maps. Lots of maps. Turns out the O2 is pretty big. If you need a toilet at the O2, Carmen now knows where they are. She’s easily the quietest team member.
Jeremiah is from Clearwater, Florida and has his fingers in many different pies, as Eddie would say. His biggest projects at the moment are gathering historical information for potential use in the Congress as well as putting together the film festival. He’s not quite as Southern as the Hobgoods but he smiles just as much.
Kelly is from Pasadena, California and speaks 4 of the 7 languages spoken by the Boundless 8. Quickly. She handles a lot of the big writing projects and edits our writing to make them sound better. She is also very aware of culture globally, having lived in several different countries.
Suzanne is from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. She is currently working on accommodations and makes sure that there are recreational options for disabled delegates. She came a little later than the other 7 of us but as we all get to know each other we are discovering she is almost as bubbly as Alexa. Almost.
5 of the Boundless 8 with the General and his wife. The other 3 had already gone back to work…
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On to our regular blogging. I decided last week that I would attend band practice at Regent Hall to keep my chops in shape for when I’m back to playing regularly. Jeremiah and I decided to meet at Oxford Circus Station on Wednesday night and go together. We arrived 20 minutes early so we could be set up with an instrument but discovered it was too early when we found the lights were all off. We waited outside for about 15 minutes and when no one else showed up, we figured band had been cancelled or something. I was told band was at 8 so when no one was there at 7:55 it seemed a bit odd. We went to Starbucks instead and then headed home. The next day, one of the corps officers from the Rink (Regent Hall’s nickname- it used to be an ice skating rink) was at IHQ for an event. He asked why we weren’t at band practice and I said no one else showed up last night. He responded with, “Last night? Band is on Tuesdays.” Lesson learned. Not everyone has band on Wednesdays. Songsters was much more successful. We showed up on time AND on the right day.
On Saturday several of us went on an accidental adventure. We started with brunch again at the same place we went to last week. After that, we decided to go to St. Paul’s Cathedral which is right next to IHQ. Jodi and I know the train route well as it is one of our options for our daily commute. On Saturdays, however, there is often service being done on tracks or trains. This Saturday was no different. We didn’t think to check the TFL (Transport for London) website before traveling and thus were caught off guard when the tube stopped and the engineer said it was now going the other direction. We got on another line and made it one station away, where we discovered that line was also turning around. We were in Central London so we decided to just go up to ground level and explore. We ended up at the Tower of London which, if you don’t know, isn’t actually a tower. We didn’t go inside because we’re volunteering this entire year and it costs money, but we were able to see the poppies spread around the outer walls which represent each of the fallen soldiers from World War I. We then crossed Tower Bridge (after some selfies) to get to Borough Market which was far busier than we would have preferred. After a few samples and a lot of people dodging, we made our way back out of the market.
At this point we were all pretty tired of people so we headed to St. Paul’s at last. There were far fewer tourists in the area but because of the amount of fog we decided not to go up into the cathedral, where there is supposed to be a pretty fantastic view. After relaxing in the courtyard we decided Starbucks was in order. We hopped on the number 4 bus to Highbury because I remembered seeing a fancy Starbucks when traveling on that route. Alexa wanted her first London Starbucks to be a fancy one so I figured it would be a good candidate. We got the wrong Starbucks the first time but eventually made it to the one I had seen before. We continued on the route to Highbury where we showed everyone our closet… er… our flat… and we watched British television in the lounge until around 5. We then headed back out to take a tube to Leicester Square where we met Carmen for her birthday dessert. We went to the Haagen-Dazs restaurant which only serves ice cream dishes. By the end of that there was little energy left in any of us so we all went to Covent Gardens to spend what was left of it. I learned quickly that it is not a garden. It’s basically a shopping plaza. With a Moleskine store. Yes. A Moleskine STORE. Too bad I can’t afford paper anymore. We went home after that.
Tower Bridge selfie with the adventurers (Alexa, Cameron, Suzanne, Jeremiah).
Us. And the bridge.
Carmen’s dessert, which was the best looking.
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