This year was TWLOHA’s second year at Parachute Music Festival in New Zealand. We were so excited that we were able to go to New Zealand again, and we appreciate all the locals making us feel so incredibly welcome.
We got to our stall at nine on Friday morning. It was raining, windy, and cold. Of course, since it’s summer here, we assumed we wouldn’t need to pack any jackets. The locals assured us the sun was on its way. By lunchtime, we could feel our toes again, and we began to see friends wearing TWLOHA shirts they bought the previous year. They warmly welcomed us and came back with stories from the last twelve months. Some of these stories spoke of pain, some of happy memories. Some were heavy, others light. But all of these conversations were honest. It is an honor to speak about issues that seldom get spoken about, to meet each other as our broken selves letting down that guard we often put up for the world to see.
Parachute is a unique festival in that we had our booth open from nine in the morning to midnight every day. Most often, it was at night that the most honest conversations came alive. People would come and hang out at the stand, some for hours at a time. We can honestly say we have made some very special friends and connections in New Zealand.
Something that stood out to us was to see how the TWLOHA story has reached so many corners of the globe. The issues that TWLOHA addresses affect people from all over and all walks of life. We thought it was amazing to see how a story that started as an attempt to help a friend in Orlando, Florida has grown to see friends in New Zealand speaking to a couple of Aussies.
By the end of the festival, we had fallen in love with Burgerfuel and Woodfire Pizza, chatted to hundreds of New Zealand locals, and caught the odd performance from some great bands.
Thank you, New Zealand, for hosting us and sharing your stories.
—Joel & Scully
Fall & Summer 2011 Interns