Hospitality is in our makeup and we are always looking for ways to engage that gift. Recently we began dreaming about hosting kinfolk on our bus, inviting friends and muso’s to travel with us. When we would put out the offer, most people would smile, saying that it would be amazing, but not take it any further.
And then we met Chaz Jones. A twenty year old student from Lafayette, LA. We met him in 2012 at Cornerstone Music Festival in Bushnell, IL. He stayed in touch with us, sending us little notes of encouragement and even financial support to help keep us on our way. Then in March of this year he invited us to his community in Louisiana and we accepted his offer. We shared in song, story and meals. We met his mentors and other students, we mentioned our longing for others to travel with us and he said he was interested. He continued to declare his desire and we began conversations on the road to making our vision and his commitment a reality.
Some of the questions we explored were, “What would bus life look like? Expectations from our end and expectations from his end. Specifically regarding finances, roles and boundaries.”
We let him know that there was no expectations for compensation to or from travelers. If a fellow traveler felt so inclined to give a monetary gift, we would graciously accept but it was not expected. Likewise, we don’t have a budget to pay folks to join us but hope that the experience, as well as, covering the costs of room/board/fuel would suffice. The only concession would be if a person had really strict dietary issues that require expensive foods, they would have to bring funds to cover those needs. But, if we have the ingredients on board, it would be available to all. We did however, suggest having spending money, for shops, thrifting, movies or special attractions, etc…
And as for roles and boundaries. Our hope would be that travelers would participate, on what ever level they can, within the daily life on board, offering a helping hand, finding ways to be involved either in the music, bus logistics, or sharing of other gifts and talents.
We let him know that its real life out here, we are in a small space (300 sq feet), we are working out family dynamics, we don’t have hot running water or air conditioning, we all have our own personal junk but we are committed to finding harmony. The only other relational request would be for patience and openness to communicate desires, observations, and to see this experience as an opportunity to see God’s faithfulness in the daily restoration “the body.”
In late July, Chaz took a greyhound bus from Lafayette, LA to Lansing, Michigan and met us at a performance we shared with our good friends, The Illalogical Spoon. He’ll be riding with us until mid-September. Chaz plays Banjo and has been a welcome addition to The Hollands! as well as to our family. Glad to have you on board Chaz!