Today marks a very momentous day as the new nation of South Sudan becomes official! You may have heard about the struggles and issues facing Sudan... Wars, genocide, and serious civil unrest and major political and religious conflicts between the north and south. For more than 50 years there has been fighting and conflict. As a result many Sudanese boys were forced to leave their homes and families to avoid being forced into fighting a war that they did not believe in. So they walked thousands of miles in search of safe food, water, shelter, and safety. They became known as the 'Lost Boys of Sudan' and they did eventually reach safety at refuge camps in Kenya and other neighboring countries. Through a US program, many Lost Boys were brought to the US to help them receive medical care, education, and a new life without the threat of war. I have been fortunate enough to know and mentor a Lost Boy here in Chicago, Mr Deng Magai. He's a wonderful young man and has made a very successful life for himself here in Chicago. He has gone to school and earned a college degree, and also works full time. He has faced many challenges even here in the US, but he has managed to stay positive and strong. He has not seen his family back in Sudan in more than 10 years which to me is so sad, and I really could not even imagine how hard that would be. I'm heading downtown in just a little bit to attend the rally and celebration for South Sudan! I'm excited and look forward to participating in this amazing moment in history!
If you are in Chicago and want to learn more about Lost Boys in Chicago, you can click here: http://www.lostboyschicago.com/
Or if you'd like to find out more ways to help or donate, click here: http://www.allianceforthelostboys.com/home.html
So as I said, I'm one of four fabulous Chicago ladies (with Melisa, Lisa, and Jen) who were selected to represent the Skydeck as Ambassadors this summer. I'm really honored to be among these ladies who are each very successful, talented, well-connected women who love Chicago and know this city inside and out! We'll each be bringing you some great info, probably all slightly different and from different perspectives, so I would certainly recommend checking out all of us for updates!
Now, you may be wondering Why are we doing all this and what's in it for us? Well, it's actually going to be a friendly little contest amongst the 4 of us, so that makes it even more interesting, right?! By encouraging people to visit the Skydeck this summer via social networking means (I'll give the links in a bit), and actual visitor counts, we will be accumulating points that when tallied at the end of August whoever has the most points wins a Par-tay at the Skydeck (and gets to bring a whole bunch of friends too!). Whoa! So I love Chicago, I love the Skydeck, and I love parties, so I thought it would be a super fun way to add a little extra excitement to the summer! And since I'm a travel specialist anyway, I love to encourage as much travel and 'getting away' time as possible, and Chicago is a fantastic destination.
My first visit to the Skydeck was at least 15 years ago because I went shortly after I moved here. I remember the elevator ride to the top and that the view was absolutely amazing, but other than that, nothing else really stood out. The view was the attraction, you took some pics, and then you went back down. Well, that now has definitely changed. My most recent visit to the Skydeck was just a couple weeks ago and Holy Cow it was really exciting! Going to the Willis Tower Skydeck definitely feels more like an 'experience' now, rather than just a photo op. With the addition of some great new exhibits and features, and not to mention the famous Ledge that will test even the strongest of wills, you've got to keep the Skydeck in your next city plans.
The below picture was taken from my recent visit. After getting over a few nerves I didn't have too much trouble stepping out onto the Ledge. Mostly I have an issue with looking like a chicken, so I had to pretend like I wasn't nervous. But I'm really glad I stepped out there because it was very cool. And I am an 'afraid of heights' person, and it was still really cool! The building directly below my feet that I'm sort of standing on is the building I used to work at! Memories... :) I was at the Skydeck on a cloudy-ish day and the view was still amazing and it was so fun looking at and naming all the buildings and landmarks.
OH! So I almost forgot that I need to post some links. I will try to get a little button thingy to make it easier, but for now I need some Likes on my Ambassador profile on the Skydeck Chicago Facebook page. This is where I really need your help!! Just click on my picture and click the 'Like' button. Even if you don't live in Chicago or don't think you'll be able to go to the Skydeck this summer, that's Ok because it all adds up and counts towards my points to win the Party! And please forward to your friends as well. I really really appreciate it!
And if you're on Twitter, I'll also be tweeting using #christyskydeck so please include this on any Chicago tweets or retweets.
If you have any questions about visiting the Skydeck or visiting Chicago in general, please ask here via comment section or contact me by email!
Thanks for reading and have a great day! =D
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