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This morning started with a fortunate misunderstanding for me. I was supposed to be carrying our charging racks from the charging location at the University of Texas into the truck. Instead my car (car number 6) drove to TI for breakfast with the rest of the team, while unfortunately for car number 5, they now had to pick up our charging racks. (sorry Bob, Joost, Stephan and Nick)
Once we arrived at Texas Instruments, one of our sponsors who contributed chips for our battery management system, it turned out we had to wait for breakfast a little longer. First we all needed to sign a release form and Tim had to give an extensive interview about TI and the role they played in the development of the motorcycle. After that we could grab some fruit, omelet, sunglasses, notebooks, pens and a multi-tool. We quickly finished breakfast and loaded up on goodies, so we could leave for Joplin.
On the road it promised to be a boring day. We drove 350 km, all highway, and had no events planned in Joplin, our destination. Halfway through however we took an exit to swap our batteries and came across a lake. The view was beautiful, butterflies were fluttering around and Roan soon decided to freshen up after his warm bike trip by taking a dive. Once Maurice and I heard of this we decided swimming was a great idea. We were not prepared though, so I couldn't peek while Maurice ran into the lake and I decided to go in my undies and use my bra as a bikini top. Swimming was amazing and refreshing, but unfortunately we only had 5 minutes before we had to get back on the road. Roan had stolen our clothes in the mean time and had left a trail of garments leading up to the cars, creating a real challenge for Maurice to get on land without showing his willy to the world. Luckily the towels were not far away, so we managed to get to the cars completely decent and without any awkward situations.
After the surprise swim we continued our way to Joplin, where another surprise waited. Two cameras and a cameracrew were waiting for us and were shooting images of the motorcycle arriving at Missouri Southern State University. Yuri gave an interview while the rest of the team watched a girls soccer training and made plans for what to do with all the spare time we had left. It was only 8 o'clock when we had had dinner, all the STORM work was done and we could go play soccer ourselves. I'm a field hockeyer and I suck at playing soccer, so I just ran a lot and missed unmissable shots, while the guys were outperforming each other.
Soccer was tiring and entertaining, so I was lying in my bed writing this blog and ready to go to sleep, when I realized that from tomorrow morning, we only have 2 more weeks to go before our arrival in Eindhoven. I know some team members are looking forward to coming home, it will be good to see friends and family again. For me however it also hurts to think that we only have two more weeks to go on this amazing journey. I am really not ready to get back to my normal and ordinary life and study yet. Still two more weeks to go though and we're going to make the most of them.