As Kris and the World Vision team get ready for the journey to Kenya, we had a chance to ask Kris some questions. Read on to learn more about Kris — and be sure to follow the tour, starting November 25, to hear stories of how the lives of children, families, and communities in need are being transformed by gifts donated through the World Vision Gift Catalog!
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What are you looking forward to most about the True Spirit of Christmas tour?
Considering that Kenya is a place I’ve never been, I’m excited to learn about the culture there. It’s always exciting when I go to another country — meeting the people, meeting the families, seeing everyday life, and learning about the good things that go on there.
Do you have anything specific you want to do while you are in Kenya? Any foods you want to try or adventures you want to go on?
I’m not sure what the options are, but I am always excited to try new foods, even if they are terrible. I’ll try any food once.
How did you hear about World Vision?
I heard about it when you guys came to me for this trip. I kind of heard about it and then I researched it and saw what you guys do, and I have done similar stuff like this, and I decided to jump on board.
What do you hope to gain from going on the trip?
Just the knowledge that I can bring back here, and let people know what is going on and let people know how they can help. I think the great thing about us as Americans is that people want to help, but most of us don’t know how to, or what they can do. The point of this trip is to go over there to gain knowledge about what is going on and to let people know that they can help, and we can make a big difference, even though we are far away.
Is there anything you are nervous about?
Nervous? No, I have done a lot of trips before; not that this is like the other ones. But I’m not nervous about sleeping arrangements, or bugs — but maybe I should be? I don’t know (laughs).
When did you know you wanted to be a singer/songwriter?
I started playing the guitar at about 13, and I think from then on out, I knew that I love this — I love playing music and I feel like this was the only thing I was good at, so I am gonna work at it.
Tell us about someone who has influenced you. How have they done so?
My parents have been so amazing throughout me growing up, and wanting me to pursue my dreams. They never stopped me. They were always buying me instruments, or getting me into music programs, telling me that I should be doing this. I don’t know if all parents would go that route, because this is a very unconventional job. They are so cool. It’s just cool that they have really supported me.
What is your favorite song to sing at karaoke?
When we go out on the road and we are singing karaoke, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (by Queen) usually comes out. It’s pretty classic. Everyone gets a part, and it sounds incredible.
Does your family have any fun holiday traditions?
The one thing we do every Christmas Eve is that my mom buys the whole family pajamas. We all get in our pjs — we have to put them on, even if they are terrible-looking — and we play a board game, which she has bought as well. That is our Christmas Eve tradition.
Do you have a favorite Christmas present you have ever given or received?
I remember my parents got my brother and I a basketball hoop one year, but they sent us on an Easter egg hunt kind of deal to find it. There was this pathway through the house of this yarn, and it took us like an hour to get to this basketball hoop that was just right outside our front door. Yeah, thanks, Mom and Dad!
Do you have a fun memory from your tour?
So far, we’ve only done a couple of shows. Maybe this is a little involved, but we were driving back from the show one night and we saw this guy broken down in his van. We went and pushed his van to a gas station. And when we got to the gas station, it started flaming up a little bit. And so we were running away. And all I hear is our driver yell, “It’s gonna blow!”
I run away, and our tour manager grabs a fire extinguisher and tries to put the fire out, which only makes it worse. Then we proceed to watch the van blow up. It literally was like the movies. The flames were like 10 feet high, coming out of the windows. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it.
What do you look forward to most about the Christmas season?
I like food a lot, and my mom is a pretty incredible cook. I always look forward to eating at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and going over to their house and hanging out with my family. I don’t get to do that very much, and it’s nice to take some time off from what I do and hang out with them.