Author: Promise Neeley

Picture this: On June 4, 2017, random people from around the world interacted with people they had never met. You’re probably wondering why strangers would meet up at a place they have never been to see people they don’t know. Their commonality is G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S., a simple idea created by actor and philanthropist Misha Collins. He decided to make his idea a reality, and in November 2011, The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen, or for short, G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. was born. 

This year, the hunt’s seventh birthday will run from August 5th-12th. The official website says, “It is an incredible scavenger hunt where thousands of people create weird art, go on adventures, solve riddles, meet new friends, push themselves, and commit heartwarming acts of kindness and courage.”
Although the hunt hasn’t officially begun, G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. and Misha always like to have fun. This year Misha offered a chance for 3 people to earn a virtual tea party with him. It started with a simple 5 video combined clue for his email address and his guiding words, “You’re a savvy elite Gisher, so I know you’ve got this in the bag!” It morphed into late-night puzzle-solving frustration as each completed clue led to another new puzzle. It came to a point where some Gishers had given up hope and declared they would have their tea party without him.

Who knows if this defiance inspired the official G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. to announce to join them at local coffeehouses for the first-ever global Coffee and Tea Party or if they conspired for it all along? Either way, happy hunters everywhere did the opposite of what most people would do – they began accepting random strangers’ calls to party.

Individuals were preparing for the excitement of meeting up all over the world. For some, it would be a coffee house or maybe a tea room; for others, it would be through phones, laptops, and tablets. No matter where or how they connected.

Adorned homemade newspaper flowers in the latest newsprint fashion announced attendees at each establishment. These creative embellishments were made to show their true ribosome to the world and show fellow Gishers they were not alone. These individuals even willingly shared their most secretive brushing habits with all partygoers. They embraced the battle cry of Death 2 Normalcy on a global scale. 

The idea of G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. may seem odd to some. Some may even look at its participants as a goofy insane group of people who want to be weird, and to a point, they are probably right. However, it is so much more. They are a community of people donating to being unique human beings, not what people think normal should be. They open their hearts. They provide understanding, support, and strength. They choose to live in the moment and be involved. Thanks to a virtual invite, a very difficult puzzle, some Gisher rebelliousness, and possibly the genius of a madman, the first-ever global Coffee and Tea Party happened. Although it is unclear if this will become a tradition, the event was a beautiful start to G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. 2017. 

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