The following is a general e-mail sent by Jeremy along his cycling route in Wyoming. Jeremy spent over a year as a Salesian Lay Missioner at the Salesian-run school in Okinawa, Bolivia where he taught at both the Bolivian and Japanese schools.
I realized a last week that three weeks had already passed on this cross-country ride, and I had not sent out one e-mail update. And now it’s been four weeks because of lack of internet access! So for my delay, I apologize. I have kind of confounded myself: so much has happened just between the beginning (Cape Flattery, WA) and here (Dubois, WY), that there is no way to put it all in this update with any respect for your time. My only hope is to direct you to my photo blog (www.photojeremy.wordpress.com) to view some of the images I’ve been making, and to write a brief summary of this jam-packed journey.
We live in a big, beautiful country. The scenery has been stunning almost everyday of the ride. The coastline of the Olympic Peninsula; the dramatic and windy Columbia Gorge; the rolling, cultivated foothills of eastern Washington into Idaho; the snaking rivers leading us deeper into the mountains; and the magnificent valleys of Montana: all of it gorgeous and, luckily for my team and I, we get to enjoy it at the slower pace of a bicycle.
The mission of our ride – to act as a catalyst and conduit for addressing the issue of poverty in our country – continues to evolve and mature as we visit and learn about each new community. But the hard-working individuals and the successful (though often struggling) programs have been nothing short of remarkable. From Seattle to Portland to Walla Walla to Missoula, we have visited transitional housing programs, food pantries and kitchens, and emergency shelters for the homeless. We have listened to and participated in panel discussions on local poverty issues. We have celebrated Mass everyday and prayed for the people of the community in which we were staying. We have been hosted by so many hospitable people, it would warm your heart (as it certainly has done to ours). We have talked with countless people about what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how they can join in. And we are only a quarter of the way.
Thanks for reading. I hope you can follow along through the C4C website (www.cyclingforchange.org) or Facebook page. And of course, my photo blog. Otherwise, I will send out at least a couple more e-mail updates before we reach Key West. If I’ll be riding through your area (Colorado, KC, St. Louis…), I hope to see you soon!