Friday, May 1, 2009

Why We're Still Riding.

Current Location: Trujillo, Peru
Distance Cycled to Date: 13,275 km
Flat Tires to Date: 45 (Keenan - 24, Jeff - 21)

We've now been on the road for exactly 8 months, and there have been a lot of challenging days. We've biked up incredibly steep hills, through rain, through cold, through hot, and against headwinds that seem determined to send us back home. But probably the hardest thing that we've had to deal with has been biking through areas affected by incredible poverty. Before leaving home we had committed to raising $50,000 for a HOPE International project in the Dominican Republic, rebuilding irrigation systems and community greenhouses. And in these last months of cycling we have seen firsthand the need present in so much of Latin America. It's impossible to forget just why we wanted to raise this money to help those in need - every day we see such poverty that it's heartbreaking. Here in northern Peru we have ridden over 700 km through a dry, desert landscape, with small settlements of only mud-brick shacks; people living with almost nothing at all.

Jeff and I have not wanted to come across as continually asking the same people over and over again for donations. We have a strong subscriber base to our blog, and we know that the majority of you, our regular readers, have already made donations - some quite sizable ones. And we want to thank you for that. Every time we get an email from home telling us about another cheque sent in we get so excited. With your help, we have now raised over $14,000.

This is great news; however, we still have a ways to go. We had set an initial goal of $50,000, and still believe that we can meet this in order to help rebuild these irrigation systems and community greenhouses needed to enable villages in the San Jose de Ocoa region to grow sufficient food to feed themselves and start producing an income. Every day as we cycle we are reminded just how lucky we are to have been born in Canada, and have all the opportunties that we do.

We want to thank everybody who has already placed a donation through our website to HOPE International. Now we want to remind you that we still have room for this fundraising to grow. And so we'd love it if you could tell a friend, email your cousin, and talk to your boss. Tell them what we're doing, tell them how much a difference they could make with just a small donation, and always keep in mind just how blessed we are.

HOPE's donation page can be found here - just select 'other' on the drop-down menu, and write "ride for HOPE", or "Keenan and Jeff's ride for HOPE" on the comments section to make sure that the money goes towards this project in the Dominican.


At the moment, we're in Trujillo, Peru, taking a few days off at the 'Casa de Ciclistas', a house run by Lucho, a local cyclist dedicated to giving touring cyclists a place to relax here in Peru. We've biked for nearly a week through pretty featurless desert, through the potential thieves lair of Paijan, and arrived here to meet 5 other cyclists, all heading north. It's been great to be able to just relax and talk with other cyclists, the first we've met on the road since Guatemala, and get information on all the routes and sites ahead.

We've put up our Ecuador album - you can go check it out now, and then after that, go tell a friend to donate! More information on HOPE and on the project we're raising money for can be found on our website. Send some people this link, forward on the email; let's see what kind of a difference we really can make.

1 comment:

Hairy Swede said...

I'd love to see a running tally of money raised like you do with km cycled and flattires!