Sunday, February 6, 2011
Already some of our group members have shared compelling stories and images with school classes, business and civic/service groups and chapels.
Our team members are available to share briefly and succinctly with your group (small or large). You may contact John Hay, Jr. to arrange a presentation by one of our group.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Now comes the challenge of adjusting day to what was night and night to what was day. There is a 12-hour difference between USA-EST and Vietnam's time zone. Actually, that's perhaps the smallest challenge. Bigger challenges and opportunities are to put into perspective what we have experienced and share it faithfully with our families, friends, associates, faith communities and all who will listen.
We have compelling stories to tell. Stories from the open road. Stories of encounters with people. Stories of what our Vietnamese friends are experiencing. Stories of grace breakthroughs. Stories of fascinating landscapes, intriguing culture, beautiful people, and forward-looking hope. Our team members are available to share briefly and succinctly with your group (small or large). You may contact John Hay, Jr. to arrange a presentation by one of our group.
Monday, January 17, 2011
|Bob Yardy and Daniel Shinkle celebrate at the Vietnam Sea|
We are currently in the middle of what must be the longest day of our lives. It was officially Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as our plane took off at 12:05 am. Right now, it is around 12:30 pm where we are in Seoul, South Korea. We have a long layover in the Incheon International Airport. We had planned to take a train into the city, but when we arrived it is only 7 degrees F outside. None of us have winter clothing or coats, so we decided to stay onsite. And it will be Monday morning when we arrive in Los Angeles. It will be Monday late afternoon when we arrive in Chicago. And will likely be late Monday evening when each of our team members finishes this trek in our own automobiles.
No complaints. No worries. No problems. We're just looking forward to getting home to our loved ones and, yes, our day-to-day work. We've worked hard in a different way these past two weeks, but we're ready to resume our God-given places in our families, workplaces, congregations and communities.
We all have stories to tell. We hope those who have followed us will consider inviting us to share our inspiring story with the groups you are a part of.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
We are now packing and getting ready for the journey home. Our flights from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul, South Korea to Los Angeles International to Chicago O'Hare include some significant layovers. We're hoping to tour a bit of Seoul during an 8-hour layover there. If all goes as scheduled, we should be touching down in Chicago sometime early Monday evening and home by midnight.
Friday, January 14, 2011
It feels good to have pedaled 643 miles and completed this portion of our journey safely. We're grateful for all the help and support we've received along the way. Subsequent posts will convey some of the specific ways we've been graced. For now, we're just glad to have reached our destination. I think we're all due for a good night's sleep...without expecting to rise at 5:00 am, load up the van and climb on the bikes for another long day of pedaling. Who knows? We might just sleep in.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Conditions: from 55 F at 7:00 am to 70 F at 4:30 pm; strong headwind, sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon
What we may NOT be telling anyone much about is the huge amount of salts and sugars we have taken in during our breaks in riding during the day. Well, here's some of the evidence. Crackers, cookies, dried fruit, and chips along with bananas, oranges and whatever native Vietnamese fruit our friends can find--these have sustained us with some quick energy as we ride.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
These are the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Here, coffee and rubber are grown in carefully-planted groves that cover every hill. Here, mountain-dwelling villagers tend these orchards, collect latex, dry coffee beans in their front yards, and live ever-so simply. Here, children walk or ride their bikes to and from school and young people (who isn't young here?) get around villages and towns on Honda motor bikes by the hundreds of thousands. These are the kinds of hills, we are sure, that might have inspired many a Psalm. This particular region of this beautiful country has been our primary place of toil for seven of the past nine days of cycling. We are now following the historic Ho Chi Minh Trail, the mountain forest supply route on which US B-52s dropped more ordinance in the 1960s than all theaters combined in WWII. We'll grind our way up and sail down these hills for at least one more full day before heading east toward the Vietnam Sea (South China Sea) coast and Da Nang.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Conditions: 65 F at 7:00 am; 82 F at 1:30 pm; sunny, headwind (wind out of northeast)
Scanning at our blog, it might seem that we're just pedaling from place to place, day after day, riding the same road along the same terrain. But no two days are the same. Each day brings something we haven't seen before, some unexpected vista, some new experience, different dynamics, a twist. Even what is familiar--a mountainous terrain along Route 14 headed north and northeast through Vietnam--is experienced afresh every day.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Conditions: Sunny and windy; 70 F at 7:00 am; 83 F at 3:00 pm
All along the way each day, we are greeted by small children running to the front of their property and waving and yelling "hello!" School children do the same. Adults, too, are friendly toward us. We aren't sure if this is standard behavior for a colorfully-addressed cycling group passing by or if something else is going on. We have heard that Westerners are not seen in these parts very often. Perhaps we're a novelty. That's okay.
We are a truly international team. Six members are from USA, one is from Canada (Joe James), and our friends from Vietnam switch off riding segments of each day's route. We had not anticipated this dimension of our team, but our Vietnamese friends insist on sharing in the riding, rather than serving only as guides. These two young leaders are outstanding in character, strong in spirit, and knowledgeable. So, as we ride up through Vietnam, all who inquire realize that what they are seeing is not just some cyclists from USA, but an international cycling effort for the sake of a peace investment.