First Canadian Presentation and Back on the Bike

Day 9

  • 55km (32miles) bike ride from Maple Ridge to Vancouver (only a little drenched this time)
  • Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, ¼ banana and boiling water
  • Snacks: ¾ banana – pretty black but pretty cheap!
  • Lunch: left over pasta from night before after I cycled back into Van at 4pm
  • Dinner: roasted root vegies and rice noodles

Pretty carbed up for a few days so might need some protein soon but really my body just keeps on saying more carbs and plenty of energy to go round…?

Today was a special day as any day is when I get to give a Global Poverty Project presentation, especially a 1.4 Billion Reasons for Youth presentation at a school and my first in Canada eh! 

I was very fortunate to be invited to a school just outside Vancouver and presented to over 200 students at the Yennadon Elementary School from grades 4-7. I think they thought I was someone special and a little mysterious with my accent as they were listening very intently but the presentation delivered as always.

It is such a privilege to see faces light up at the sight of a picture, a movie, a fact or a story. There were some great questions that came up and they were all thinking hard when I posed the question – do you think sponsoring a child is a good thing?

Always great insights into student's perspectives and thoughts...

When it came to Live Below the Line they went for the automatic thoughts of ‘I’d just eat all the food in the cupboard’ or ‘I would eat the $1 menu at McDonalds’ – the first you are not allowed to do and the second is a bad choice. I think the thought alone is great as they have to put themselves in a real life context to see how they might manage such a thing and that can then only lead to the conclusion of what it must be like for someone living in extreme poverty to survive on this wage – for everything!

As always they are fired up to change the world, which does mostly get lost after lunch, but I know it is a seed and perspective planted that will be referred to again in the future. Thanks for the loud cheers as well Yennadon!

Also nice to be back on the bike and no worries for the knee with a shorter distance. Not such a great choice of roads with shipping container trucks rushing past in the pouring rain. Not a lot of room for thought and insights with trucks rammed up my arse!

Hoping for more presentations http://www.globalpovertyproject.com/pages/book_event and good crowds at the existing ones http://www.globalpovertyproject.com/events in Whistler, Squamish and Seattle.

Imagine you lived on $1.50/day and had twins…

Day 8

  • 5.5km walk to pick up bike, 36km ride to Coquitlam east of Vancouver in cold wet windy conditions and to a lovely warm shower at the end point!
  • Breakfast: steal cut oats, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, orange peel and boiling water
  • Lunch: 2 minute noodles to warm me up after my ride
  • Dinner: pasta spirals with bok-choi and a roasted ½ sweet potato in onion broth

I was so cold on the bike ride as being hungry the cold really gets in your bones and it is amazing how much food warms me up very soon after eating.

It’s very interesting to be looking at the developed world through Live Below the Line eyes. Yesterday I got back on the bike for a short trip of 36km out to eastern Vancouver to stay with my ex-girlfriend, her husband and beautiful 10 month old twin girls.

Alicia & Lexi

I had a lovely evening hanging out with the twins Lexi and Alycia and hearing about life when you have two bundles of joy craving your attention and responsibility. What has struck me in hindsight is the big contrast to the way we care for our children and in particular infants in comparison to those in developing countries. I’m sure this will sound slanted to the poor but I mean for it to sound as though there is no right or wrong just different.

Shannon has had a tough 10 months in raising two babies at the same time. It would be hard enough if you had to just raise your first born but then double it with twins. It sounds like has had some good support around the place from institutions, grandparents, friends and of course her husband but she said the greatest and most valued support came from Facebook where she was able to connect to a network of mothers with twins. Here she could have her questions answered and feel ‘normal’ as she was only experiencing what anyone else in her position would be.

Having been fortunate to live in developing countries and in particular my year in Ethiopia where I lived in a teachers compound with many young children, I got to see how children are raised when you don’t have all the technology and infrastructure. Things like baby carriers, toys, disposable nappies, etc. What I saw was that it is a village that raises a child. All the mothers live close together in small housing making space an issue but also a blessing. While one single roomed house is being cleaned the child goes to the neighbours house and then vice-versa. All cooking duties are shared. Play time is with other children of similar age and very independent.

Shared childcare Ethiopian style, kind of like community school
In western culture we tend to shut ourselves off from the world when we have children to look after them. For me it seems it is harder on the guardians and maybe less enriching for the children as they have their own set of everything and have to fight parenting battles on their own and in a less shared and supported way except for when someone visits or we have to go outside for support.
It is all an interesting concept but for me this is where I have the upmost amount of respect for the way of life in developing countries as it seems more humanistic, shared, community orientated and pure than an artificially sculpted concept of what we think it should be like when we have greater access to income and wealth. I idolise this more simple and shared way of life knowing that I have health care, education, clean water, food security and employment as I need which of course those in developing countries don’t always have.

I’m trying really hard to not make value judgments in this particular blog today, just to offer a display in the contrast to how it is done by those who Live Below the Line. I am not a parent, have no idea how tough it must be and am not anti-western culture. I have just been lucky, I feel, to have experienced a very different way of life that is at the front of my mind as I recreate that existence eating on less than $1.50 a day.

Parenting is tough no matter where you are and there is no right way so the biggest respect to all parents anywhere in the world – especially those with twins!

Pretty cute eh!

A little about the mental side of food

Day 7

  • 1 mile (1.6km or 64 laps of 25m pool) swim South Vancouver pool – lots of chlorine!
  • Breakfast: plain and wholemeal vegan pancakes (no eggs or milk) with stewed half pair, orange rind and ½ teaspoon of grated ginger – basically porridge but fried in a saucepan!
  • Lunch: 1 left over thick pancake
  • Snacks: half a small orange
  • Dinner: rice and beans with a small handful of bok-choi

People yesterday wrote how can I walk 30km on a boiled potato but really how can anyone do that everyday of their lives. I am not here to show how tough I am, I’m doing it to highlight how tough 1.4 billion people are who do it daily, without choosing…

Basically porridge cooked up on a frypan!

I have to say that it is not a good idea to do the Live Below the Line challenge for more than the five days as it is proposed. I’m becoming a little bit food and price obsessed (if I wasn’t already). It is something I can manage as I have had to before in the past living in developing countries but I am doing this challenge for a month as an advocacy tool not as a ‘diet’ or cost saving exercise.

I have found the thinner you get the smaller your stomach becomes and, for me at least, the less hungry I become. I don’t think this is a good thing and I believe there is always an energy debt that needs to be repaid. I know this from loosing a lot of weight when I was in Ethiopia running a marathon and being able to put on weight for a long time.

So how to manage your energy output and calorie input is important. I didn’t really understand it when in Ethiopia, as some people may remember with a photo of me looking like Changi prisoner of war (photo never to be shown to my mother again), but I learnt mainly through a lack of testosterone and libido that it is important to have some weight on your bones. So these days with a libido to keep in check I know there is a lot at stake and I won’t allow myself to live below the weight line!

So far the food is simple, energetic and enough but hard work for preparing, cooking and carrying – everything is so bloody heavy!

Temptations are tough, long wait times between meals, no convenience, no treats and a lack of diversity are the challenges but it is more of a mental challenge and I know what is only available to me and satisfied with that. The biggest killer for me now as it has been in the past when I come back from developing countries is food wastage. To see food be wasted is tough – I have to suck it up or you go a bit insane but please if you can try not to waste food, it is a slap in the face to the world’s poorest, the people who produce the food and the environment it came from.

Losing my head over food for LBL!

One of the most in intriguing outcomes of this challenge is how other people deal with what I have to eat and their level of guilt eating around me. They are not the stupid ones to take on the challenge and don’t feel like you need to feed me – feed the ones who need it (donations to the Global Poverty Project maybe…?).

Certainly not too food crazy at this stage although did have a couple of dreams that I was sneaking extra food and treats to beat the challenge and have woken up relieved that I am still going pure and strong.

I actually love the simplicity, discipline, humility and integrity of eating a diet like this and I hope this is something we can all take solace in and maybe strive for a simple meal once a week to take check and honour those who don’t get to choose simplicity and strive for a little bit of it in our own lives.

Rice, beans, bok-choy and swimming hair!

When I thin of the mental toughness and physical draw on food for this challenge I can only imagine what it must be like to have it for your entire life. Yes, it might be all people know living in extreme poverty but there is always someone around who has more and the desire for it – even just something as simple as food.

Bien provecho!

PS. Live Below the Line is not a mentally healthy thing to do long term so stick to the 5 days is my suggestion! Sign up to do it May 7-11 with the Global Poverty Project –  http://www.globalpovertyproject.com

Am I Crazy or Is the World?

Day 6

  • 33km walk from Victoria to Swartz Bay ferry, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
  • Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, half a pear and boiling water
  • Lunch: ¾ cold potato and BOILED EGG (wow… saved up for an egg – sooo good)
  • Dinner: rice with 15c of beef broth and small handful of diced kale

Not sure if I have ever walked 30km and only eaten a cold potato for the whole trip – but I have now! The boiled egg on the ferry was a taste and energy explosion however. Then my lovely host in Vancouver, Jozi, had cooked me dinner within my 70c budget!

My dinner from the night before (rice and onion broth) and the potato cooked and my sustenance for the entire walk today

‘Am I crazy or is the world?’ was the theme of my walk – a lovely 33km walk from downtown Victoria to the Vancouver ferry at Swartz Bay (no swimming today).

It is Sunday, a beautiful sunny spring day on Vancouver Island, British Colombia, Canada and perfect walking temperature. I needed to get from Victoria to the ferry departure point at Swartz Bay before about 5pm. Now to me I couldn’t think of anything better than walking that distance through urban landscape, forests, coast and everything in between. Some people will think doing that is crazy but for me I think it is crazy that our society might consider that that’s crazy.

A part of the walk today that was beautiful and filled with walkers, cyclists and horse-riders - if you build it they will come and this could be our priority & maybe less highways?

The walk is purposeful, enjoyable, observational, contemplative, healthy, interactive with nature and others out on the trail and has many other positive benefits – why would I want to miss all that trapped in a machine to save me time do less purposeful things (usually no matter how important I think they are).

This is where I appreciate Live Below the Line because it slows everything down (except maybe me). Walking, cooking, talking, travelling and more. It does not waste time – the time spent doing these things is meaningful. Saving time is a great concept if you only have time to gather food for survival as you can then start to choose things like education, recreation and more, but I feel our developed world has taken it to a point that is so un-human and meaningless. Saving time becomes more important than time itself.

One of the essences of this concept of time and Live Below the Line for me is voluntary simplicity, basically ‘less is more’ and enjoying it. I love the idea of expecting and having less and being happy with that. The concept goes much further than this as it also represents a great connection to family, community, nature and the rest of the world. It is not easy for most but I absolutely love it and therefore appreciate the extra insights and skills Live Below the Line gives me.

I try not to tell people what to do and live life for myself but I can almost absolutely guarantee most people and the developed world would be happier, healthier and more humble with more voluntary simplicity in our lives. This is not about glorifying poverty just an acknowledgement of it when we are not forced into it.

I believe in not making simplicity hard, unwanted or a chore – I enjoy it and feel better for it in so many ways. This is not saying we can’t have anything or we need to live in yurts (cool), just a little contemplation on time and simplicity might be a good thing in our self-controlled but busy and complicated lives…?

For me walking is one of those great tools and I came up with this little quote on my walk:

‘The best TV shows are socks and shoes on your feet

and the stories on your street. Go for a walk and enjoy the beat!’

My Keens shoes have been walking me around for many years and are, a replaceable, but treasured possession as I know the joy and learning they give me.

Another fine spot of many along the walk

Below are a couple of resources and very cool people and organisations to check out if you think you might be keen to know about this concept of voluntary simplicity… I also have ‘Simply Happy – a lifestyle model and education project’ in proposal stage if people are keen for me to send it to them.

Samuel Alexander and Voluntary Simplicity and Simplicity Collective – http://simplicitycollective.com/

  • I have followed Samuel for a few years now as he did his PhD in this field and always has great blogs and e-newsletter

Donnie Maclurcan and a big team from the Post Growth Institute – http://postgrowth.org/

Michael Franti from Spearhead – http://michaelfranti.com

  • has been a great role model of mine for many years through his music and lyrics. I don’t follow his website much but you will be ‘richer’ from listening to him!

Other like – Buy Nothing Day, The Story of Stuff, Adbusters, The Moneyless Man, Ted Trainer, Grist and heaps more propaganda out there!

And to top it all off you must watch this clip of Bangladeshi girls from the streets in a refuge centre and I think this will make your heart sing showing that the best things in life are not things. http://vimeo.com/m/40064516

Big hugs from a tired, simple but very fulfilled man in this evening…

This is my enjoying walking but not quite working out how to use the camera face! Got the LBL shirt and yellow arm socks cranking as well...

I got grumpy…

Day 5

  • 4.5 mile (7km) walk to get to car pick up in Olympia; 1 mile (1.6km) swim at William shore Memorial pool Pt Angeles, Washington State; and 8km walk from Victoria downtown to Joan and Mike’s house – my hosts.
  • Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, half a pear and boiling water
  • Snacks: single piece of bread before swimming and quarter potato before Victoria walk
  • Lunch: beans and left over chapatti, warmed by the staff on the ferry
  • Dinner: rice, quarter potato, quarter onion, a little salt, some onion soup mix as broth

Hunger kicked in mid morning as I had an early breakfast but a pretty good food day with a good 15 cents left over for an egg tomorrow!

Last night was a classic… I went out to dinner with my amazing hosts, Marie and Rich to a fancy restaurant with huge bay windows on the seaside with a lovely sunset outside. They had salad, soup and fish and me my lentils and chapatti cooked before going! The waitress and staff were very accepting of my BYO status and caused quite a conversation in the kitchen out back – another beauty of this campaign.

This am a beautiful Olympia morning as I got up at sunrise. A warming brisk walk to my pick up point 4.5 mIles (7km) away on a cold morning close to freezing.

It was a wonderful but disappointing lift up the east coast of the Olympic Peninsula with the girlfriend of my host a couple days before. Nothing to do with Jess, she’s lovely, but I could feel the beautiful scenery providing a nice sensory overload of nature: trees, sunshine, mountains, oceans and animals, that would have been perfect to take in by bike. But I am not one to dwell in what could or should have been as it is fiction. Instead I got into Port Angeles, the ferry point to get to Victoria, Canada, a few hours early and started to research for the local pool.

A few blocks away passing through a pleasant town I found the William Shore Memorial Pool.

Memorial pool or memorable pool? Probably more memorial.

I was in a bit of a foul mood as the sponsorship I had asked for from the ferry was turned down – this is not something I expect but because I was tired and hungry it felt like it was an extra boot in the shins. How do people who are hungry cope with so much that doesn’t go their way…? Another humbling experience in resilience and the power of the worlds poor.

Was feeling much better after my 70 laps/1 mile/1.6km swim where I had time to think, be active and stop feeling sorry for myself. However I don’t really know what I have got myself into as it was a much harder swim today than the endorphin soaked swim yesterday!

Pool trip did come complete with rubber ducky!

Now on the spectacular ferry ride from the north tip of the Olympic Peninsula, US to the south of Vancouver Island and city of Victoria, Canada.

I hope you can understand the amazement, respect and homage I have for those who live in extreme poverty who never really consider their feelings or mood – because they can’t, it is their existence, their normality and they are the toughest people I know and have learnt from in person and from doing this challenge.

Simplicity is something I aspire to but simply not enough is something no one should ever be faced with… 

It is only day 5 of this trip and I am learning a lot, so will you if you sign up to Live Below the Line – it’s a life changer. http://www.livebelowtheline.com

Swapping the bike for budgie smugglers (swimmers)

Day 4

  • 1.14 mile (1.83km) swim at YMCA pool Olympia, Washington State
  • Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, half a pear and boiling water
  • Snacks: none
  • Lunch: left over oats I couldn’t fit in my stomach from breakfast
  • Dinner: … not eaten but it is looking like it will be lentils and beans with chapatti bread!

Been a small food day after not doing as much exercise as the past few days but keeping the calories up as swimming can make you hungry.

 

So a new corner in the tour of the US and Canada while Living Below the Line…

On a beautiful sunny day I would prefer to be on the bike riding the 65 miles up the Olympic Peninsula to Quilcene but in the circumstances I also know that I would not make it, at least without cortisone injections, a team of physios and taking 20 years off the life of my right knee.

I feel good about my decision in light of a new dawn, still disappointed but keen to explore what I can make of it to educate and advocate on extreme poverty. The nice consistence is Live Below the Line and I am actually probably pretty clear on my budget a little and might fit in an egg soon!

Drum roll… what now?

I went for a swim today with my host Rich in Olympia and swimming is something I enjoy from time to time but not really dedicated to. As I was swimming it kind of came to me that I might be able to replace some bike riding with swimming…

The new uniform... Goggle and budgies are a go!

So from here on I will aim to swim a mile each day to:

  • Showcase the physical efforts of those who truly live below the line in extreme poverty (obviously usually working in the fields not swimming)
  • Have a physical component of the trip which I can’t do on bike so much
  • Interact with the community I am staying in by visiting the local pool
  • Want to get a temporary tattoo of Live Below the Line
  • I get clarity and insight when exerting myself as I would be on the bike
  • Has a novelty and fun factor to it
  • Learn about a place from it’s pool
  • See how those calories go and Living Below the Line as was my original challenge
  • Count it as my shower each day
  • I’m a crap swimmer and have no body fat so it is actually bloody hard work for me to swim that far each day
  • Gives the day some purpose, discovery and theme
  • Rehabilitate the knee (and hopefully not create a new strain!)
  • Be the person people can see as potentially being a little crazy but not as crazy as the situation where people live in extreme poverty everyday for their lives!

Today was 80 laps (more because I lost count a few times and think I did 16 laps in the 60’s) in a 25 yard pool which is 2000 yards or 1.14 miles or 1.83km. It means I nee to do 70 laps of a 25 yard pool each day (and find a pool each day!).

My dedicated, rim-eyed, goggles-press-on-the-bridge-of-my-large-broken-nose look!

I still hope to get on a few bikes from time to time but the 60 mile days are not good for my knee it seems incorporating a bit of triathlon with the usual advocacy and awareness will be fun and hopefully still have some impact.

It is not now a swimming trip but just to add a little component to it all as I aim to present and interact with as many people as possible – learn from them, share with them and inspire each other.

Budgie smugglers, goggles and chlorine eyes at the ready! Hope you continue to follow the journey and see where the pools take my mind and inspiration!

See if I can get some shoulders by the end of swimming a mile a day!

Anyone got a spare right leg I can borrow?

Day 3

  • Rochester to Olympia 30 miles (48km)
  • Breakfast: oats, some left over cracked barley from the night before, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds and boiling water
  • Snacks: cold boiled potato
  • Lunch: left over remaining beans, pozole, pasta sauce – which was starting to get a little tangy
  • Dinner: left over cooked root vegetables from night before, lentils and rice in onion soup broth and desert of big bowl of onion soup broth (drink basically)

Was lovely to have dinner with the family I was staying with who felt guilty eating normal food but were very involved in conversation around the concepts and lessons that can come from LBL.

I’m very sad and sorry to say sayonara to the bike. The tendonitis in my right knee is unbearable and stopping me from achieving my goals so I will let it rest as I reinvent myself, this trip and my purpose (for the trip, not completely).

It is a huge disappointment and really just pissed off that all I can think about is the sharp crippling pain in my right knee, instead of the wonderful experiences and insights I should be having from riding 1000 miles while Living Below the Line.

A pretty nice starting point this morning from Wobbly Cart Farm where I stayed last night but not enough to make the pain go away...

If I put myself in the shoes of the extreme poor then I have used their resilience to do two days beyond of what I should have (with some help from anti-inflammatories) and deal with the circumstances that face you, and face up to them. But now it is a bit beyond that as I know I could not cycle the 65miles (105kms) require tomorrow for me to complete the entire journey as organised and deliver presentations as promised. So as I think again as the people I have learnt so much from in developing countries, then what would they do in the same position? To me they would and must fight the situation with courage, creativity, resourcefulness and make the situation work for them or they would go hungry, sick or helpless.

In this light I will now have to recreate what I planned to do for this trip with the same outcomes but a different method. I don’t know what that is at the moment but I have tomorrow to come up with something, after getting over the disappointment of being bike-less and I will make it work for me.

Stayed tuned tomorrow for the mach-II version of the 1000 mile cycling Live Below the Line trip… (likely to have a new name as I won’t be cycling).

If you are interested to see the torment of my decision making of whether I was being soft or using too much common sense, see below… The tipping point however was staying with a doctor and bike mechanic this evening and them both diagnosing that I MUST toss the bike for benefit of me, and the world!

Excited to see what plan hatches tomorrow and throw lots of suggestions my way…

Joseph the friendly Wobbly Cart farmer who hosted me for the night's stay.

This is the email I sent to a few friends for their feedback and to soundboard what was swirling in my head

Cycle on or Recreate?

Hey Folks I know which decision I need to make but I would like your feedback – not to make me feel better but to possible face the hall of mirrors. I know in the current pain I am in I cannot go on but is there something I am missing… Have a look at my reasoning and let me know what you think…

I can not say how distraught, distracted and disillusioned I am to be considering to end my bicycle trip. The pain is getting beyond management and I am now relying upon the unknown quantity of ‘it’ll get better’ which I have been waiting for since I first jumped on the bike for training rides on Saturday.

Recreate the trip…?

  • Choose LBL or biking – LBL is more important and significant
  • I can continue to achieve my goals of advocacy and awareness just without the bike component
  • Get to recreate this trip and see where it will take me
  • I know inspiration and creation will come from a forced change of events just as someone living in extreme poverty would have to do – I don’t feel I am dishonoring those in extreme poverty by not working through the pain – they have to have some sort of cut off point and have to recreate themselves
  • I can more clearly focus on what it means to Live Below the Line and not be distracted by pain, logistics of drugs, ice and masking pain
  • Doing LBL and taking ibuprofen not good
  • I know that I am risking permanent damage and future use of my knee as I am only masking the pain not dealing with it
  • Medical insurance dramas and the US is the last place I need knee surgery on a volunteer salary!
  • I think I have tried as many ways as possible to deal with the knee – change of seat position, riding style, cadence, attitude, etc but can’t get over the pain
  • This more than just a sore achillies tendon, hamstrings, back, neck and hands from a normal cycle tour it is crippling, limiting and I have no choice for shorter distances or a few days rest with my presenting schedule
  • Checked a lot of bike forums and tendonitis sites and they all say the same – pain is not good and leads to permanent damaged and since this is certainly not the first time and it is in the same spot as always when I over do it – I should STOP.

OR…

Cycle on…?

  • I am letting down a big number of people who have already helped me, are supporting me and want to see me succeed
  • It feels a failure as I can not complete what I said I would do
  • I am not sure what the reception and perception of me ending the bike trip will bring – do people really care? As long as I keep Living Below the Line, blogging and presenting it shouldn’t make too much of a difference…?
  • With enough ibuprofen and ice I can probably make it work as any hard-core cyclist would and as I have done previously but I don’t have as many rest days and have longer distances than previous trips
  • Personally I am going to miss the freedom and natural and physical inspiration this trip would have brought
  • My message will diminish and the novelty but I will just have to get creative
  • This trip has been in my mind and planning for well over 4 months and I am struggling to let it go
  • Could I be pre-maturely pulling the pin – will it just sort itself out in a day or two!!!???

    That damn right knee!

Can’t be Arsed…

Day 2

  • Longview, Washington State to Rochester, Washington State – about 65 miles (104km)
  • Breakfast: oats, Mexican vanilla flavoured corn-flour, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, half a pear and boiling water
  • Snacks: cold cooked potato and small banana (wow)
  • Lunch: pozole, beans and pasta sauce and a few lentils left over from night before
  • Dinner: weak onion broth, some root veg, small portion of lentils and cracked barley

Could not believe the difference a cold cooked potato and small banana made… went from being cold, tired, hungry, wet and grumpy to singing in the rain!

Snack in the fire station which was dry and warm at Napavine looking out onto the rain, was tough to get back out into it, but lovely.

While I would like to be writing about an amazing 60+ miles of riding in the rain all day I can’t. I have no energy or mental capacity to put together something insightful or even observant.

Even now after a great dinner of cracked barley, onion broth and a couple of vegies, I’m spent.

Tomorrow is only a 35 mile day so hopefully I can pull a few words together as I have seen and thought of lots of cool perspectives and experiencing everything through the wonderful veil of Live Below the Line, including right now which is I can’t be arsed…!

Tomorrow could also be a deciding day as my knee is sick even with creams, ibuprofen and strapping and if it doesn’t hold up tomorrow on a short ride I will have to take a look at what I can do from here…

Beautiful day in the rain which was non-stop and went from dry rain (raining but not really getting wet) to pouring rain.

Wetter and colder than snack spot but only 15 miles to go from there and was eating, so happy.

I am now in a great place to spend the night with vege farmer Joseph (he didn’t give me free vegies, well he did, but I costed them into budget) in a small farm house surrounded in birds, frogs, rivers, trees and pure life!

Going to bed! I’m also putting together crappy short video each day of you want to see – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuYYeS3hBow (Day 1) and http://youtu.be/oQctVqU3jjA (Day 2)

It took ages just to edit this post which I couldn’t be arsed to write and certainly shouldn’t have been buggered to edit to give you the effect…

Have to Put the Pain Away

Day 1

  • Portland, Oregon to Longview, Washington State – about 50 miles
  • Breakfast: oats and boiling water
    Image

    My pozole snack - corn goodness...

  • Snacks: pozole – whole corn kernels
  • Lunch: pozole, beans and pasta sauce (half today, half tomorrow)
  • Dinner: lentils, little rice and potato

My food is simple but enough and has become a non-feature, eating to live.

A great day to be on the bike but marred by a knee that was screaming at me from early on to the day with tendonitis. However this blog is not about detailing crippled knees, a sore bum or being wet and cold (not today anyway).

Instead my day has me thinking about those who live in extreme poverty and when they are crippled by an injury, sickness or misfortune. The resilience and resourcefulness they have to draw upon is incredible. For me tonight is: rest, stretching and ibuprofen (not available to the world’s poorest obviously). Also I get to have a warm shower, hot meal and comfy bed to sleep. Plus I am choosing to ride a bike as part of some advocacy and awareness.

This is where I feel obligated, passionate and fulfilled to do whatever I can, to represent and advocate for those who don’t need to suffer, beyond their incredible levels of resourcefulness and resilience.

In an attempt to make this a practical lesson I feel it is about ourselves being more resilient and self sufficient, to face our challenges and utilize the community around us. I would like to acknowledge those who face these adversities daily and without choice and from this I hope we can use our fortunate positions to ensure everyone has access to education, basic health and to not worry about tomorrow’s meal.

I believe we can try and are in the position to achieve these things with enthusiasm and joy not from guilt or sadness.

Having said all this if I am in as much pain tomorrow as I was today I don’t think I will make it to Port Angeles (200 miles away) let alone Whistler despite resilience and resourcefulness… Hoping for fortune tomorrow or access to cures and medicine – which people n extreme poverty don’t have

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The bridge over the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington State - just before the rain!

Passion & Privilege to Present for the Global Poverty Project

Have to share this with you as it is a bit of boasting but personally I feel it is being a privileged puppet in front of an amazing presentation, representing a dream organisation for me…

It also shows why I am doing what I do, in particular for this bike trip. For me it is about utilising the skills I have and matching them with others to be the most passionate and effective team for the betterment of each other and the planet – pretty wanky stuff but when you receive feedback like below it is hard to not go on this philosophical tangent.

Below is some feedback from my first presentation in North America at a high school inPortland. I wasn’t sure if they understood a word I said in my slang-heavy thick Australian accent but seems the teacher thinks so.

‘From: “Judy”
To: “Monica” (teacher hosting the presentation)
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2012 13:50:29 -0700
Subject: thank you

I just wanted to take a chance to THANK YOU for including my class in d’Arcy’s presentation opportunity. It was awesome.  My class is a transition class that focuses on student choices after high school. I had prepped them before letting them know that d’Arcy is following his passion and combining it with things he enjoys…the perfect occupation. With this population it is so important for my to get the message across that it is not about the money.  Also, I have my kids signed up to complete internships so they can experience some career fields and it aligned perfectly with what he had to say about taking the time to volunteer. Anyway, please relay my appreciation for him sharing his experiences.  Judy

I can’t imagine being able to have this level of impact and insight without a creative, professional and supportive organisation like the Global Poverty Project.

To organise and host your own Global Poverty Project presentation please go to the website – http://www.globalpovertyproject.com. It would be great to be standing in front of an audience of yours to inform and inspire your community/school/workplace to see an end to extreme poverty within a generation!

d’Arcy.

d’Arcy Lunn

Global Poverty Project Advisor, Advocate and Ambassador

Skype: Lunny06

E: darcy@globalpovertyproject.com

Cycling, Presenting and Living Below the Line in the USand Canadathis April & May – http://lunnyLBTL.wordpress.comhttp://www.globalpovertyproject.com and http://www.livebelowtheline.com