Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hot, sunny, hilly bike ride

Around May 14 I biked from Kathmandu to near Kodari by the Tibetan border to revisit The Last Resort, a place where you can bungee jump, canyon swing, and do other awesome adventure activities. Elisabeth and I had gone there a few days before and I wanted to go back for another canyon swing (so fun) and a FREE fourth jump on the canyon swing (on each progressive jump you can do crazier things). We took a bus there the first time and mostly slept so I forgot how hilly it was. (One friend says, duh - the Himalayas are hilly, what do you expect! - but it's not really the Himalayas around Kathmandu!! Yet she has a point that I probably should have realized that in general Nepal is so hily!!!) Anyway, it was a 110 km ride, I left at 6 AM and did not think ahead about the extreme heat, sunnyness, and super hillyness. So needless to say it was quite a challenge.

I got a flat tire about 1.5 km outside of a town called Banepa (near Dulikhel) - look up "kathmandu valley map" if you are intersted. That put me about an hour behind while finding and getting it repaired at a local shop. 15 Nepalese Rupees for the tire patch and their labor. That's about 20 cents, and I tried to give a little more but they refused! Most of the time as a foreigner, people try to rip you off, charging anywhere from 3-10 times (yes, 10 times!!!) normal prices!!

I needed to arrive at about 2 PM to be able to do a jump. At 3:30 PM I still had 5-10 km to go and it was all uphill. I arrived at the bottom of the roaring river and it was obvious to me that to be jumping off bridges above that river I still had a ways to go! Since I was so late, I rested for awhile as a puzzled local kid came and sat next to me, probably curious why I was so beat. We shared some snacks and I rode about 20 minutes to the nearest town and hopped on a 4-hour bus back to Kathmandu. Yikes!

But this is good fun and good prep for the ride to FL for SOIL/Haiti! I guess that's the only reason I'm posting it on this site!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Welcome to my blog! I am not in Haiti yet but will be in August. Here is the intro to what this is about...

Please join with me in a new adventure! I will be spending the month of August in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with a great non-profit group called Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL). SOIL works to provide public composting toilets and other sustainable development to tackle Haiti's pressing issues of soil fertility and sanitation. Many Haitians do not have access to toilet facilities, and sanitation-related disease symptoms such as diarrhea area major cause of death and suffering. This has only be exacerbated with the recent earthquake. We often take our bodily waste for granted, but dealt with properly through composting it can be a safe and productive economic resource. Composting of human wastes transforms it into a rich agricultural fertilizer that can restore soil and dramatically increase crop yeilds for subsistence farmers. SOIL is unique because it is based in Haiti, employs most of its staff locally, and workds to build indigenous sustainable development capability.

I will be flying to Haiti from Florida, but will first be riding my bicycle from Greensboro, NC to Florida - about 700 miles over 7 days - to raise money for SOIL through the non-profit cycling team I belong to, Adventures for the Cure (AFC). All of the money collected through the AFC website will be sent to SOIL, and it is all tax deductable since both are 501-(c)3 non-profit groups. Donating through the AFC webpage or sending a check to AFC will allow everyone to track the progress of the fundraiser online. I hope to raise $5000 for SOIL.

To donate and read more information, please go to the following website:


Please contribute if you are able - I know these are tough economic times. Your money will go toward meaningful and important long-term development in Haiti that will both reduce disease and increase food production.