I'm getting excited about the bike ride coming up - my bike's being tuned up, I've been putting in some good pedaling miles, and have my route confirmed. For 6 of the 8 nights of the bike trip I'll be staying at random peoples' homes, facilitated by the cycling hospitality site www.warmshowers.com. It has been so fun to be in touch with these people who are willing to host bikers passing through and who are excited to share their passion for biking, adventure, and hospitality. Many people in this "outdoorsy" crowd are also concerned about the environment and so it's been encouraging to hear all the support not only for the bike ride but the work in Haiti. One person even researched me on google and found this blog and made a donation!
Elisabeth and I have been back in the states for a little under two weeks now from our trip to Nepal, India, Thailand, and Cambodia. We completed a stressful apartment-hunting trip to New York City by bus. Manhattan is a crazy place where money is king even more so than I expected! (Elisabeth is about to start her Ph.D. program in physics at NYU in Manhattan.) The brokers were more pushy and "in your face" than the touts in India!
I've also heard from the folks at SOIL about what to expect in my first week, my accommodation, and so forth. Flexibility has been key since they are so busy and it was useful to be fine with not knowing any details until the last minute. I'll post more on this and some related observations from my earlier travels in a subsequent post.