From 2007-2008 four St. John's University and The College of St. Benedict (CSBSJU) alumni and I created www.FueledByRice.org and bicycled from Beijing to Paris over 14 months, totalling over 10,000 miles, 16,000km. Taking advantage of the rare time between school and work, my great friend, Andrew Spidahl (who also just graduated), his wife Kallie, and I have now embarked on a 2nd Fueled By Rice bicycle expedition with four other non-CSBSJU friends along a similar but backwards route from Worms, Germany to Bangkok, Thailand (again flying over Iran and Pakistan due to the high cost of government tour guides for Americans in Iran - though we continue to hear from Europeans who are able to bike Iran without the tour guide that it is the most hospitable country in Eurasia). We are using the same website and name with separate places for the first and second trip. Our goals remain the same as before: 1) to learn more about our world face to face with people 2) to promote international understanding and peace 3) to promote simple, low-carbon lifestyles without gasoline cars; or more simply Peace, Environment, & Simplicity. I have additional MDP-like personal goals such as meeting (networking) and documenting social entrepreneurs working in international development along the way. We are again a bicycle band and have brought musical instruments - a guitar, ukulele, mandolin, Chinese er hu, and a bongo drum. We will again live on $5/day/person by camping and welcoming the hospitality of strangers that so amazingly carried us through our last journey, renewed my hope in humanity while challenging me by confronting social and economic injustice, and inspired me to do this kind of trip again. I was blessed with the FLAS Fellowship last school year to continue my study of advanced Mandarin during the MDP program, and squeezed out enough savings from the living stipend through low rent ($280/mo - yes it exists 2-3 miles off campus with roomates in old house duplexes, such as Powderhorn!), no car expenses (biked everywhere), and simple living to cover most of my trip. The rest will be covered by our street performing in Europe.
I and my team of 6 would greatly appreciate your spiritual and moral support during our 6 month journey. I have seen the power of prayer and positive energy work time and again.
Please pray for:
-Our physical safety from all vehicles, injuries, and illnesses
-That we may meet wonderful people along our journey who wish to help us
-That all people who would cause us harm be kept far away from us
-That we have bountiful mutually inspiring encounters with people from all walks of life
Thank you for your continued support and interest! I wish you the very best in your own journey this fall. May you be filled with love, joy, inspiration and courage to pursue your most important dreams and goals now.