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TRIP 2012

Update #01 - January 16th
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
00.00 miles (00.00 KM)



I have been here in Baton Rouge for nine and a half days. I know that this is just a transitional place until I get back on the road for what will be my 32nd mission trip but I'm so grateful to be in a better environment. The feeling of oppression that I had to deal with for about three and a quarter months is pretty well gone. The tension in my body has pretty well lessoned up and I'm able to sleep longer each night.

It wasn't that I was volunteering for a bad agency it was just that I was staying in a bad environment. I never before had to stay in an economically depressed area as the Allendale Neighborhood was in Shreveport, Louisiana. I never really felt comfortable and the knowledge that I was one of the six caucasions who stayed in the neighborhood overnight didn't help much. I'm pretty adaptable but I've never had to live behind a high wire link fence that was topped with several strands of barbed wire. The Catholic grounds compound was pretty well locked up for most of the time with three gates for traffic. Two of the gates were open only for church business. The one gate that was left open was the one next to the rectory so that the priest could come and go.

There were times when my mind brought back up the prisoner of war barracks from the old tv show "Hogan's Heroes". There were other times late at night when the lights were turned off and I had awoken from a strange dream, my mind thought about what it would have been in actual barracks of the Nazi death camps that some distant relatives might have stayed in and died in. Towards the end of my stay, I was counting down the days when my volunteer time would be up and I would be moving on.

My living arrangements is so much better and I'm very grateful for my host to give me this opportunity to rest, recover, and plan for the next adventure. The bedroom that I'm staying in is probably the biggest room that I've slept by myself except for some of the large hotel rooms that were donated for my use. When I look out the window next to the desk I'm sitting at tapping this update out on my mini-notebook pc, I don't see barbed wire and trashed out streets. I see a very nice kept yard with bushes and trees and the view of the exterior of a nice brick house next door. The neighborhood is a nice one with an elementary school across the street a few houses down.

Alice has been in a bike shop for a week now. I was hoping that the repairs wouldn't have taken so long but there is a snag. The shop owner tried to get some replacement seat struts from the company that made the recumbent but since the recumbent hasn't been manufactured since 2005 none of the original ones are available. The ones for the current series of recumbents are too short. There are simularities between mine and the ones being built by Rans in Kansas. The shop owner is going to see if these are the right size or he will find some tubing here in Baton Rouge and make some. I'm hoping to have Alice back by the end of the week.

I've been spending a lot of redesigning the website of my host. He has had a site on the web since 2005 through which he has been selling the Christian children's books that he wrote. It is kind of hard redesigning the website since it is taking a long time deconstructing the HTML. The HTML was written with Microsoft Frontpage and I've never used it before. The site isn't that big and I hope to have the job done in a couple of days.

I am making plans for my upcoming trip. I will be traveling to the West Coast and back. This year's trip West will be different since I will not be riding clear across the country to the Pacific Ocean. At El Centro, California, I'll be heading northward to Bakersfield and then up to Sacremento before heading north to Portland, Oregon and possibly Spokane, Washington. The trip will also take me back to the East Coast but I don't really have an idea where I will be ending the trip. My trip should be starting some time around Monday, February 13th.

I'll try and add a new update every two weeks along the way so the next one will be around January 30th.




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