It’s day 69 of the oil spill and day 6 of me sans computer. No solution has worked for either the spill or my computer, not that they are anywhere close to being on equal levels of importance. By the way, I have put this Donate option up on the right side of the screen here last week to add donations to what we raised at the DC Get-Together and not a single person has donated to help those out of work in the Gulf. I am surprised given that so many people offer to directly help me or help the recipients whose stories are here. Please help, I want to send the money down there asap. Imagine if half of the readers of the blog would give $10…that would be amazing!
As for my computer issues…I mentioned a guy who volunteered his time to help me, however, he went MIA on Saturday and he has not answered my emails or voice mails. I hope he is OK. My brother Ryan was nice enough to help me run hours of tests and try different solutions, but still no luck. So no pictures or video for a while. Sorry. For now I am using an old Acer computer that my sister-in-law let me borrow. It is a very basic machine that can’t handle large files and doesn’t have Windows or Microsoft Office, etc. It runs on Linux. On a positive note, it is good to get some experience using a different operating system. I bought a new hard drive today thinking that that was the problem. I installed it and still no change, so I am back to square one. Anyway…back to meeting the amazing people from my journey!
Day 183 was the Worldwide Day of Giving. I did some media interviews that day. In the morning I was on News Channel 8’s Let’s Talk Live and then in the afternoon I was on CNN with Ali Velshi. Both went well. My dad went with me to CNN’s studios. I think he enjoyed that. On our way home he gave away his $10 for the day to a nice guy named Tony. His story is on Facebook here.
Later I went to the DC Get-Together for the Worldwide Day of Giving. A lot of people were able to come and we had a great time. Several TV stations came to cover the event. A nice surprise was seeing Jay Korff and Mark Bautista from ABC and Kate Michael from KstreetKate.net. They have shared my story with their viewers over the last couple months. Some past recipients who attended were: Anthony, Tommy, Sammy, Danny, Molly, Ashley, Mark to name a few.
So, as the celebration began to wind down, I headed over to the bar area and found Mark chatting with a friend at the bar. About the same time I realized that with all the excitement of the day, I had not given away my $10 yet! I didn’t recognize the guy Mark was talking to so I thought, let’s see if he is willing to accept my $10!
It turns out that Alan is actually staying on Mark’s couch this week. They met through www.couchsurfing.org, a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit. Originally from Reading, England, Alan came over here for his brother’s wedding in Denver and plans to stay for a bit and open a subsidiary office for the geothermal energy company he works for back in England. Then he plans to go to Ushuaia, Argentina and bike 11,000 miles to the US. If such a journey sounds familiar, you might recall that an earlier recipient was planning to make almost the exact trip only in reverse from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. Here is the wild part of this story. That previous recipient was Mark! That’s right, without knowing it, Alan ended up staying on Mark’s couch, neither of them previously knowing that the other one was planning to make a very similar journey. Not only do they share this same dream, Alan has already made a similar trip that is absolutely incredible. He bicycled 13,000 miles from London, England to Cape Town, South Africa. It took him only 348 days to complete the journey. That is a hell of a trip! Check out the details here.
I place a beat-up $10 bill in Alan’s hand and he readily tells me what he will use it for. “I need a new chain for my bike and ten bucks will buy a decent chain.”
We spoke very casually for some time. I enjoyed learning more about Alan and his cycling. He was also interested in my project and I learned that he is no stranger to giving and charitable ventures. During his London-Capetown trip he raised 10,000 British pounds for an organization called Child Reach International. He also says that biking has served as a catalyst for giving as well. “Cycling people are really friendly and people are always giving. You get so much from others while you are cycling that you save up and then help someone else out in the future.”
Alan told me about a website that I had never heard of too: www.warmshowers.org. “It’s a website that shows you where you can get free warm showers.” He takes a sip of his beer and fires laughs as he says, “That’s rather important when you are cycling for months!”
The English are known for their beer so I thought I would ask him if he had a favorite English beer. He didn’t show any strong favoritism to any one in particular but offered up Newcastle Brown.
Other tidbits about Alan that I found interesting are that he has met the Queen of England, thinks Philadelphia is the best city in the US that he has visited and thinks that newly elected Prime Minister, David Cameron, looks like the twin of the new Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
I took some video of Alan which I hope to post when I get my computer problems resolved. We said goodbye and parted ways. He was leaving in two days to go to New York. I just found out on his blog that he has had to return to England to get the proper visa to stay here and work to help set up the subsidiary office for his employer.
Note: Here is a blog entry that Alan posted which includes our encounter where he received the $10.
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