Sep, 29th – Oct, 1st Oregon, The Beaver State
This flu took a lot out of me as big city traffic, rain and popping pills don’t really mix. There were many people who sent me get well emails including Debbi Matte, my battery sponsor (Batteries Plus) who looked after me like a mother hen and sent me jokes to cheer me up. Thank you guys.
I made Portland a little after 4 and started looking for a rack to replace the broken one. The only place I knew that carried the same rack was Wal-Mart but since Portland is anti Wal-Mart, I had one hell of a time locating one and when I did, they were out. After riding for another hour I found another Wal-Mart on the other side of the town and luckily they had one left. I called wade and got directions to his house and was home free.
Wade read my posts on ADVrider.com and offered me his garage and a sleeping quarter which I desperately needed. After couple glasses of wine, we got to work and replaced the old rack with the new one and mounted the solar panel that Debbi gave me on the right aluminum pannier.
I stayed with wade for two nights and reorganized my gear and shifted the weight backward a little.
While I was in Seattle, I stopped at the Touratech USA and Tom the owner was kind enough to supply me with a great Ortlieb dry bag which made my life easier. No more garbage bag over my backpack for water proofing!
Another member name Todd from GSresources offered his garage while I was in Prince George, so I called him and met up with him in Beaverton. He took me out to lunch to a Hawaiian joint and I stuffed myself with kalua pig. Man that was good. He performed some surgery on the front forks to straighten the bend I had in it along with drilling another hole in my broken windshield and I was on my way. Todd is a canny navigator and every time he gave me a direction, it was right on. Thanks to his gift, I found my way out of the wine country and toward the coast quickly but wetly.
The Oregon coast is a phenomenal place, 800 miles of sand and giant rocks coming out of the ocean, with little towns scattered all along the way. Speed limit is 55 at the most and I don’t like it but the scenery makes up the difference.
After Beaverton, I stayed with my couch surfing host, Corrina in Otis for two nights. She was the only person in the area on the site and I was lucky to be her guest. A non-profit environmentalist, she lives in a cute house nested into the woods of country side with 13 chickens and a cool cat. She made a killer dinner of fish and pasta with fresh vegetables and I devoured the whole skillet.
The next evening I worked with the Lincoln City Food Pantry and got to get more familiar with the Food Bank system in Oregon. My observations are mixed as it was very much like the other food banks I’ve visited and volunteered; it lacked the educational infrastructure.
With shelves full of food, it is sad to witness people coming in and stacking up on unhealthy garbage and passing up on the fresh produce they had to offer. There was only one lady who picked up an apple in 3 hours that I was there and I had to take a picture of it.
Feeding without providing education is wasting resources. As simple as that. Food education is something we are lacking and there has not been a serious attempt to make it a reality. Let’s try cooking sessions in churches one Sunday out of the month. I’m sure God would be fine with that.
In the year 2009, the obesity rate finally caught up to the hunger figures. According to United Nations, there are 1.1 billion people worldwide who are suffering from hunger and the exact number hold true for obesity. Of course there is no relation whatsoever between these two phenomenon and you would be a communist if you ever made one.
In our own country, we have an obesity rate of over 30%! That means that out of every 3 people, one weighs as much as the other two, and what do we do? We switch to Diet-Coke instead of the regular Coke! They are the two ends of the same spectrum; poverty. Have you ever wondered why George clooney doesn’t weigh 400lbs but the guy in the trailer park down the road does? Education and healthy diet is the answer. Education and healthy diet is the answer. When you are on food stamps, you don’t pick the healthiest food, you pick the most filling one.
Sometimes I think that human race is not as evolved as other species. We care more about our lawns and Halloween costumes than we care about our neighbors.
I read an article on Vampire Bats not long ago that made me shiver. Vampire Bats, which primarily feed on blood of mammals and birds, must obtain a blood meal at least every 3 days or face starvation. On a given night, there are individuals that do not successfully feed. Fortunately for them, those who do get their share of blood, regurgitate their meal for the unsuccessful ones. This trait has persisted through evolutionary time, and they have developed a level of recognition which they will refuse to regurgitate blood for those who have not participated in food sharing in the past.
With our IPods and million mega pixel cameras, with our triple over-head cam engines and Mars Rovers, we still don’t possess a decency of sharing our meals with those who need it desperately. It doesn’t cost us much, maybe if we didn’t buy another $18 stupid gadget that ends up in a box in our 19 door garage, maybe if we cooked a meal once in a while instead of stuffing our guts with shit shiny Chinese food from a buffet, or buying a 50 gallon drum of mustard from Costco, we could scramble up 20 bucks to feed a family of 4. To get them educated so they don’t have to eat fat and sugar when they do get to choose their food. Maybe I’m a visionary or maybe I’m just talking to my god damn self or maybe both. Perhaps that’s the problem.
This month is a month of giving. Spare that ugly orange walnut turkey that you put on the kitchen table to bring the “Holiday Feel” to your home, instead bring joy and life to a family by giving them their very basic need: Food. Scroll down and take a good look at what a “Mechanically Separated Turkey” (This was on the label, I didn’t make this up) looks like in a Food Share freezer, then compare it to what your Butterball will look like on Thanksgiving Day.
For the month of October, I’ve chosen a well deserved and a unique organization called “The Centro de Recuperacion Nutricional Infantil Bethania” in Jocotán, Guatemala. It is a private medical center that treats about 400 malnourished children each year. They are desperately underfunded and your donations are matter of life and death.
Children that are being treated in this facility are extremely malnourished. Antonio they boy pictured in my donation page on the website had a weight of a 6 moths old baby although he was 3 years old at the time the picture was taken. Every recovery costs $900 per child, in a nation that 75% of the population live on less than $2 a day.
Please make a donation of any amount (think of it as a second turkey for thanksgiving dinner) and I will pitch in $2000 out of my travel funds, although it will cripple the expedition. Donations can be sent by checks, cash, kiss, hugs and credit cards. Please visit the Donation Page
for more information.
Let’s not be human for a while, let’s be vampires…(if you make a bumper sticker out of that, I want royalty