Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oh I want this to happen!!!!

A few weeks ago I heard a man named Dan Austin on my Rick Steves Podcast. He was talking about a book he wrote about pilgrimages in travel and how to make any trip more meaningful by making it a pilgrimage, which doesn't need to be about religion. He also talked a little bit about his organization called 88 bikes. 88bikes is a micro-philanthropy project that gives bikes to kids in developing countries who are challenged to be their own heroes. Well, I thought to myself, I am in a developing country!

So I got Mr. Austin's email off the website and told him a little about my situation. He emailed me back the NEXT DAY! So a few emails later and they would like to roll on the project. They are interested in doing a large endowment, possible 500+ bikes! There are still many logistics to work out and a lot of work ahead, but I think we can make this happen!

I am really REALLY excited about this. Alot of the work I do here is great, but pretty vague in the final impact aspect. I feel this is something measurable and sustainable and really needed that I could help achieve for the kids here.

The organization is really great. They don't keep an office or a staff, so all the money goes to projects. It is only $88 to sponsor a bike. The kid that receives your bike will get a postcard that shows the Sponsor, a world map, and the Sponsor’s hometown. Photos and film of the project are made available to the Sponsors, and each Sponsor receives a thank-you letter with a photo of the child who received their bike.

I will keep this updated as the project progresses. They want to get this going this summer! Also, they want to set up the bike shop in a ger!!!

love, C

PS. His email is coulditbepossible. I love it!


kate said...

That is super-cool Caitlin! As soon as I recover from paying taxes and buying a $2,000 plane ticket I'll get on board! I love my bicycle, and have always been a biker. For twelve years I didn't have a car, and biked everywhere, in Boston and in Mpls. It is close to flying. I'll check out the website.
We will have a few days of snow, mostly in the mountains, and then spring will march on. It looks like no snow for Easter, which is unusual. If I get one more (okay maybe two more) days of skiing, I will be truly ready for spring and summer.
I love you and think of you daily!

Camber Carpenter said...

Dear Caitlin,

You have never reminded me more of the babe than right now!!
You = Legend!


fladroma said...

Hello my fellow Peace Corp Volunteer. I hope this message finds you well. My name is Farfum Ladroma and I am an education volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. I am writing to you all today because I need your help! My students and I at GPS MATAMAKA (an outer-island Government Primary School in Vava’u) are pursuing a “POSTCARD PROJECT.” I am asking for other PCVs outside of Tonga to please send us a postcard from your host country. We are trying to collect as many postcards from around the world, especially in countries where Peace Corps is currently operating. This project will help enhance my student’s understanding of other cultures and share what Peace Corps volunteers do all across the globe. I will keep a running list of all the postcards received with their origin on my blog at: http://farfumandtonga.blogspot.com/. You may check if your postcard successfully makes it to Tonga. This will be a great cultural exchange for everyone involved and a lot of fun. Please help out if you can and tell everyone you know (even your friends and families back home)! I would greatly appreciate your participation. Thank you very much and malo ‘aupito mei Tonga.
Please send postcards to:
c/o Peace Corps
P.O. Box 136
Neiafu, VAVA’U

-Farfum (aka Feleti)

Stephen said...

Good on ya! An inspiration for sure. Are you a community development volunteer? If so, can you write me at cduchock@yahoo.com? I'm a community development PC volunteer in Ukraine. Cheers.

Kara Estep said...

Hey this is awesome Caitlin! I just read about it on Travis's blog too. Any more updates? Also, do they send bike helmets with the bikes? (you know me and my recent helmet obsession) Good luck with this! I hope it works out! I'm jealous! Oh sidenote, last week I was talking to a kid and the answers to what did you do yesterday, what will you do today, what will you do tomorrow, and what are your hobbies were "ride my bike". :)