Expedition of the AmericasCenter For Global Adventure
I am writing to inform you of a major intercontinental cycling odyssey which is to embark early next December. The "Expedition of the Americas" is an ambitious proposal of the College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University's Center for Global Adventure. The 10,000 mile journey will traverse some of the hottest, most challenging and scenic terrain on earth. In December, a culturally diverse team of four will begin their journey at the Bay of Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina and pedal 1500 miles per month until they arrive at the Center for Global Adventure in Collegeville, Minnesota in late June. We want the cycling world to be aware of our endeavor and invite and request input and support.
The expedition of the Americas seeks to "cultivate the science of human relationships". It is a crusade on bicycle that is non-threatening to humans or the environment. Because of these factors, and the fact that bicyclists have direct contact with people and generate local interest and curiosity, this expedition can be a wonderful vehicle bringing countries and people together to remove barriers to inter-cultural communication.
The objective of this expedition is to explore interactions among people of different cultures and demonstrate interdependence among all people. These goals will be fulfilled in several ways. One, the expedition team will be demonstrating trust as they travel unassisted and without an on-going outside supply system. Granted the group will take advantage of modern technology to communicate, update, and educate they will rely upon their own devices and the hospitality of the local peoples. The team will be met with additional supplies one-half way through the voyage, and are official to be assisted by Rotary and Lions clubs along the way.
Secondly, an educational program will be developed for elementary and secondary students. The St. Cloud School district is actively working with the Center on developing curriculum to cover the social, political, geographical, and economic aspects of the countries we visit. Other districts have expressed interest as well, and the team members will be forming direct relationships with certain classrooms and will be aided by volunteers back in Minnesota. We are currently examining potential means of documentation which would reach the most youth with "hands-on" participation in the journey.
The expedition will promote international bicycling and its non-pollutant effect on the environment. The Lifestyles section of the St. Cloud Times has agreed to provide regular coverage of the expedition to its readers and efforts are being made to collaborate with other news-sources, including Minnesota Public Radio. Finally, the focus of this expedition is that each individual can make a difference in world peace and understanding.
The leader of this expedition is S.R. Nithy, a 27 year old Peace Studies graduate of St. John's University from Malaysia. Nithy is known around central Minnesota as an "ambassador on two wheels". Nithy is a veteran of seven national and international biking tours: including a 44-day trek across the United States called "Expedition U.S.A.", several trips across his homeland of Malaysia, one of which raised $17,000 for a school for mentally disabled, and an expedition across Southeast Asia including Singapore, Thailand , Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. In all these treks Nithy has traveled without extensive outside support systems and has never been harmed or threatened. He has served as a student members of St. John's Board of Regents and as a member of the Buettner brother's planning committee for their treks through Russia and Africa. This past summer he spent six weeks in Geneva as an observer at the United Nations Conference on Human Rights, and next week begins a 3 1/2 month internship program at the University of South Africa.
So the expedition is in experienced and capable hands, but it is nonetheless an ambitious endeavor which will require hard work, devotion, and commitment from many. I believe in Nithy and the ideals of such a trip and signed on with little hesitation. But my area of expertise is in promotion not cycling. We need a diverse group of contacts who might bring to the expedition something valuable and special. This is where your organization would be helpful.
We are still seeking three cyclists willing to devote appx. one year to this expedition and the ensuing educational component. Nithy hopes to put together a group diverse in gender, race, and background. Of course all riders should be committed to the ideals of the expedition and willing to put their all into the ride, but everyone will bring something different and unique. If any of your club members or associates might be interested in the expedition please have him/her contact us and we will be in touch. The final decision will be made in early June.
Of course an expedition of this sort will require a substantial budget. Tentatively, we are looking at a minimum of $106,000 to pull this off. Fundraising efforts have been underway for appx. one year now and are going great. We have received enthusiastic support from the student and academic community as well as other "friends". We have attractive two color tee shirts for $10, and are developing various Fundraising tactics. If your organization has ideas of how to raise funds please share them with us. Also, if your organization or individuals within are interested in aiding us please write us for more information. We would like you to get to know us and our expedition before we ask you for anything. Finally, all we ask you to do is spread the word, tell people about our expedition, and encourage them to contact us. We are confident the cycling world will support us enthusiastically.
Thank you so much for your time and attentiveness, I hope to hear from you soon.
Director of Development
"Expedition of the Americas"
Center For Global Adventure
c/o St. John's University
Collegeville, MN 56321. U.S.A.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our
exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for
the first time."