Monday, 27 October 2014

But I, being poor, have only my dreams...
I have spread my dreams under your feet...
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

It is 2:00 am; police sirens fill the air outside my hotel room and I peek through the corner of the window to see what's happening...  dozens of Hummer trucks with officers armed to the teeth with heavy machine guns speed down the main road to an unknown place from where I can hear shootings and loud noises.  I cannot sleep, I tossed and turned both in my bed and in my mind for the past few days, battling with a very heavy decision.  The situation in Mexico (drug wars, kidnappings, tortures, decapitations, corruption, etc) does not help at all!

News from Canada reached me a day before I arrived in Las Vegas; my mother is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the family is requested to be by her side before a very sensitive and difficult operation she is scheduled for in few weeks.

I decided to keep riding South and maybe fly to Canada later, closer to the operation.  By the time I was half way through Central America, things were not very positive on the home front and I decided to ride back to Canada instead of leaving my bike in a very volatile place like Southern Mexico or Guatemala.

Since I was a young boy, I hated turning back from anywhere... It might be a deeply psychological problem that I always had, but turning back makes me very unhappy.  Turning back from my Round The World expedition, after 60.000 km done and with only 10.000 remaining was even harder than I expected.
However, there was never a doubt in my mind that this was the right decision to make.  Therefore, with a very heavy heart, I climbed on my bike at 6:00 the next morning and headed north, northeast, for my 5.500 km ride back to Montreal, Canada.  
I rode the whole distance in 5 days, only stopping for gas and sleep at night, with the last 3 days riding through cold rain and sleet with the beginning of the winter in Northern US and Canada.

For 13 hours a day, I had plenty of time to meditate on this situation with my mother, with my family as a whole and my journey so far across this vast world of ours... Flashing images of places kept running through my mind, amazing smells of spices and flowers from the fields of the countries I've been through and sounds of all kinds, filled my head with memories and my eyes with tears.

The shock of my mother's cancer hit all of us (5 brothers and sisters, with spouses and children, about 20 people in all) very hard.  We had to come together to figure out how to deal with this news and I was happy to return to be part of this.  Therefore, this is where it all stops for me and for my journey across this world, at least for now.  Carmen and I did everything in our power to ride this bike around the world and tell everyone about our orphans in Zambia, our project there for them and to raise awareness and funding for this.  Hundreds of thousands of people found out about it, read my articles that were published from Australia to US, Canada, Europe and Japan and from our blog.  

We will continue to support our children in Africa and to offer them a chance to go to school and to have a decent meal.  We thank all those that helped us along the way, provided guidance, assistance and friendship, we will never forget you.

I dreamed the dream of the world, of her mountains and deserts and trees, of her songs and stories, of her tears and smiles, of her perfume and splendor and I lived this dream for 1 full year.

If suffering brings wisdom,
I would wish to be less wise.

When you are old and gray and full of sleep, 
and nodding by the fire, 
take down this book and slowly read,
 and dream of the soft look 
your eyes had once, 
and of their shadows deep.