Monday, December 22, 2008


I am a dirty hippie on a bus full of dirty hippies. I have been asked to compile a list of those to whom I am grateful – call it hippy homework. Here ya go:

  • First thanks to Ryan, Summer, and Amanda – you are the mothers of this idea – without you, there would be no TEMA.
  • Thanks to all of our cash and equipment sponsors – you provided the substance with which dreams were turned tangible.
  • Thanks to Patricia. You are truly the deepest well from which the magic of this trip is drawn.
  • Thanks to everyone on TEMA – the world we’ve created on Patricia is utopian.
  • Thanks to my family for continually supporting hair-brained scheme after hair-brained scheme (and occasionally pushing me to actually take the plunge and just get on the fucking school bus).
  • Thanks to Aaron Mandel for holding my hand during those final angst-filled moments. And for letting me borrow your sleeping bag (which is sadly no longer as clean as it once was).
  • Thanks to my cycling team for blessing my presence on this journey, and for always believing in me (even when I don’t believe in myself). Thanks for trusting me – I won’t let you down.
  • Thanks to the person who donated money through my blog – I’m going to buy us some sweet matching wool arm warmers in Guatemala.
  • Thanks to all those guys (and their families) who stopped to pick us up while hitchhiking – we would never have made it to San Pedro de Pacifica so fast or so cheaply if we’d relied on public transportation.
  • Thanks to the sun – if this were high school, you’d receive honors for perfect attendance.
  • Thanks to the local flora and fauna, the farmers and the ranchers, the sun and the soil for so consistently providing us with such a marvelous bounty with which to nourish ourselves.
  • Thanks to Venicio, Hannah and Treasure for preparing such creative, healthful, and delicious meals.
  • Thanks to all those children at the village we visited last – your curiosity, your joy, and your light filled me with the same. Your response to our performance was by far the best we’ve had so far – I’m sorry I didn’t do the blue dinosaur for you (you would have loved it).
  • Thanks to that nest of ants I disturbed while clearing brush for that trail in the mangrove forest – you were fucking huge and had very intimidating mandibles – you could have bitten the fuck out of me, but chose not to.
  • Thanks those evil fucks, the mosquitoes; you make me appreciate it when you’re not there so much more.


  • Thanks to everyone who calls out their farts when we’re driving. It’s so windy in there, it never lingers long – everyone gets just a quick taste and then it’s gone; why not own it?
  • Thanks to those who refrain from turning our giant communal bed into a giant communal Dutch oven.
  • Thanks to (almost) everyone for staying sober enough to NOT pee in our giant communal bed. I know we all had lots (and lots) of mescal last night, and some of us were out of our minds in a (fairly hilarious) mescali stupor, but still, (almost) all of you kept the pee where it belongs: inside your bladders, or outside the bus. To those of us who failed in this regard, thanks in advance for washing the bed, all our sleeping bags, and MY FUCKING TOWEL which you used to mop up the urine.
  • Seaking of urine, thanks to all the girls on the trip. You constantly impress me with your quiver of outdoor, public, and pee funnel urination techniques (yes we have a pee funnel on the bus). I thought as a cyclist I’d seen it all. I was so very very wrong.
  • Thanks to (almost) everyone for wearing underarm deodorant and bathing when the opportunity presents itself, especially those of you who wash your feet. Without you, the bus would (always) smell like we’ve got dirty hippies onboard (instead of just most of the time).

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