I wrote a long report on everything I’ve seen and decided it was way too long. So I’ve taken a stance at communicating one aspect of the walk: the heroes/saints I encounter daily.
1) Israel, camper driver
Only until you drive one of the vehicles for the walk can you truly appreciate what it takes to drive at 3 mph. Israel has driven the camper for nearly the entire walk (with the exception of Venezuela).
Go home tonight and try to drive this slow. It is nearly impossible ó at least for me.
Tomorrow I hope to ride with Israel to see how he manages to let the camper creep forward without killing the engine and without using the clutch and brake constantly.
This is a tense job. If you get too far ahead (I consider about 100 yards too far ahead of the walkers), you stop and wait for them, but you are watching in the side-view mirrors (you canít see directly behind this thing) …
So it is a constant creeping forward while watching in the side mirrors where the walkers are ó of course, keeping an eye out for anything that might harm the tires ó rocks, etc.
Israel is a quiet, humble man. He takes excellent care of Bob and [Bobís wife] Cristina, not only driving the camper, but making sure they have everything they need.
2) SeÒora Luz, organizer
I didnít have any idea how much organization it took to pull this thing off. Every meal must be planned, places located, hotels secured ó for varying numbers of people on a daily basis.
Yesterday, there was no place within a reasonable distance for lunch so SeÒora Luz called her friend, Robertina (I believe she and SeÒora Luz walked with Bob as he entered Peru) to fix lunch for us.
It was an outrageously delicious meal served at the ruins of an archeological site that her daughter and son-in-law are helping to uncover (they are archeologists). Amazing food in an amazing place.
SeÒora Luz does this day in, day out for the walk. Today (our rest day) she and her husband (heís another story ó a real sweetheart ó keeps us laughing and acts as a father to everyone) went to mark each 5k along the route for tomorrow.
This way the driver knows exactly where to stop and SeÒora Luz knows exactly where to set up for breakfast, where weíll have lunch and where weíll end up so she can line up a hotel. Ö
She is so pleasant. When I relayed (CFCA CEO) Paco Wertinís gratitude to her for everything she is doing for the walk, Bob and CFCA, she asked me to relay her gratitude back to Kansas for the opportunity to stay busy.
She does all this as a volunteer.
Sure he walks 35 km (more than 21 miles) each day, but did you know as we head to the hotel, he gets into the front passenger seat of the camper, plugs in his laptop, waits while it boots up, plugs in the modem, connects to the Internet to check his emails and monitor the world news?
I watched yesterday as his connection dropped several times. He just tried it again and again Ö just part of the game down here. That laptop goes everywhere with him. His patience and diligence to stay in touch is admirable.
Seeing Bob with the girls and sisters from a residence home in Peru the other day was beautiful. The girls were singing a song that required a response from whomever they had addressed in it ó he playfully sung his response back and then had to sing mine.
He also took time to address them before they left for Lima ó encouraging them, reassuring them. They listened to every word.
Today (our rest day), he spent the better part of breakfast and quite a while after, discussing plans for the activity day in Lima.
He said he sees the walk as a period of formation for future leaders of CFCA. He is ensuring that the values of CFCA continue in the future as he walks each day and talks individually with the people who will be instrumental in creating our worldwide community of compassion.
After lunch, we focused on how to get his video and audio files to you. He never quits. He is like the Energizer bunny ó always focused on CFCA, the movement.
Take care all,