Wacky Wednesdays Adventure Spotlight! Cycle for water – Bikes through 13 countries to give the gift of clean water!
I wanted to set aside a blog day that would highlight someone else’s epic adventure. I came across cycle for water’s web site while on our own cycling adventure with h2oride.org There were a few things that blew me away about this adventure. One was the route, from Deadhorse, Alaska to the most southern tip of Argentina at Ushuaia. Down what appears to be the west coast of North, Central, and South America.
Joost Notenboom & Michiel Roodenburg started there 18 month bicycle journey on July 4, 2010. Michiel who grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland later graduated as MSc from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, which included a student exchange period spent in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was here where he met his fellow cycling adventurist Joost. Together they explored Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran, traveling by public transportation and meeting fellow students and adventurers along the way. When asked – why cycle for water Michiel replies - ‘when living in the Middle East and Africa I witnessed the importance of clean and readily available water sources. If we don’t act now and contribute, each in our own way, it will be much harder to change the situation later on. Everybody has a right to clean water since it is essential for life to exist. This cycling adventure will be our own personal effort to raise awareness and make a change, however big or small it will turn out.”
Joost Notenboom, after a period of working as a volunteer at the Amakhala Game Reserve in the South African bush – during which he was first confronted with the effects of water shortages on wildlife and local communities – Joost completed a Master of Science degree in management studies from Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University with distinction. Pursuing academic interests in sustainability and natural resources management, he wrote his award-winning thesis on transboundary water management in a situation of conflict. When gathering data for this research during a student exchange semester spent in Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, he met up with Michiel and the first outlines for Cycle for Water quickly took form after the two of them traveled to (the dryer parts of) Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. When asked for his motivation for Cycle for Water he replies; ‘like most people who I know I never really gave much thought about the water coming out of my tap. It wasn’t until I saw the people in Africa and the Middle East struggling for access to clean and safe water that I began to appreciate my own fortunate situation. My thesis research has furthermore shown me that water can be a sensitive and complicated issue which involves many stakeholders and conflicting points of view. This is why I want to Cycle for Water; to help those people in need at the local level‘.
As you can imagine these guys have a ton of amazing stories packed into there blog. As the team cycles, they’re raising donations for local water projects, “A big part of our efforts is raising donations for local water projects throughout Latin America. In Guatemala we visited an indigenous Kaqchikel community in the moutain village of Xepatan; close to Lake Atitlan. A small NGO, Demotech, is teaching the local people there how to construct and maintain rope pumps built out of nothing more than wood, wire, tin, bictcle spokes, and old car tires,” From building pumps in Guatemala to installing water filters in Columbia. Details about the projects can be found at Cycle for Water’s website. They’re using an open source platform to connect your donation directly to a local project. One has already been funded, another is close but need one last surge to be fully funded. Check out their projects here to see how you can help! I went through all their amazing photos of the trip and picked out a few all my favorites. All photographs are from www.cycleforwater.com