Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Donations Used to Help Elementary School Students in Philippines

For everyone who trusted me and my contacts in the Philippines to deliver on our promises, I hope this message holds up our end of the bargain.

All the money I received ($265 USD) was transferred to Res, my former host-brother in the Philippines. The fees incurred through PayPal and Western Union were paid by me, so if you donated $20, the whole $20 went to Res. He received more than 11,000 Philippines Pesos, which he used to purchase paper, notebooks, pencils, and crayons for 600 elementary school students in the Eastern Samar communities of Balangkayan and Hernani, both of which suffered severe damage from Typhoon Haiyan.The supplies were delivered along with a shipment of food, water, and blankets from other donors.

These students are now able to continue their studies, and return to a more normal routine and pace of life, thanks to you all. Res is safely back in Calbayog City, and sends his sincere thanks to everyone who donated money to help strangers.

Res sent some photos from his trip to Eastern Samar when he delivered the supplies. I am including some below. They are low resolution as email is still slow in the Philippines, but I hope they show the impact of your generous donations.

Thank you all, so much.

Kyle and Res

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Funds Received in the Philippines

The money all you generous people donated has arrived in the Philippines. Every single penny ($265 US Dollars / 11,500 Philippine Pesos). My host brother, Res, used it to purchase school supplies for students in Eastern Samar. He is sending me photos from his trip, and I will post them here as soon as I receive them. More donations came after his trip, and that money will be sent as well in the next few days.

I would like to thank all the donors again for their faith and generosity. It is wonderful to see people helping communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan as the media attention fades away. The road to recovery is long and hard, but these donations make all the difference.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Fundraiser Details

As of now, this ride has raised $255 USD in direct donations. The money is being transferred from PayPal to Western Union, which will take a few days to reach the Philippines. The small PayPal fees and the larger Wester Union fees will be paid for, in full, by me, so that 100% of the donated funds will reach those who need it. I will have more details about how the funds are being used once they reach the Philippines, so check back before New Year.

Thank you, everyone who donated. The Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines will continue to need funds for months just to get by, and the recovery from Typhoon Haiyan is going to take years. I will return to Arkansas to finish this ride in a few months, and I will continue to take donations between now and then. Thank you for following my adventure and helping a country that so desperately needs it.

I learned a lot on this ride that I will apply when I return. The weakest link in the whole project was my gear. I've been getting away with cheaper bicycles (Diamondback in California, Trek 820 in Africa) and components for a while, but now it's clear that I need to make an investment in better equipment and lighter supplies to continue long rides in rural places. 100-mile days on a 70-pound bike are possible, but it pushes me and my gear to the limit, especially in December when there is only 11 hours of daylight in a given day. I also need to aim for established campgrounds, as roadside camping in the south-central US is very difficult. Lessons have been learned, and I will return more prepared.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mission: Not Accommplished

Well, I didn't make it to St. Louis, I didn't ride 1,000 miles, and I've ended four days early. There are a lot of reasons. Mechanical problems, knee problems, and all the forests being private property made it impossible to roadside camp. Most of all, pushing so hard put me into a really low mood, as racing the clock took priority over meeting people and enjoying scenery, and I felt like I was making unsafe decisions to go faster.

Talking to people brought in $50 in cash donations for the Philippines typhoon relief, and gave me more interesting Memories than racing down the shoulders of Louisiana highways. Slowing down got more donations, and hopefully made the blog more fun to follow.

Ending early was the right choice. My contingency plan was perhaps the only thing I thoroughly planned at all. I was grossly unprepared for this ride physically, with my route, and with my gear. I was focused on final exams for the last three weeks, so preparing for this ride came second. I earned very good grades, so my priorities were appropriate.

Maybe this all seems like a bunch of excuses for falling far short of my goal, but to be honest, I hated the first three days on the road. Day 3 was miserable, and I'd had enough. Slowing down save my sanity.

I'm still processing this unexpected outcome, so I'll write more as it starts to make sense to me. I'll check the fundraiser totals when I'm on a secure wifi network. Keep looking here for updates.


Motel 6. Caddo Valley, AR. It's as good a place as any to end a '1000-mile' ride.

Maybe a sign will help?