I take a deep breath. My feelings of dread and anxiety are growing. Despite this angst, I know there is no stopping Mr. Jeffrey. This fifth Ride For Human Rights is about to begin, on May 23. It is an adventure for two. Jeffrey cycles only with a stuffed kangaroo, Joey.
The wind must be howling in Jeffrey’s ears pushing him to meet people in places unvisited. Talking one-on-one with people makes a difference. Many who don’t know about Human Rights First will enjoy hearing about the work Jeffrey does to save lives. Many will stop and think in new ways. Some may change their long held views about accepting refugees in times of trouble. Talking to people in their milieu about welcoming immigrants into our national melting pot is important work.
Too bad Joey can’t go alone.
When I met Jeffrey 40 years ago at Duke, I was impressed with his deep knowledge of history and his kind and trusting soul. Jeffrey has not been driven by the almighty dollar. His life’s work is to help make the world a better place. While I’m not a lawyer, it is the law of the land in the USA to accept as residents those with a well founded fear of persecution. It is a noble and important cause.
It will be the job of the family – me and our three adult children and their significant others – to help Jeffrey along the route. Our main tasks are to ensure that our cyclists don’t get lost, assist in finding places to stay, warn our sometimes oblivious riders about long isolated stretches without shelter, and generally to be on call for moral support.
This year we will also be prepared to rescue Jeffrey and Joey if Jeffrey’s recently broken leg gives out.
Everyone else out there can support Joey and Jeffrey by reading their daily blog, writing encouraging comments, and making a donation. Go to rideforhumanrights.com.
And please, please, drive like your family is cycling on your road.
My family is.
So happy trails Jeffrey and Joey. All of us will be waiting for your safe return.