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Mailbag Monday #11

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Today_we_continue our Mailbag Monday series…

Dear David,

Hi.  My name is Kristi.  I like that you are trying to raise money to build homes for the poor.  It is very kind to help others.  Ms. Stoltz is my teacher.  She told us about you.  I hope you have a safe trip.  Thank you for helping others.

Sincerely,

Kristi

Black and white image of Lago de Atitlán

Dear Kristi,

It’s wonderful to hear from you.  You are absolutely right about helping others.  Leading a virtuous life through service and leadership is incredibly important.  Before this trip, I learned much about myself and how to best help others during my involvement in various high school activities.  Students Today Leaders Forever and Fill the Dome were two of these, and are two great examples of how students can become engaged in servant leadership.

I encourage you to find ways to lead and serve throughout your life.  You will grow and prosper as an individual, student, and citizen. I know I have.

Thanks for your letter!

Sincerely,

David

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Allison Stoltz #

    David,

    Glad to hear that you are going well. Here are some questions:

    1) Does your sister (Marta, right?) every get mad at you?
    2) Have you learned any Spanish that you could teach us?
    3) Have you gotten over your fear of the cows and touched any yet?
    4) Have you gotten lost on your trip?
    5) We saw the picture of the “No biking”. Did you bike that road? Did you get in trouble?
    6) How was the plane ride to Columbia?

    Stay safe,
    Ms. Stoltz’s Class

    February 7, 2012
    • Hello Class! I’ll answer your questions below:

      1) Marta rarely gets mad at any of us. We all like to joke and tease and get along very well.
      2) Isaiah will get back to you on the Spanish lesson. Sorry.
      3) I don’t think any of us have a great fear of cows, nor the urge to touch them. We see them every day – they sometimes block the road or shoulder or graze in a field we decide to inhabit for a night – but we typically keep our distance.
      4) We have been lost several times on this trip. As we have pedaled south, maps and roads have become less detailed and more confusing. We ask for directions and confirmation of our route often; it’s always good to be on the right road.
      5) The road you are referring to is a quota road. They are very common in Mexico. Drivers choose between free (libre) roads and quota (cuota) roads. If they choose the latter, they pay tolls which fund the building and upkeep of the quota roads. Compared to the pothole-ridden and shoulder-less free roads, quota roads had better pavement and shoulders. Most of our time was spent on free roads because they travel through more cities and offer a better cultural experience. Sometimes quota roads offered a more direct route, saving us time and distance. I think we found a good balance of the two.
      Most Mexican states allowed us to ride on quota roads. When we encountered toll booths, the attendants typically waved us around and sent us on our way (free of charge). Some didn’t, however, forcing us to backtrack or bike on trails to the free road.
      6) The place ride was great. Flying in a plane is much faster and easier than flying through the air on a bicycle. We had a 17 hour layover in Miami, where we stayed with one of the family of one of Isaiah’s college friends. It was strange to be back in the United States for that brief time. We arrived in Colombia, bike boxes in hand (or on cart rather), and found hotel with space for us to build our bicycles again. The process of dismantling, packing, and constructing our bicycles was an exhaustive one, but well worth it for all that lies ahead.

      Thanks for the questions!
      David

      February 7, 2012

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