We have a large group of 11 American students from various universities (see list below) and 5 Congolese Africa University students and grads, plus Pastors Glen, Joseph, and Daniel plus some other boy scouts, drivers, and mechanics to fix bicycles. They are riding bicycles to Kamina sponsored by FPM and Wesley Foundation at Purdue. The bicycles will be donated and distributed to pastors and church leaders at the end of the ride.
See where some of our American and African students and Pastor Glen started off for their bicycle trip on Father's Day (click the map above to see the google map).
On Sunday afternoon (6/16, yesterday) our group was driven with their bicycles from Lubumbashi to Mulungwishi with a United Methodist High School, University, and Theological Seminary. Mulungwishi is a special place for Glen because his grandparents were once missionaries there. We (Lana, Glen, and our kids) have stayed in "their house" on several other visits. However, there was no room this time, so they camped out there last night!
The road to Mulungwishi is well-paved but very busy and dangerous with heavily loaded mining truck traffic and is not safe for cyclists. This was supposed to be the starting point for the bike trip, but our group was delayed in getting out of Lubumbashi. Heading north from Mulungwishi, the roads are not paved or much traveled by vehicles. However, because of the delays and a tough mountain pass, the group was driven on to Lubudi today to start riding 30 km with a more gentle shake down ride down the mountain!
6/16: Travel to Mulungwishi University 6/17: drive over Mountainous route to start bicycling in Lubudi, = 30km . Spend the night at the Methodist Church. 6/18: Lubudi to Luena = 75 kilometers. Ride includes a descent and about 6 kilometers of a little sand. 6/20: Luena to Kabondo = 100 kilometers. about 8 kilometers of a mountain climb. 6/21: Kabondo to Kamina = 100 kilometers. route plan with about 7 kilometers of loose sand. 6/22: Donate the Bicycles. 6/23: Day in Kamina. 6/24 - Fly back to Lubumbashi from end of the tour (or start driving back the day before) 6/26 - Depart for USA 6/27 – Return to USA
Missing Baba Bob on Father's Day and This Trip
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a father is called "Baba." Anyone who has children is called Baba, whether you are older, younger, related or not. It is with honor and affection you are called Baba. Rev. Dr. Bob Walters was known by many people in the Congo as Baba Bob. He passed away unexpected at the end of July 2017, having a massive heart attack while riding his bike near home in Plainfield, Indiana. Glen and I miss him all the time, but we especially miss him when doing a trip like this. I have much greater appreciation for all he did for us. Last time we took a group to bicycle in 2016, both Glen and I went. Bob orchestrated many logistics from home, and we know he personally funded much of our overhead. He had planned to go with us but didn't get his visa in time (along with many others that year). Baba Bob is deeply missed both there and here, wherever there and here are for you. It is easy for us in Indiana to imagine he is not dead, only on another bicycling tour of deep listening in North Katange. Likewise, people in Katanga can forget he is dead and simply back in the U.S. Hopefully that's what we can picture heaven is like ... our loved one is having a grand time doing what they love best, just in a different place we can't see or contact.
From Purdue +:
Rev. Dr. J. Glen Robyne Campus Pastor and Co-Director of Wesley Foundation at Purdue with Rev. Lana Robyne who is supporting the team from Indiana