Its Friday evening, and I feel like I've already been here in Santa Monica for a week (or two!). I cannot sum up here in the small amount of time I have all that I have experienced. Moreso, my mind has been going, working overtime with so many things to process and so little time (and space) to do so. I know being vague isn't helpful, but what I can say is this is definitely going to be an adventure. All but one person on our team has arrived, and we all bring with us different experiences, backgrounds, passions, theologies and desires to learn and grow in new ways.
I am looking forward to this trip with great anticipation and anxiety. I have found that quite unlike most situations I've found myself in before, I am quite outside of my comfort zone here. A number of circumstances certainly contribute to that. The first and screaming obvious one is that I am the only member of the team who is not doing any biking. Even the other support drivers brought bikes and are playing multiple roles: one filming (with hopes to make a documentary) and the other is working closely with Venture, and has been setting up the places we'll be staying in- he's done lots of biking in the past, so brought his along in hopes of an occasional day ride. And I'm driving. Which is great, and surely there will be more than enough to keep me busy!
We have a busy weekend ahead, including the ceremonious start of our ride tomorrow with team pictures down at Santa Monica Pier (about 10 blocks from where we're staying). Then after a short (about 50 miles) ride, we'll clean up and the church is treating us to dinner and "free time" at the Pier. They have been so amazing, so gracious, and so amazing... it has really been a blessing!
I hope to write more later, but someone else is waiting to use the computer, so I must go for now. I will do my best to keep you posted, and from the sounds of it, that will be frequent.