Much has happened since our last post. I know, I know, we sort of left you hanging in Ethiopia for about half a year. However, it being the last real day of Christmas break I thought people might appreciate hearing that Brandon and I are both still alive.
Yes, we did return from Africa in June. Our journey back was a difficult one for us as we were both recovering from illness. Delayed flights and long layovers made for a memorable travel experience—we were even able to take a trip to United Arab Emirates during a 31 hour layover. We brought back our amazing experiences with the African people and especially the children in the orphanages. Their warmth and enthusiasm for life were contagious. I also brought back a nasty little parasite, which was not a pleasant experience. I believe I got that from the “firfir” mentioned in the last post. Nasty!
Brandon and I started work on our book this past summer. We have found it a slow process, but we remain hopeful to finish the book. We spent the summer working near home, earning money for college. Of course, we found plenty of time to get together with our friends to run and hang out.
In August we both went back to college—Brandon went to Wheaton College in Illinois, and I returned to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. This is Brandon’s first year at Wheaton, and he is working on linguistics and considering possible careers. I am now in the School of Business at Michigan and plan to go into financial services or investment banking.
Our Christmas mail brought a welcome surprise package from John Wallace in the state Washington. You’ll remember him as the See John Run runner who was originally from Negaunee, Michigan. John sent us DVDs with footage and pictures from the end of our trip to Road’s End, Oregon. John’s encouragement is appreciated. You should check out his Web site at http://www.seejohnrun.com for a complete listing of runners who have crossed the U.S. on foot.
Shortly after we finished our Run Across the USA, a hacker attacked our Web site. That resulted in the loss of all the wonderful blogs from that summer’s run. Fortunately, we have a printed copy of almost every blog. Since we finished our Run Across the USA, Internet spam has been hitting our site repeatedly. Some of the spam has links to undesirable sites. For that reason we have decided to shut down the message board. If anyone wants to contact us, you can still write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Or, you can write me at Matt Wyble, N5958 County Road 577, Wallace, MI 49893.
The people of Africa desperately need clean water. Many of you helped us in our quest to raise money for safe drinking water. We encourage you to keep the African people in mind when you donate money to charitable organizations.
When we finished our trek across the U.S., we really didn’t think we would ever consider another journey by foot. However, as time passes we both are getting the urge to do so. We are mulling over the idea of trying to set the world record for hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, and Brandon keeps mentioning a desire to walk from the Gulf of Mexico back to the Great Lakes.
I hope you all have a safe and happy new year! Thank you for all your e-mailed wishes and make sure to stay in touch!