To me, bicycles have always meant unorthodox adventure. I grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, endlessly riding the trails on the riverbanks and the paths through the forests. My father bikes to work every day of the year until the temperature gets below 0 F, and so I too tried to leave the car in the garage. Biking to high school with my trumpet strapped to the back, I loved pedaling into the sights and sounds of my Iowa hometown waking up.
In college, I asked my friend Levi if he wanted to bike from Indiana to Pennsylvania with me after the first term ended. He agreed, and we rode ten self-supported days to arrive at his house. We sometimes stayed with hosts, sometimes in churches and a couple of nights in a tent in makeshift forest-hidden campsites. I loved experiencing the land (every valley and mountain sometimes painfully felt) like never before, and being vulnerable enough to get to know complete strangers and feel the hospitality that Jesus so often spoke about.
I am majoring in computer science at Goshen College but also have a strong interest in culture and languages (especially Arabic and now Spanish). The stories and words of those different from my comfortable European-American context push me to consider new ways of being and thinking. I hope to bring this curiosity along with me on this adventure as I talk and work with Latin Americans, especially hearing the stories of those in the broader church. Environmental sustainability is very important to me, and I hope to learn more sustainable practices in farming and living at our WWOOF farm in Ecuador. I also hope to see how Latin Americans–and multinational corporations–relate to the land.
I couldn’t be here without my sometimes-worried, always-supportive parents Ellen and Byron Miller and my sister and brother-in-law, Renee and Rick Eigsti.
Keep in touch–I’d love to hear from any of you!