WALKING FOR A BETTER WORLD
Update On My Plans - 08/02/2003
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Where Was I?
I want to update everyone on my plans and the International Peace Pigrimage. For those new to the listserv, I am one of the co-founders of MFSO and I am the listserv moderator. I have been planning for a year now (even before MFSO was formed) to participate in the International Peace Pilgrimage which will take place in Australia and Japan, conference begins November 12th and walk ends in August 2004. This will be my third walk and by far the longest one. An update on the walk appears below, along with a link to the website.
I have applied for my visa which is taking longer than I had thought. I sent the application in the end of August and on Friday finally heard back that they want more info.
1.) evidence of my travel arrangements from my travel agent (I had sent them the flight numbers before).
2.) evidence of sufficient funds - bank statement, travelers cheques (I had already sent the original letter from the International Peace Pilgrimage stating they would be providing all my needs while in Australia).
3.) A letter from my employer stating I am taking a leave of absense and will be returning to my job (this I can not provide as my future plans are uncertain, as this walk will also be a test of my relartionship with my Austrian girlfriend who will be joining me on the walk, we met on a previous walk. If all goes as plan, we will remain in Austria after the walk so she can work in the court system over there, as she completes her law degree the day I arrive in Austria, Oct. 10).
4.) They want a copy of the court report on a misdemeanor I have on my record. Last August I was arrested in Oak Ridge, TN for obstructing a highway in front of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, a non-violent act of civil disobedience with 13 other good folks. So this will be sent out in a few days and hopefully I will be granted my visa for the walk without any problems, as you will see below I am listed as a possible speaker at the conference along with many others, we are all doing the visa process now.
After I get the Australian visa I will have to apply for my Japanese visa.
The past couple months have been very busy. My mother, who I live with, ended up in the hospital 3 times, a total of 20 days. Congestive heart failure, kidney involvement and pnemonia. She is back home and doing okay but gets tired out easily and short of breath.
The next couple months will remain busy, since I am going on the walk, my mom will be moving in with brother and his wife in Georgia. Which means we have to sort through years of stuff and decide where it goes. I also have to further condense the few things I own and figure out what exactly I can fit into a backpack for a year of travel. Essentially I am getting down to what I own will fit inside my backpack and can be carried on my back. On Oct. 1st my brother and his wife will pick up my mom and help load a UHaul which I will drive to Georgia. I will settle in my mom, go visit my son and wife at Ft. Benning and then fly out of Atlanta for Austria on October 9th.
One important change needs to take place in the next month or month in a half and this is where I have to rely on one or more of you to take over as moderator(s) of the listserv. I would like to pass this duty on by the middle of September, the third week of September at the latest. If a few of you agree to do this, it will spread the workload out but one person can handle it, I have since November for the most part. Some of you are still listed as moderators and I would like to know if you want to continue on. While I am on the walk I imagine my internet access will be sporatic but when I get a chance I will update all of you from the road.
I will miss the daily contact with everyone on the listserv and at MFSO but I feel the International Peace Pilgrimage and its mission/ purpose is vitality important and is closely aligned to the mission/purpose of MFSO.
Read the walk update below.
In love, peace and solidarity, Jeff