Stop The Bombs International Peace Walk
Day 46 Tuesday April 26, 2005
Bethlehem PA to West Portal NJ


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     After saying goodbye to Don and Crafford and all the kind folk at the UUC church we set off for the days walk to our stay place.... West Portal United Methodist Church. The weather had fined up and was quite warm, it was a welcome relief from the previous arctic wind and cold.

   All in all it was a pretty uneventful day on the road. We walked and talked with many people along the way, and stopped to pray in front of a correctional facility. We had lunch there, looking at the razor wire and wondering if the inmates were looking out at us. Sometimes I get so angry at the way we treat our fellow humans and I wish I had the power to break the walls down. I bet that most of the people in there are victims of economic oppression, too poor to afford legal representation they fall victim to a spiraling cycle of incarceration and poverty.

   Nat and Kip were talking to a young man who walked past and was interested in what we where doing. He asked where we were walking to and from, and told them he was from New York. When Nat asked what he was doing there, he said he had come to turn himself in, and was expecting 3 to 6 years in prison. His trial ws to be that afternoon and he was walking slowly around the courthouse and prison, headphones on and with slow steps, seeming to savour every one. He was 24, and said that he would rather do time now and get it over with and then get on with his life. Even though we are walking for a Nuclear Free World, passing places like this and meeting people like the young man, makes you realise there is a deeper reason for walking. It is the system that we are all forced to live under, this system that oppresses, poisons, incarcerates and kills, this system that is propped up by violence, police and funded through war. This is the very thing that we are trying to stop, to change.... it's time, not for the revolution but the evolution, of spirit and ideals.

   The day took a turn for the wost after that, what originaly was a 17 mile day turned into a 21 mile day... oops a slight miscalculation. Anyway we were near our destination and it was getting on to dinner time so we had to shuttle the last mile. There are now 50 walkers and it took a long time, so some of our local hosts came to lend a hand. All was going well untill we realised that the people that came to pick us up were taking us to another Church, not where we where staying.

   Confusion reigned as these people had been preparing for our arrival for 2 weeks, but we had no idea about who they where. They had a welcoming party prepared with a beautiful banquet and many people from their congregation waiting to greet us - but at the place we where staying there was a similar scene. All the walkers felt so sad and concerned at this mixup and we couldn't figure out how it happened. However, after some apoogies and ideas the community from the Unity Spiritual Centre kindly agreed to come to the United Methodist Church and meet all the walkers and the great people from church.

   It is funny how things work as the two congregations had never heard of each other and now they both have met up and sat down with each other and shared food. Peace walks have a way of connecting people up even through accidents like this one.... we all had a great time talking and sharing food.

   We must offer great heartfelt apreciation and appologies to the Unity Spirit Church, for their efforts, kind hospitality and good humor under dificult circumstances. Also a big thanks to the United Methodist Church for their kind hospitality and warmth. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.

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