Let me introduce you to Pierre...who did just that! He turns fifty today. To mark his milestone birthday he went on a solo bike trip this summer...covering 1800 kilometers in 26 days. It sounds like a rather grueling way to spend one's summer vacation. But Pierre is always up to a challenge!
We met Pierre in the summer of 1981...when he arrived on our farm through an MCC trainee program. He was from the French part of Switzerland and lived with us for six months as part of our family...working on our farm. It was a wonderful experience for all of us!
For him...the first challenge was the language. He spoke French, Swiss German, German...some Italian and a little English. He never spoke much those first few days...as he searched for the right words. But he was a quick learner...and we conversed freely in no time. We enjoyed many great conversations that winter...from our shared faith to our political views. We still use a few 'Pierre expressions' to this day. One of his favorites was 'oopla'...we think it means 'oh, dear!'
If we are forced to run...we say, "I make a little jogging". That always brings a smile as we remember the night Pierre 'made a little jogging' along the banks of the Fraser River...while in hot pursuit of a thief. As I recall...he made his jogging in clogs...but he never backed down from a challenge.
He also made a little skating...on the ice-rink that covered a good portion of our farm that particular winter. And he made a little skiing...spending time at Whistler with friends when Whistler was an unknown. He made a lot of travelling...and managed to see much of North America before he returned to his homeland.