The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

the reason i didn't blog in yesterday will become apparent after the next few paragraphs: i and 4 young men left banica on three motorcyles around 8:30.

destination: thomassique, haiti.
distance as the crow flies: 5.85 miles.
estimated time of travel: 1-1.5 hours.

we lost an hour fighting with the border guards on the domincan side because the radio in pedro santana was down and they couldn't call to confirm we had permission. i eventually had to drive back 10 minutes to pedro santana, and, as God's Will would have it, the radio began working the second i walked in the door. we then proceeded into haiti and about 5 minutes and one river crossing into the ride, my back wheel locked-up. as in completely frozen. we spent 30 minutes taking the gear box apart with haitians atanding around and laughing at us and we realized that the chain had slipped and jammed into the gear box, cracking it, completely disabling my ability to engage the gears. so, two of the boys headed back to the border pushing my bike. heading off again with two bikes, we realized that the mud that we had heard about was about 10 times worse than could be described. we went through mud pits 3 feet deep. after about an hour of this abuse we finally scrapped trying to keep to the edges and just plowed through them. when we got to this river:

we became a little nervous. we made it across, but the water was up to the seat of the moto, which impressed me that those engines could run under water...needless to say, we eventually made it after about 2.5 hours. on the way back we stopped in saltadere - this was immediately after crossing the river again and i was actually clean at this point:

i had to ride 3/4 of the trip without a front foot peg, cause it busted off, and my hamstring was cramping so i put my leg over the gas tank...i can't describe the elation of crossing that border and getting back to the "good" roads of the dominican only took us 1.5 hours to get back, which wasn't too bad. when the rains stop and the water dries we can get there in about 45 minutes. i had my bike set up with the gps but since we had to send her back, i don't have the actual mileage (the odometers are busted on the other bikes).


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