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June 25, 2022 mswartz No Comments

June 25 2022 My Anti-Hate Charity Ride Begins In Halifax

My Adventure Begins In Halifax

Faster than I’d imagined, it was the night of June 24, 2022. Next morning my flight would leave at 10:00 a.m. Yet I was still jamming clothes and equipment into my three big cycling sacs, while stuffing my bike into a padded travel bag. This would be tight, in more ways than one.

I was bursting with excitement at takeoff. It signaled a bunch of firsts for me. First time in the Maritimes. First overnight bicycle trip – in this case, a total of 42 consecutive overnights! First time fundraising for nonprofits and promoting the effort. Kind of dizzying, when I think back on it. But really energizing.

In Halifax I stayed with a kind fellow cyclist who put me up for free that weekend.

We rode around the city, went to a writing workshop, she cooked a few meals, I had lunch with an old friend. A great intro to the city.

On day two, a Sunday, I conducted my first video interview. I’d gone to the neighbourhood grocery store. As I exited, there was a couple that looked to be in their 30’s, sitting next to their groceries on a bench. I approached them and introduced myself a bit nervously. It went smoother once I took out my phone and showed them my website. Happily they consented.

Turns out they were both from Egypt. He’d been here 15 years, she’d arrived this past year. What they told me about their experiences in our country made me light up. Neither had experienced discrimination or hatred here. In fact, they felt very comfortable and welcomed. That afternoon I posted the video on my YouTube channel for all to see.

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