Interview with Jakob from the Pedal for Humanity Team
Bonn, Germany -- From April 2016 until May 2017 (13 months) two young Germans biked 15.000 km from Kolon in Germany up to Vung Tau in Vietnam. With their enthusiasm and vision 'Pedal for Humanity' they passed the following countries: Germany, Austria, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and they reached on last April 29 the Salesian provincial house of Vietnam.
What encounters with people have particularly touched you?
Jakob: Every day we have met people with different backgrounds. The people who gave us food and a roof over our head have touched us the most. Without asking, these people have recognized our needs and received us with open arms. This unpretentious, apparently perfectly natural way of hospitality was overwhelmingly beautiful!
When did you encounter your psychological limits?
Jakob: At the beginning, traffic was a great psychological burden for us. The trucks and buses, which were driven at full speed, demanded a lot of concentration and courage. In Teheran we had a lot of stress with different visa applications. In Nepal we have come to our limits both physically and mentally due to the roads and the mountains (mountain pass of 3200 meter above the sea level).
Did the journey change you? Also with regard to your future plans?
Jakob: The journey has definitely changed us. We can not handle many things right now. In the coming months and years, we will most likely experience the things that we did on this tour. We became more grateful for what we have.
Character-wise, we both changed. I now leave my anger and frustration more lightly, and do not swallow it down, as I have often done before. We want both to continue to work in the health sector and to develop further. The poverty and the need for medical care in many countries that we have traveled has spurred us on. In the future we want to help and train beyond the European borders with our profession.
What is the journey for your friendship?
Jakob: Our friendship was very good before the trip. Through the many experiences and the long time we spent with each other, we have grown even closer together. We both could not have imagined this trip with any other person. Without the friendship, we would not have gone that far, that is clear. Our paths will now be separated for almost four and a half years for professional reasons. Ernest will make the training as an intensive caregiver and anesthetist and I will devote myself to the study of medicine. Our friendship will always endure! This is as safe as the Amen in the Church!
Pedal for humanity and for don bosco
On their route to Vietnam, Ernest and Jakob were also guests in various Don Bosco houses, in Albania , Turkey , India, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
With their journey the two pedalos wanted to use for disadvantaged children and young people worldwide. At the Don Bosco Center in Istanbul, they met refugees who told them about their fears and hopes. The stories impressed the two nurses very impressed. In an impressive video , Ernest and Jakob draw attention to the fate of these boys and girls.
In addition, the two pedalos collected hard donations to support disadvantaged children and young people. So far, there have been 3,100 euro, which will benefit children and young people in Don Bosco street children's facilities.
Why Don Bosco?
After completing his high school diploma, Jakob worked for one year as a Volunteer in Don Bosco house orphanage in Timor Leste for a year with children and teenagers. Here he has come to know and appreciate the work of the Salesians of Don Bosco.