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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bike and Build Getting Ready For Cross Country Bike Trip

Thirty some students will be leaving Providence, RI on June 7, 2007 to ride their bicycles to Seattle, WA. They will be stopping in Coudersport on June 19. Solomon's Words will follow their journey. Watch here daily for information about each of these riders. They are raising funds for Habitat for Humanity and other affordable housing programs. Click on the title of this story to go to the bike and build website.

Hi! My name is Jackie Soo, and I grew up in sunny southern California. I went to UC Berkeley, and graduated in 2005 with a BA in English.
Unsure about what kind of job I could find with a major like that, I escaped the job hunt and went to Taiwan, where I taught English for a year. That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life – I fell in love with 5 year old Taiwanese kids who couldn’t put together a sentence of English, but who told you “I love you,” put their arms around your neck, and delivered big sloppy kisses on your cheek.
Then, I moved to Italy, and lived there for six months. I also taught English, but more to adults who didn’t tell me they loved me, didn’t drape themselves all over my legs, and didn’t kiss me every day. Oh, well.
Now I’m back in the States, and I’m really excited to be a part of Bike & Build this summer! While I haven’t had extensive experience with affordable housing issues in the past, public service and volunteerism have become increasingly important to me. The more I see and the more I understand of this world, the more I realize the necessity of actively working to create a world that I believe in. And I am ready to work hard!
For me, affordable housing means more than just building a house. It means building a whole system of sustainable and low-cost housing, a system that is integrated within the city or community in which it is located. Development must find some way to keep up with population growth. Ultimately, I would like to see a system of housing that provides simple, affordable units to people in need, that at the same time takes into account the environmental health of the city as a whole.
And to do all this while…bicycling across America! I love challenging myself, and I love doing things…differently. I can’t wait to see America the way few have seen it, and I can’t wait to share the experience with you all!

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