Pilgrims with much gratitude

Trip Start Nov 01, 2007
Trip End Apr 30, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Thursday, December 13, 2007

Along with this entry are two more videos we filmed in Port Townsend. Because the videos take so long to upload, we're not going to interview couples any more. We might interview both people of a couple, but individually. When the videos are short they don't take as long to upload. We're learning as we go! We hope the videos are as meaningful to you as they have been to us.

After leaving the Jefferson County Democrat's party in Port Ludlow we spent a pleasant night with Diane and Harry Carle. Diane is part of the Agate Passage Friends Meeting on Bainbridge Island. They live in a beautiful, Japanese-style house surrounded by a lovely pond and gardens called "Poem Rising Garden" since Harry is a poet and retired gardener and landscape designer.

We spent a leisurely morning (for a change) talking with them before heading out on our 10-mile day. Diane took the photos of us plotting and planning, getting ready, leaving, and walking. Thanks to Diane for the photos. It's interesting how a 10 or 11-mile day no longer seems so daunting. We headed for Barbara Wolf's house which is on Native land, but many homes are owned by non-Natives, including hers. Her little home has a beautiful view of the Puget Sound. We were so grateful to Barbara, who was willing to host us in spite of the fact that she had not been well and her granddaughter was staying with her to recuperate after having her wisdom teeth pulled. This is an example of how gracious and welcoming people have been all along the way. We feel we are now walking in gratitude.

The next morning we walked to the Agate Passage Friends Meeting, worshipped with them, and after a potluck lunch shared our skit and presentation. When we set out afterwards, several Friends walked with us to our next destination. Again we appreciated good conversations and made new F/friends.

Our next hosts were not present during our two nights, due to illness and hospitalization. They gave their key to a neighbor and this allowed us to have some quiet time and time for Louis to work on the QEW newsletter. We thank Bob and Millie for their generosity and hold them in our prayers.

After coffee with Ed Sheridan, a Friend and storyteller, we met Lisa Down also of Agate Passage Meeting at the offices of YES! Magazine. We have been subscribers for many years and wanted to meet the staff. We joined their regular brown bag luch and shared a bit about our journey and learned of the many great things they are doing, which includes reaching out to schools in the hope to empower young people to act positively in the world. We also talked of ways QEW might collaborate with them. We hope you'll look at their website at www.yesmagazine.org.

We then visited next door at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, which provides a "green" MBA degree. We were impressed with the dedication to growing business people who emphasize sustainability in their work. We were concerned about the air miles required for monthly meetings by the students who come from all over the U.S. We were told that the school is carbon neutral by buying carbon offsets, but we're not so sure that this is enough. We hope they continue to work at lessening the travel for students, but want them to definitely continue their much-needed programs.

The last of the day's visits included a tour of Islandwood, a school in the woods. It's a visionary program for getting 4th and 5th graders in closer touch with the natural world and learning how humans can live in such a way that it does not have a negative impact on earth's balance. After six years of experience the results have been very positive. Children return from their 4-day residency enthused and empowered, and those who were accademically marginal in shcool improve their work. We think this is a terrific model that could be copied all over North America, and we encourage you to look at their website, www.islandwood.org. We were impressed by their commitment to constructing LEED-gold certified buildings, composting toilets, a living machine, solar hot water and electricity, passive solar heat, rainwater collection, and use of recycled and ecologically-mindful materials throughout the campus. Exhibits at the school reminded us of the contrast between this ecological approach to education and the extractive lumber industry that dominated the island a century ago.

Thank you, Lisa, for taking us on these tours. And many thanks to Michael Moore for his coordination of our visit and making sure we got from one place to another safely.

We next took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, quite a contrast in living density and pace of living! We were greeted at the ferry terminal by Johnathan and Rosy Betz-Zall and Ashley Wilcox of University Friends Meeting, and they accompanied us to Friends House, a house adjacent to the Meeting which has a couple of rooms for Friendly travelers. We loved walking through Seattle, learning about various sustainability initiatives along the way. Not long after arriving it was time to share in a potluck and present our program to a joint gathering of University Friends and North Seattle Friends Church (NSFC), a member of Evangelical Friends International.

We were exhausted by the time we got back to our little room (and we mean LITTLE). The next day, today, we spent walking around Seattle, using their impressive, ultra-modern-style library and finding a new used book for Ruah and then had a long and interesting conversation over coffee with Lorraine Watson, pastor of NSFC. We found we had much in common and agreed that we needed more interaction among all branches of the Quaker tree. We parted with hopes that our paths would cross again. We're sure that her chuch is very lucky to have her as pastor.

We are preparing ourselves for our two-day walk to Tacoma beginning early tomorrow morning. We are grateful to Jonathan for his arrangements and route planning (which weren't easy).
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