This morning we asked our new friend James to make a video to send to Jeffrey’s toddler grandkids. Here’s a still frame of Jeffrey, after blowing them a kiss.
James was in Thedford with his mother and grandmother, for his elderly great-uncle’s funeral. James works nights, so for him this would be a tiring day, aside from the emotional strain. Still he found time to help us.
James admired our ride. The most he’s biked at once was 10 miles, for a charity fundraiser. Bikes aren’t practical transport in this part of the world.
James introduced us to his mother, Karma.
What First Nations people (the land’s original inhabitants) think of immigrants and refugees should carry great weight. Avery says that people coming to this country want to better themselves and their new land. He welcomes them.
Jeffrey asked Avery how he feels about what migrants built here without seeking leave from the Lakota. Avery is uncomfortable with metropolitan areas, but he likes the area’s small towns and the people in them—and Valentine in particular, which he has seen develop. Valentine isn’t what his ancestors had or imagined, but it’s home.
The history of distant Russia, Lithuania, and Germany created ghosts for Jeffrey. Perhaps they moved him to Ride for Human Rights. There are ghosts for Avery right here in what once was Lakota land, but his outlook channels that in a good way. He feels his ancestors guiding him as they see things he can’t see.
When we consider our roots, as our new friends Rick and Avery do, we see how much we are like today’s immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. We’re all people. We want to live. We have ghosts. We are trying to make sense of life.
And we owe it to one another to put Human Rights First.
Another interesting day in tough conditions. Wow.
You have found Americans who need to hear your message. Did you see the ghosts of my ancestors who died in the overland trek to refuge in the West? They walked along the Platte River. Ride on!