So Owen and I decided to stop by the library until it lets up.
Since Cleveland, Owen and I biked through Pennsylvania and into Buffalo where an AWESOME event took place. Burning Books Bookstore in Buffalo, NY is an incredible radical bookstore with a great community. They totally organized the event–all I had to do was show up. My favorite part was testing how much fluid fits in a sponge–it’s over an ounce! (I squeezed water from the sponge into a menstrual cup. Pretty cool demo.)
After Buffalo, we biked along the Erie Canal trail and set up camp in a small town’s park pavilion. At about 10:30pm some young cops came and kicked us out. So we slept under this bridge. Only, at 1:30am, the rain storm hit and we got soaking wet, so we really didn’t sleep much at all. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I convinced Owen to send the tent home in Chicago because we’d only used it about 3 times. SO! That maybe wasn’t the best idea. In the morning, we just continued onward. Needless to say, I was quite grumpy.
However, our luck changed a little bit when we passed a woman gardening in her yard along the canal. I asked her for some water, she offered her bathroom, gave us apples, and asked if we needed anything else. “Well, do you happen to know anyone in Newark? We need a place to stay tonight…” Her husband made one phone call, and we had a home.
Jenn Liese is Mama. This woman is one of those angel people. She has over 40 foster children out there in the world, and despite having at least 9 of her kids (age 18+) sleeping in her 3 bed, 1 bath apartment, she took Owen and me in. As much spaghetti as we could eat, shower to scrub the bridge grime off, a whole room to ourselves, and plenty of kids to hang out with! And she also adopted us into her family. What’s amazing about her is that she doesn’t kick out her foster kids once they turn 18 and the check stops rolling in. She still loves them, feeds them, transports them, shelters them, etc, etc. Despite there being only 3 women in the house, and much to the boys’ shagrin, we had menstrual cup talk anyway! One daughter now has a cup to try.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on this trip. This Sustainable Cycles stuff is important work. I am totally pumped about it and would love to continue biking and holding discussions. Maybe bike from middle school to high school to elementary to university…I mean, the pad and tampon companies are in K-12, so why not have a more well-rounded menstrual education for young females?
Our plan now is to bike from Albany to Boston and then down into NY city. Do you know anyone in the area who would let us shower and crash on their floor? ’cause we’d love to do that! 310 963 6121 – Rachel’s cell
We’ll probably roll into NYC on Aug 1–look out for us!!
- Aug 3, 2013: 3:30-6:30pm. Launchpad. 721 Franklin Ave Brooklyn, NY 11238
- Aug 11, 2013: 7-9pm at Bluestockings Bookstore. 172 Allen Street New York, NY 10002