Last night in America

Farewell party in Tallahassee

Farewell party in Tallahassee

It is my last evening in America, and I am in downtown Orlando. The rain is falling quietly and can be heard on the streets as cars pass  by. I am on the 4th floor of a large apartment building, across street is the legendary Amway center. Pedaling through town on a Sunday night, I was quick to notice the road changing from asphalt to brick, small restaurants and bars giving way to high rises and night clubs.

Last American Sunset, lake Underhill, Orlando, FL

Last American Sunset, lake Underhill, Orlando, FL

Tomorrow, July 30th I depart for Bergen, Norway at 12:45pm est. I have spent the day getting supplies from the local thrift stores and Army surplus store. Warmer clothes are going to be essential as I head through Sweden, Finland and Russia in the coming fall. I picked up a pair of shoes and plan to toss out my beloved rainbow sandals once the temperature drops. It’s going to take me at least 32 hours to get Norway. My flight has three layovers and the shortest one is 2 hours. Cheapest ticket. My bike is all packed up in a cardboard box with all my tools, tent, and cooking equipment. I had to invest in scotch tape in that the box will be loaded and unloaded 8 times before I reach my final destination! I really hope everything arrives in one piece. Accommodations in Bergen have not be solidified, but I hope to spend at least three days there resting and seeing the city.

My Chinese bro

My Chinese brutha! Graduate student at Florida State University Tallahassee

On Sunday I went to a missionary Baptist church about 7 miles from Orlando. This is a Gospel church, where 95% of its members are African-American. While locking my bike outside I could hear the sound of the pastor preaching to the members and the walls shaking in response to his prose. There is much emotion in this church, many members speak up doing verse, and there is almost no direct reading from the bible. Instead the pastor mentions a verse and explores the theme with personal views and life experiences. He begins with a soft voice which grows to shout. It is almost as if he is exorcising spirits out of the crowd. Toward the end of the sermon he begins to “hoop”. Singing prose followed by an accompaniment of organ, drums and bass. Soon the whole band gets involved and the sermons turns into an accompanied song.

This set of tires made it through my Alaska trip and all the way to Florida.

This set of tires made it through my Alaska trip and all the way to Florida.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my travels through the southern states of America, and thank you all for your moral and physical support. Next post will be from Bergen, Norway!

Orlando shopping mall flash flood

Orlando shopping mall flash flood, when the rain stopped some cars had all four tires submerged.

2 thoughts on “Last night in America

  1. Julian, I had to laugh a little, when you said the African-American church you visited had no direct reading of the Bible…the name of the church is Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church here in Orlando, and has MUCH reading of the Bible. In all fairness, you did not arrive at the church until a little before I did [I play keyboard at another church from 10am to 12noon], at 12:00noon, and the service you attended actually starts at 10:45am. You missed over an hour of that service, including a lot of the Bible reading [oops!].

    A scripture passage is read by the entire congregation near the start of EVERY service, and even though the purpose of the Sunday service is not necessarily teaching, the Pastor for his sermon ALWAYS has a Scripture passage that his sermon is based on, and always references several other supporting passages from the Bible. And I was there….I heard them. In almost 10 years of hearing his sermons, I have NEVER heard him do otherwise.

    Interesting that you missed his Bible references.

    The pastor, whose name is Dr. Larry G. Mills, DOES have a gift of teaching, and really stresses spending time studying and learning from the Bible. The church has 3 Bible study sessions every week, along with a Pastor’s Conference call that he does every week-day morning at 6:30am. He is actually going through the entire Bible, and is currently up to the book of Jeremiah. [You can even access this on your trip – the number is [605] 477-3099, and the access code is 839347#]

    I have immensely enjoyed your journey, and you have given me ideas for places I would like to visit. [As well as the precautions for the infections you have had to fight against…wow!]

    Julian, know that you continue to be in OUR prayers and thoughts…..jon

    P.S…..cool beard.

    • Hey John

      I had a very profound experience at the Church! My post was only a poor attempt at trying to reify my feelings and experiences I encountered during the service, and I apologize if the information was skewed in anyway!
      Thanks again for all your help getting me to Norway! And I look forward to the opportunity to visit you guys and the church again soon!

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