August 9, 2016 – The Chevy Suburban road trip came to an end after 1,857 miles of driving. The next week of travel for Francis will be by air. But he has certainly seen the country from a unique perspective as we toured the southwest. We wrapped the road trip up in Las Vegas and took a short flight to San Francisco. Seeing the country through Francis’s eyes gives this outside observer a refreshing perspective as to the enormity of our country.
We spent a relaxing Sunday playing tourists in San Francisco, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf. The oppressive heat of the southwest deserts gave way to the gentle breezes of the Pacific. What a country! Watching Francis have lunch with the one of a kind Barry Barkan was a sight in and of itself. It was like hanging out with Martin Luther King and Bob Dylan. Francis was dropped off to stay overnight at Sunnyview (a Front Porch community) in northern California. The residents greeted him with warmth and affection. Bill Penrod and Sally Plank choreographed a marvelous evening and overnight stay for him.
The next day was all about Sunnyview. Two months ago, Bill and Sally had arranged a Skype session on the iN2L system with the Sunnyview residents talking to the elders from Cameroon. According to Francis, these people had never seen a computer before, nor spoken to anyone in the US. That exchange led to another as well as a fundraising project was born (separate from the GOATT project). Roberta Jacobsen, president of Front Porch, presented Francis with two checks totaling $11,000. It was a fascinating experience to watch Francis pay homage and respect to the elders at Front Porch in a spiritual way that transcended the dollars. Everyone in attendance was uplifted.
On the way to the San Francisco airport we stopped by the corporate headquarters of Apple and Google. Francis was numbed seeing the enormity of these operations. Our next stop is Colorado – Francis is coming to spread his cheer to the home of iN2L.
If you are enjoying Francis’ journey, please consider making a donation to the GOATT Project.