Where’s the finish line?

ChrisWe’ve crossed one finish line. We’re no longer peddling rickshaws every day, but the work isn’t over yet. There’s still another finish line out there – making sure there is a future for the Sundarbans, for the tigers and for the people who live there. WildTeam is always working to reach that goal.

Many of my fellow challengers have written to you from the road and afterward about the physical and mental challenges, but also of the beauty and fun, of what we’ve just experienced. It’s all true. I’ll echo their comments, but it’s hard to adequately describe such an experience.

One memory that sticks in my mind comes from after our rickshaws crossed the finish line. Among the crowd there to meet us were some of WildTeam’s local village response teams. These Tiger Teams are volunteers who protect tigers and their communities by being on call for tiger sightings. They come to a scene and scare tigers away from human settlements and back to the forest so that neither humans nor tigers are killed. I wondered if I could be brave enough to do that. Could I volunteer to stand between my home and a tiger with calm nerves and restraint? That to me is a harder challenge. The Tiger Teams seemed quietly proud of their work. But they were there cheering for us, when I wanted to cheer for them, for their work. I feel grateful to have had this chance to experience Bangladesh in this way, to learn, and to be part of WildTeam working in such a positive way to support work like the Tiger Teams.

A special thank you to the countless people we met along the route who encouraged us with smiles, laughter, waves, and cheers. And thank you so much to all our supporters and sponsors! Your donations are important and very much appreciated. We may have crossed one finish line, but please help us keep the momentum we’ve built from this challenge. There’s still another finish line out there for us.

About Chris

Chris is a graduate student from the United States and has been in Bangladesh since June 2012 working on a research project. He's excited to join this amazing team to support WildTeam and their work. He previously bicycled across the U.S. to raise money and awareness for affordable housing issues and even worked as a 'rickshaw wallah' driving a pedicab around Chapel Hill, North Carolina, so he feels right at home on this challenge.


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