“The best way to prepare for a long bicycle trip is to just go on a long bicycle trip.”
- Bro. Philip Aaron
The quote above is spoken words to me during a personal interview with Brother Philip Aaron, one of our inspiring Marianist brothers in Dayton and an experienced world traveler. Brother Phil is an ex-engineering professor, a founder of the ETHOS program and the creator of the Center for Social Concern (including the International Immersion Trips).
Though I met with him for a short time to gain some insight on his many experiences in Africa (since I will be journeying there this summer!), I was able to hear about problems he faced and how community building in certain places helped him to implement some successful water projects.
During this discussion, I reflected on how we as River Stewards aren’t restricted to just be stewards of the river, but how, more importantly, we are called to be stewards of this Earth! *This includes both the land we live on and the people we encounter.*
As I continue to prepare for my adventure this summer for Zambia, I will remember these insights shared from Brother Phil. His enlightening stories reminded me that I am a River Steward wherever I travel, whether on a long bike ride with my fellow Stews to the Huffman Dam, or to a poor village in Africa. His advice (quote above) motivates me to have full trust in God while I am getting ready for this trip halfway around the world. And it is most exciting to find out why God needs a River Steward on that trip to serve the people and the African land!
To serve, to build community, and to recognize the beauty of His creation in ALL.
This is what being a River Steward means to me.