Monday, February 24, 2014

A LONG Bicycle Trip

“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.


Bryan Westerlund
2016 Cohort

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Outdoor Adventures

Throughout my time as a student at UD, I have realized how important it is to get off UD’s campus and “break the bubble”.  As a River Steward, I have realized that it is even better to get off campus and seek the serenity of the forests and parks.  The forest is somewhere where I feel calm and relaxed while enjoying the scenery, the smell of the leaves, and the cool breeze on the trail.  Not only this, but I can enjoy the company of many of my fellow stews.  Throughout last semester, we went on a variety of adventures.  Some of these adventures included hiking in John Bryan State Park while also rock climbing, cave exploring, and swimming in the river.  Other adventures included riding on the bike trails to Huffman Dam and to the local festival, Midwest Outdoor Experience.  And even in the cold days of winter, we bundled up and went hiking in the snow at Possum Creek MetroPark.  
Bike trip to Huffman Dam
Through all of these activities, I have learned about the great sense of adventure of River Stewards, and their awesome attitude towards trying new things.  I have also learned about how hanging outside in this beautiful place we live makes me to truly appreciate the beauty of nature.  I remember one of the speakers from minicourse this semester said that in order to protect the rivers, you have to respect them.  I think that getting out and interacting with the forests, parks, and the rivers will make us better River Stewards and more willing to protect the environment in which we live.  In getting out into nature, we grow to appreciate the beauty around us and discover that it’s our duty to protect it.  I encourage you to get outside and enjoy yourself; it’s pretty cool out there.

River Love,

Dan Striebich

2016 Cohort