Please note that we'll be on Central Daylight Time (UTC-06:00) throughout the trip so you might need to reset your watches when you arrive (or remember that your phone might have automatically reset).
Several of you have asked for information about our day-to-day schedule. This link shows you how the days will flow: Itinerary.
You'll notice that the schedule is very full and the days are long. Unlike vacation tours when you have blocks of time to explore on your own, this is a sacred pilgrimage where, because of the people we'll meet and the places we'll visit, every minute is precious. We know it asks a lot of us, but we also know from hundreds of people who have gone on this pilgrimage before you, they wouldn't trade a minute of it. When you return home after this week, we hope you'll feel the same.
Please remember that the itinerary is subject to change. The key is to let the experience flow in you and through you without worrying about the clock. That's our job. We'll keep you informed about what's next and what to expect along the way. Your job is to breathe in as much as you can and let the experience take you where it will.
On that note, we encourage you to tell family, friends, and employers that, with the exception of real emergencies, you are not available for this week. Put an out-of-office/away message on your email and your cell phone. Try as hard as you can to reduce distractions. We even encourage you to stay away from the news and social media, except, of course, when you're posting about the Pilgrimage (#LLP19)! It will all be there when you return home. Give yourself this week; make it as meaningful as you can. We guarantee you won't regret it.
Some of you have not opened previous bulletins and emails we've sent. Just in case you're concerned that you missed anything, you'll find them all, including this one, at this link: Oct 2019 LLP Bulletins.
We suggest you pack lightly-layered clothing, a sweater, and rain jacket, for example, to keep you comfortable in any weather we might experience.
Sunday, October 20 is the only day you will need “church clothes.” We will be attending services at Bethel Baptist Church of Collegeville, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth’s former church, and then having lunch and a program at Historic Bethel Baptist Church. We ask that you dress up (at least a little) for the occasion. If you want to leave your dress clothes in Birmingham, you're welcome to put them in my car (as long as you remember to claim them when we get back to Birmingham or Diversity Thrift in Richmond will receive a nice donation!).
Plan to wear comfortable clothes and good walking shoes. You will have to lug your suitcase into the hotel and back again every day so we suggest you pack lightly. We don't care if you wear the same outfit more than once (as long as you shower regularly!).
Those of us who have spent a lot of time on the bus have found that a small day pack or tote bag works well in the overhead bin or on the floor by your feet to hold the stuff you might need during the day.
Also, please remember to pack a water bottle. We will have some bottled water for those who need it but, for the environment's sake, we don't want to purchase too much of it. We'll also have some snacks on the bus, but bring whatever you know you'll want (or need) with you so you're not disappointed that we didn't get your favorite kind.
You'll find the list of hotels, addresses, and phone numbers on the itinerary. Except for the first two nights in Birmingham, the staff will handle check-in and will distribute keys each evening.
If you’re driving, you’ll be able to part your car for the week at the Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport. Ask for a parking pass when you check in. Out of courtesy to other guests, they ask that we leave our cars in the rows farther away from the door. Remember, you can leave your Saturday and Sunday clothes in your car so you don’t have to lug them all around all week. If you're not driving, you can leave stuff in one of our cars, as long as you remember to pick it up when we arrive back in Birmingham.
Special dietary needs
We make every effort to accommodate special dietary needs that you've made known to us. In addition, we'll have granola and energy bars, fruit, and other (less healthy) snacks on the bus. Our meals are not always at the same time every day, so if you need to eat on a schedule, or if you require anything else that you're concerned about not getting, please bring it with you. And remember to bring a water bottle.
If your plane, train, or automobile is delayed on Saturday and you won’t arrive by our 4:00 pm (Central) Orientation, please text me at 804-551-0241. Be sure to include who you are and when you hope to arrive.
When you spend a week on a bus with forty-five other people you get pretty close. We’ll be sharing a lot, including germs. If you have a cold, please bring plenty of tissues and dispose of them properly. If you don’t have a cold and don’t want to get one, you might want to bring extra vitamins, zinc, Airborne, or whatever you use to fortify yourself. It’s rare anyone spreads anything, at least that we know about, but it’s good to be prepared.
We also ask that you limit scents, i.e. perfume, cologne, and any extra scented things. If people have a sensitivity to scents, the close quarters of the bus could activate them. Also, be sure to check with your roommate before spraying anything in the room, burning a scented candle, etc.
And if you’re sharing a room, remember to pack your eyeshades and earplugs to manage lights and sounds that might impact your sleeping.
Expressing gratitude is an important part of developing relationships. We encourage you to bring thank-you cards and/or find other ways to express gratitude to those you meet along the way.
Reuse and Recycle
At Orientation on Saturday, we’ll be asking for someone to volunteer as our recycling coordinator(s) for the week. You can make their work a lot easier if you reduce the amount of recyclables you consume. Remember your water bottles! Also, if you’re inclined to help with recycling, let us know on Saturday.
Several people have asked about how much money to bring with you. It’s a good idea to have cash to leave a tip for the housekeeping staff at each hotel along our route. We generally recommend $3-5 per night. If you’re sharing a room, you can split that between you. We also recommend at least $5-10 per day for a total of $40-80 for our bus driver. We present him with an envelope at the end of the trip with our thanks. Cash is best, but if you want to write a check that’s fine too. If you can afford more that will help those who aren’t able to contribute as much. You might also want cash or credit cards for incidentals, gifts, etc. That should be all you need.
Let me know if you have any additional questions. I'm looking forward to meeting you in Birmingham.
Living Legacy Project, Inc.