Can you believe we're less than ten days away from our much-anticipated pilgrimage? The weather continues to look promising: high 60s in the daytime and 50s at night. 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).
PLEASE READ THIS TODAY, SO YOU KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AS YOU PREPARE FOR THIS PILGRIMAGE.
This link shows you an overview of how the days will flow: Detailed itinerary with links so you can explore relevant websites ahead of time for information about each person and place we'll visit.
You'll notice that the schedule is quite 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 trip, 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, except for real emergencies, you are not available for these days. 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 (#LLP18)! It will all be there when you return home. Give yourself these few days; make it as meaningful as you can. We guarantee you won't regret it.
Casual, comfortable clothes are fine. You probably want to pack a sweater, down vest, or light jacket if you’re someone who gets cold easily. Except in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, you won’t be doing extensive walking on this trip, but comfortable shoes are still recommended.
One difference between this and all the other Pilgrimages we have run is that we will return to the same hotel every night. That means you can settle into your room and not have to worry about packing up every day. It also means our bus will be a little smaller so please limit your carry-ons to one bag. A small tote bag or backpack works best to keep your stuff available.
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.
Click this link for a roster of participants and staff [The roster is not available online. If you did not receive it, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send it to you] The roster includes names, email addresses, home city and state, mode of transportation, and arrival information. Please do not create a group email list from this roster and do not share the roster or email addresses with anyone outside of the group. Thank you for protecting everyone’s privacy. The roster will also include roommate assignments. So, for those of you who asked us to assign a roommate, you’ll be able to be in touch with each other beforehand so you can get to know each other a little.
We expect to have about twenty-five people total on the bus including four Living Legacy Pilgrimage staff and our driver:
- Rev. Gordon Gibson, trip leader
- Reggie Harris, musician and LLP musical director
- Jan Sneegas, team support staff
- Joseph Selmon, tour manager
- Calvin Mote, driver
- Annette Marquis, administrative coordinator
If you haven’t sent us your arrival information, even if you’re driving, please reply to this email with it. If you’re arriving by public transportation, i.e., plane, train, or bus, you’ll need to find a way to the hotel. Cab fares from the airport are about $50, so if you can share a cab or arrange a ride, that will help. Car-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, are banned from the airport, so cabs are your only option. If you see that someone on the list who is arriving around the same time as you, email them and ask if you can share a ride.
Expressing gratitude is an integral 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.
When you spend time on a bus with twenty-five other people, you get close. You’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.
Another Kind of Sharing: Social Media/Writing/Photography/Video
If you're into social media, we appreciate all the tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, blogging you want to share. We invite you to document as much of your journey as you want, from packing until you return home again, for the folks back home, for future pilgrims, and for your own memories, by following these guidelines:
- Use hashtag #LLP18 so we can identify your posts and share them on the Living Legacy Pilgrimage platforms.
- If you're bringing a camera, even one on your phone, please be respectful of our guests. Give our speakers a chance to settle in before snapping photos.
- Do not post photos of other people on the bus without permission from them.
- Talk with a staff member to get permission before taking video or audio recordings of our guests.
- If you're a blogger or do other writing, please send us your blog posts and writing so we can share them.
It’s a good idea to have cash to leave a tip for the housekeeping staff. 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 per day for a total of $15 for Calvin Mote, 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.
Special dietary needs
We make every effort to accommodate special dietary needs that you've made known to us. Also, we'll have a few healthy and 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.
Some of you have not opened the first email bulletin we sent. Just in case you're concerned that you missed anything, you'll find it here at this link: Informational Bulletins.
Have a wonderful, sacred, and inspirational Pilgrimage!
Living Legacy Project Administrative Coordinator