Our Volunteers

steve

“Masons on a Mission” Ride Challenge by Stephen Bushway

Goal:

To raise money and awareness for the native Guatemalans who inhabit the Atitlan
region of Guatemala in 3rd world conditions, cooking over an unvented“3 stone fire”,
day after day, often with a baby in their arms. These women suffer various eye and
lung ailments from the long term exposure to wood smoke.
Every dollar raised for M.O.M. goes toward local stove materials which cost $150.
per stove. These stoves exhaust smoke to the outside and are more efficient, easier
and safer to use.

Background:

I am a fireplace and masonry heater mason by trade. I learned about Masons on a
Mission through it’s founder, Pat Manley and the Masonry Heater Association of
North America. I have traveled to Guatemala twice with a group of volunteers to
build cooking stoves for the people of Lake Atitlan. It was an extremely rewarding
experience. Family circumstances prevent me from returning to Guatemala this
winter.

In recent years, I have developed a passion for solo motorcycle touring. My first
ride was in 1976 from Cape Cod to Los Angeles, California via San Francisco. I didn’t
own or ride a motorcycle again until 2010.
The last 3 years I have taken solo trips to the Atlantic Provinces of Canada: twice to
Newfoundland, once to Labrador and, most recently, around the Gaspe Peninsula.
And the Ride Challenge idea:

My intention is to make this summer’s trip a bit more meaningful. Sometime in late
June I will leave for a place called “L’Anse aux Meadows” on the northern tip of
Newfoundland and the recently discovered site of an early Viking settlement. This
site confirms European contact with the North American continent at around 1,100
AD, fully 400 years before the 1492 date we currently designate as “Columbus Day”.

The site is also significant for me personally because of my Norwegian ancestry.
The round trip is just over 3,000 miles from my home in Plainfield, Mass. and will
take about 7 days each way to reach by motorcycle, including the 7 hour ferry ride
from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port aux Basque, NL.

My goal is to raise enough money to build 33 stoves: $5,000. You can help me reach
this goal by pledging any amount of money per mile of the 3,000 miles I will be
traveling. For example, if you pledge a penny a mile, your total pledge amount
(assuming I finish!) would be $30. , a $.05/mile pledge would amount to $150. or
enough money to build a smoke-free cooking stove for a Guatemalan family!