Global 11-year trek coming to an end for Canadian Jean Béliveau
Eleven years ago on August 18, 2000 Jean Béliveau left his comfortable home in Montreal to start a global walk promoting "Peace and non-violence for the profit of the children of the world". That walk will end on October 16 when he comes home to Montreal
For eleven years Jean Béliveau
has walked to with little money and a calling to draw awareness to the youngest victim of violence.
He started out with a hug from his long time girlfriend Luce Archambault on his 45th birthday in 2000. He carried a mere $4,000 to pay his way for his more than 75,000 km journey across the globe. Over the past 11 years Luce has sent him about the same amount each year so that he could continue his mission. His business had gone belly up that year and he was facing a mid-life crisis. He was looking at finding meaning in his life, so with the support of Luce and his two grown up sons he set off on a mission.
Jean's worldly belongings have fit in a three-wheeled stroller during his trek. He has needed little for the past 11 years, finding that strangers on the road often came to his aid.
During those 11 years he fell seriously ill in Algeria, was mugged in South Africa and detained in Ethiopia. It was in Ethiopia that Béliveau briefly felt enough despair to give up. Luce encouraged him to go on.
Jean has slept under the stars, bridges, in shelters and inside people's homes. He has worn out 53 pairs of shoes.
quotes the Canadian man, "I left with nothing, but I return now with a wealth of knowledge and understanding," he said.
He's kept in touch with his family though daily calls on Skype. Soon that wanderlust will be gone as he joins his wife who only spent Christmases together during his journey.
Luce has kept a newsletter going to let others know what is going on with Jean on their site.
On October 6 he will arrive in Toronto where he will take a bit of a rest relaxing with friends. On Saturday October 10th he will attend the Arts and Music Festival in Kensington Market before he takes to the road one last time. Luce expects to have her husband home for good in three weeks.