A bicyclist from Tanzania who is on a two-year-long solo world bike tour will be rolling into Issaquah (WA) next week.
Elvis Munis is on his way up from Portland, where he stopped as part of his quest to raise enough money to pay for college degrees in conservation studies for himself and 9 countrymen.
His ride, labelled “Chile to Kili,” describes the geographical scope of his bicycle travels. He started in Chile and has been riding up the Pacific Coast to Alaska. From there, he’ll cross into Asia and Europe, then enter Africa where he’ll pedal to his home in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The Vino Bello Wine and Espresso Bar in Issaquah wants to help Munis in his quest to raise and is hosting a get-together next Wednesday.
The 26-year-old naturalist grew up in the shadow of the great mountain and has spent his life guiding visitors on treks up Kilimanjaro and teaching local ecology to visiting high school and college students. He also led Tour d’Afrique’s Cairo to Capetown trans-Africa bicycle tour last year.
Munis also is a member of the nonprofit Conservation Resource Center in Tanzania. That’s where he realized that one of the major obstacles to protecting the wildland of Africa is the inability of many Tanzanian citizens to obtain proper education for leading efforts to protect wildlife and the natural resources.
His bicycle tour is an effort to drum up financial support for students seeking careers in conservation. Munis himself would like to get a PhD in conservation biology with a focus on ornithology. He’s also seeking funds for another paid staff member at the nonprofit conservation center.
The event at the Vino Bello Wine and Expresso Bar runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday (Nov. 14), at 99 Front Ave., Issaquah.
Munis will present a slideshow and videos from Tanzania and his travels. Also, there’s a raffle and silent auction that features, among other things, a bicycle refurbished by Kent Peterson. Michel Golz will provide music.