India on a rickshaw: ‘Loopy‘ journey an eye-opener for P.E.I. man

It‘s a different way to fundraise and see the world, but Jalen MacLeod says he‘s learning a lot on his journey across India to raise money for two international youth charities. 

The Orwell, P.E.I., resident is one of three men making the 3,000-km trip from the country‘s north to south in a tiny rickshaw. 

MacLeod had just completed the fifth day of the trip — covering about 500 km — when reached by CBC News on Wednesday. 

Bucket list

MacLeod said the idea for the trip came from a bucket list written 10 years ago by Matty Lovell, a friend who lived in New Zealand. 

“He had actually done everything on it except two things — have kids and do something for charity. And he said, ‘I don‘t want to have kids, want to do something for charity?‘ and we kind of stumbled upon this idea.” 

Jalen MacLeod says they have received a warm welcome from the locals everywhere they have stopped. (Earth to India/Facebook)

The group spent six months planning and organizing the trip. The funds they raise will go toward the Cricket Live Foundation and Inspire Foundation.

“We‘ve been raising money on the ground level and businesses have jumped on, some corporations and we did some fundraising before the trip began.” 

Warm welcome

After testing out the rickshaws for a few days, the two men, along with filmmaker Andy Vause, began their trip. 

MacLeod said they receive a warm welcome at each stop they make.

“It‘s been amazing. It‘s just been crazy,” he said of the interactions they‘ve experienced. MacLeod said the biggest response is in the rural areas where people want to cook for them and invite them into their homes. 

‘It‘s kind of like Island life, like P.E.I. life.‘ — Jalen MacLeod

“It‘s kind of like Island life, like P.E.I. life.” 

As for the rickshaws, MacLeod said they‘ve had a few breakdowns, including a blown gasket, but overall the seven horsepower engine is holding up.

MacLeod said they travelled 230 kilometres in one day, the most so far on the journey that is expected to take two weeks to complete. 

And MacLeod said he is learning to appreciate what he has taken for granted as he sees how the people of India live and survive. 

More information about MacLeod‘s trip can be found on their page and . 

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