New Twist on Family Vacation: Bicycling to Make a Difference (Photo Essay)
KANSAS CITY, Mo.— It’s all in the family for the Pasdars — bicycling across the U.S, saving orphans, and meeting the President. Arian Pasdar, 18, and Anahita Pasdar, 15, are brother and sister and both are riding bicycles across the U.S. to bring five Chinese orphans to safety. Their father, Renz, is joining in the auxiliary role as cook, driver, and whatever else is needed on the trip.
At the end of the journey they hope to meet with President Obama.
The teens, along with 23 other young Ride 2 Freedom cyclists, began their 3,000 mile trek in L.A. on June 1. Their journey will end in at the United Nations in New York, where the riders will assist in a diplomatic rescue of five Falun Dafa orphans from Beijing.
Ride2Freedom aims to bring world attention to those persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party for their spiritual belief in Falun Dafa.
According to a Ride2Freedom press release: In “China today, millions of children are being orphaned, tortured, hunted down, or even murdered because they or their family members practice Falun Dafa. This persecution has lasted over 15 years and is still happening.”
The Pasdars represent Austria, their homeland, and one of the 15 countries being represented. The Epoch Times spoke to them in Kansas City on June 27, 2015, which was at about the halfway point on their tour.
Arian joined Ride2Freedom because he practices Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong. The practice requires its adherents to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Arian said that he senses the power of Falun Dafa in his life because it helps him improve his character. “When my friends who don’t practice come to me, they realize, they see and they also can feel it is a different environment than in other houses. Everything is so calm, we are lucky you know.”
He said that most of his friends look for this kind of fun and that kind of fun, but they don’t have peace in their hearts.
Some of Anahita’s friends are jealous that she gets to ride across the United States, but they are happy for her, too, because she is doing something worthwhile.
Anahita is enjoying seeing America. “Kansas City is so beautiful, I like it and I like it because it is green.”
Arian has enjoyed meeting the Americans: “The people are very, very nice. Yes, very nice people, good to talk to them because our mission is to talk to people and it is good to talk to these people. They like to hear and they like to talk to you and it is very easy to spread our word.”
According to Anahita, the group is focusing on the possible end of the journey right now: meeting President Obama.
“Basically, we hope that we reach as many people as possible because that is our goal and if we meet president Obama, we can reach so many people from all around the world. It is very important for us,” she said.
A side benefit of the trip is spending the summer with her family. “It is very cool, I like that they are with me and I am happy that our whole family supports our project,” Anahita said.
Her father, Renz, had similar thoughts: “It’s a really good opportunity for me and my family to be in this project and trying to make a difference in the world and trying to end the persecution.
“Me and my family have been really blessed with Dafa. I personally have lots of stories that show how blessed I am with Dafa, and I am also very happy that my children are also Dafa practitioners. A lot of people when they see my children, they say how good they are and I know if it wasn’t because of Dafa, they wouldn’t be this way.
“So I am very blessed to have my whole family practice Dafa and all of us being part of the project to create awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong in China,” he said.