Jean Beliveau a native Canadian is returning home after an 11year trip around the globe. Beliveau began his journey because of a perrsonal crisis and ended the journey as an Ambassador of peace and goodwill.
Beliveau left Montreal when he was 45 years old after his business went bankrupt. In an effort to escape a painful time in his life, he began a run that took him all the way to Atlanta, Georgia. Luce Archambault, his long time companion, encouraged him turn his quest into a journey to promote peace and non violence in support of a UNESCO proclamation.
Suddenly the world weary man who was seeking escape from a mid life crisis had a new purpose in life. For 11 years, Béliveau has been walking around the glove, bringing attention to children who suffer violence. His walk coincided with a UN initiative that began in 2000 and ended last month. During this incredible journey, Beliveau walked through deserts and across mountain ranges.
He traveled Mexico, wore a beard in the Sudan and had insects for meals in Africa. Beliveau ate dog in South Korea and snake in China. He has danced and sang with children in Malaysia and he met four Nobel Peace Prize winners. In Durban, South Africa, he was able to meet with Nelson Mandela who applauded his efforts. Beliveau only fell on dire straits a few times during his trip.
He became gravely ill in Algeria, was mugged by drunks in South Africa and fell on despair in Ethiopia which thrust him into a desire to quit. It was Archambault that convinced him to carry on with his mission for good. Beliveau was often found sleeping under bridges and in homeless shelters, but the good nature of people that heard of his cause invited him into their homes.
He spent about $4000 CAN each year supported by his companion who provided him that much annually. The remainder of the time, he relied on the kindness of strangers to get him through his journey. Today, he is broke, but his soul is richer for his experiences. Beliveau said he aims to write a book, lecture on his experience, and promote “harmony between people, listening to one another and being accepting of others’ differences.”
On a personal level, his story tends well- Archambault flew to join him every year at Christmas and is giddy that he is almost home.