THANK YOU donors for your support! Thank you Mark for Biking for the Blue House!


Arrived Thurs. May 24, after 32 days, 2,000 miles, and almost $3,000 raised for the girls of the Blue House orphanage in Uganda. Your donation really does make a difference.

THANK YOU for helping surpass my fundraising goal! If you haven't donated yet, you can still do so. 18 girls are still waiting to get into the Blue House as soon as there are funds. Let's see how far above my goal we can go!


I have always liked biking. I biked from Florida to California two years ago (3500 miles, 55 days). This year’s ride is a “short” one – 1900 miles from New Orleans to St. Paul. I plan to do it in about 30 days.

This bike ride will reach to the other side of the world – to a small orphanage for girls in Uganda, Africa, with roots in St. Paul.

You can help me reach my goal of raising $2012 and follow my progress up the Mississippi, April 23 to May 23. I’ll try to post a few photos and progress reports on this page. Check back often!

Why an orphanage in Uganda?

I knew the founder, Beatrice Garubanda, when she and her family moved to the U.S. to attend the University of Minnesota. When she was finally able to return to her home in Uganda after 17 years, she was horrified to see the impact of AIDS and other diseases. Children were homeless.

Beatrice started Hope Multipurpose, Inc. (HMI). Its first project was the Blue House orphanage, with the mission: Creating a childhood for orphans in rural Uganda.

Soon after, Beatrice died suddenly at age 49. Her friends, family and the boards of directors in both the U.S. and Uganda have carried on her work.

Learn more about the girls of the Blue House at We’ll tell you more about them and their life as this bike trip progresses.

Why a bike trip up the Mississippi?

For me the attraction of this trip is that I have lived at both ends of the Mississippi River, but have never really seen the country between. When my brother, Dave, and I were young we always talked about canoeing from the headwaters at Lake Itasca (where we spent summers) to New Orleans, but the furthest we ever made it was almost to Bemidji.

I really enjoy watching the countryside go by slowly, and seeing what you miss from a car or plane. A bike trip like this takes you through a whole range of cities, towns, farms and forests at a slower pace. Plus the physical work of biking makes you appreciate it even more.

I hope you'll follow my trip's progress. See the short updates below. Also watch for more information about the Blue House orphanage.

Thanks for your support!

Mark Hansen


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    2136 Carter Avenue
    ST PAUL, MN 55108-1708
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