I am a grandmother paddling alone over 2,500 miles from Maine to Guatemala. Along the way I will be:
- telling the story of the children who live in the Guatemala City garbage dump community
- honoring their entrepreneurial mothers
- talking about the success of the Safe Passage model school and
- raising funds for additional grades for the school.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Starting to Panic...

Just some of the electronics for the expedition.
So little time left.  So much to do!  Starting to panic...
Can I get it all done?  Only 46 more days to get everything ready!

Today was a typical day of preparation.
Purchased marine charting software, and spent hours learning to use it and creating just two routes and downloading them to my GPS
Dehydrated two weeks work of spinach
Dehydrated two weeks worth of turkey pepperoni
Built a tripod mounting system and leash for a video cam on the kayak
Tested the tripod and video cam on dry land.
Diagnosed the problem with the video cam programming - code is okay, but the external power supplies are not providing power.
Replaced old roof racks with new ones, only to find the kayak is too heavy for the new racks, and remounted the old racks.
Designed and built a system to hold the seat in the kayak, even if I dump.
On a flat surface, tested the kayak cart we modified yesterday by cutting down the sections of aluminum pipe and re drilling holes for cotter pins.
Spent a few hours on email correspondence about the expedition
Drove down to the coast to paddle in the ocean to:
1) train
2) test the kayak cart on sand and on rocks - failed going down hill - tough to pull but okay going uphill - need to modify the straps and add bands for further support, and maybe larger wheels
3) realized critical problem if store cart inside hatches - will be putting lots of saltwater and sand and dirt into the clean dry hatches - which ill rub against the dry bags and lead to damage over the course of a year - so developed idea about storing on deck
4) test the new GPS and the routes made using the charting software
5) test the video cam on the water - easy to use, but problem with angle not being right to capture the waves.  Also either water on the lens or internal fogging is blurring some of the image - yikes!
6) test new cellphone and dry case
7) test dry case for GPS
8) test new VHF radio

Then spent a wonderful hour sitting in the sun, having a drink in Belfast, meeting old friends and having dinner.

Then home for more preparation:

  • more correspondence 
  • viewing of the videos and exploring video editing software
  • sewing snaps on my silk sheet
  • repacking my sleeping mat and seat
  • testing of the new flashlights and headlamps - would you believe the switch doesn't work on the diver's torch and my rechargeable batteries do not fit inside?
  • working on correspondence to sponsors about items that will need to be replaced
  • drafting a complex response about event planning challenges
  • researched the average annual operating costs of educating a child in a public school Maine - $9,963 per child in 2009-2010, and compared that to the average annual cost per child at Safe Passage of roughly $2,000 which includes education, health, nutrition, social services, after school programs and sports, as well as adult literacy, entrepreneurship training programs, family nurturing classes and healthcare for their parents.  Safe Passage knows how to stretch every dollar while providing top quality programs!
  • and then relaxing by writing a blog post.

It's a lot easier to prepare for an expedition when you don't have to take along so many electronic devices that are necessary to blog and video and interact with folks online.  But it will all be so worth it to be able to share the stories of the children at Safe Passage and the amazing work that their parents do to help them have a better life.  My occasional preparation stress is nothing compared to the day-in, day-out stress that the children and families at Safe Passage deal with all the time.  That type of toxic stress of poverty has been shown to have lasting effects on the brains of children.  If I can help Safe Passage do just a little more in reducing that chronic stress for the children, then my occasional days of frustration will be so worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning. I just received an email from a friend in Maine telling me about your upcoming travels to Guatemala. Currently, I am 62 yo and serving 27 months in the Peace Corps in Belize. My friend tells me you will arrive by sailboat to Belize to begin your journey. Iwould loveto meet up with youasyou begin your journey here.
    Additionally, I have done a lot of work in Guatemala over the years and will actually be moving to work there when my Peace Corps Service will be finished. Last year, the Doc I worked with retired and she donated the entire7 exam room office, plus other supplies to Guatemala and I will be opening small clinics in the poorer regions with the help of a wealthy business man in Guate and my friend.
    I know at this time you are overwhelmed with preperations, but, when you get the time, please contact me. I look forward to meeting with you and helping you with a safe journey through Belize. I live 38 miles inland in the area the Ruta Maya passes. Celeste