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, August 31, 2014

Walking Day 27.5: A walk on the beach and a virtual visit to the dump

Breakers and swift current at the breachway
Decided yesterday that the safest option was to not try to paddle into the breachway into Quonochontaug Pond at Weekapaug.  Today I walked along the beach down to the breachway to see if I had made the correct decision.
The current was flying through the channel, which would have been challenge enough.  But it was the southerly winds kicking up the breaking waves over the sandbars at the entrance that would have been the deal breaker.  I could not have safely paddled into the pond.  Good decision.

Hiking the four miles down to the breachway and back was also great for my legs, which don't get enough exercise when I'm kayaking.

The rest of the day I've spent with a virtual visit to the garbage dump in Guatemala City as I prepare for my multiple presentations in NYC.  The contrast between the clear crisp air as I walked along the private beach, and recalling the choking dust, methane and rotting garbage of the dump was stark.  This expedition is an emotional roller coaster, as I go between the beauty and wealth of the seacoast I am kayaking along, to sharing the stories of the abject poverty of the families of the dump.  It is hard to continually focus my awareness on the reality of both worlds, and experience the resulting cognitive dissonance.  The first comment made by most people is "Unbelievable", and it is had to believe, even for me.

Watching the first few minutes of this clip of a GuatemalanTV story about Safe Passage helps me to maintain that dual focus:
Afundo, Guatevision

It's good to be staying with Drew, another member of the Safe Passage Board of Directors tonight, since he understands both realities.

Deb and Linda after dinner
Had a great Sunday lunch with Doug and Joan Rayner and other Westerly Rotarians.  Doug has arranged luxury accommodation for my kayak, and his daughter will join me as I kayak on Monday.  Doug had even arranged with the police for the Rotarians to pick up my kayak in an area that is usually out of bounds.  Nice how Doug gets things done!!  Too bad the surf prevented me from landing there!

Deb, Westerly Rotary Club Banner and President Doug Rayner

Walk Day: 27.5                                                  Date: August 30, 2014
Start: Westerly                                                  End: Westerly
Distance: 4.05 miles                                          Total distance: 297.36 miles
Max speed:  walking pace                                   Moving ave.: walking pace
Kayak storage:   Doug Rayner                              Host: Drew and Linda Casertino

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