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, January 11, 2015

Back to North Carolina: Speaking Blitz

Deb and Jemma at Carolina Friends School
I'm back in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Arnie Katz organized a whirlwind tour with ten speaking engagements over three days.  I can rest in my kayak.
Had great fun speaking to four groups at the Carolina Friends School and meeting Jemma from Guatemala, and Anna who is going to volunteer at Safe Passage during her gap year.

Josh Lozoff and I were interviewed about Safe Passage on WCHL.  You can listen on the Safe Passage website, where we have links to all the media coverage for the expedition.

The girls at the Aldern Academy were full of great questions as I talked with them.  They shared with me an Ambassadorial project where one student had created a wall to remember special people who had died.  I was touched to see a tile there for Hanley Denning, founder of Safe Passage, that Ed King had added.
Deb with Rachel, the creator of the memory memorial
Had a wonderful lunch with a group of strong young women at Aldern Academy.  I expect to see some of them in Guatemala, while others may sponsor a child!
What a great group!
At a reception at Carol Kelly's I caught up with two past Safe Passage board members, Arnie and Susan.  Susan helped me with my painful shoulder.  Hope it recovers quickly!
Deb, Arnie and Susan
Thanks, Carol, for introducing me to new folks as well!
Carol and Deb
Saturday night found me speaking at the Winter meeting of the Spring Friends Meeting.  We were joined by a group of kayaking Friends who drove from Charlotte who had been trying for several weeks to arrange a visit with me.
Deb talking with Charlotte Friends
The Times News sent a photographer and reporter and wrote a nice story.

Sunday included speaking to the Church of Reconciliation in the morning and at Carol Woods Retirement Community in the afternoon.  There I met, Bill Peck, the very first ever child sponsor for Safe Passage.  It is amazing how one young woman, Hanley Denning, touched so many hearts and created an ongoing support network for Safe Passage.

Thank you Arnie and Svea, for hosting me and organizing such a wonderful visit.  The dinner with the "young people" was such a treat.  The three women friends from Chapel Hill (Leah, Rachel and Katie), who volunteered together many times at Safe Passage, now with their husbands (or fiancees) from Panama, Germany and India, generated conversations that roamed the world.

Next up is speaking at the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club before heading back to Georgetown and getting back on the water on Tuesday!

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