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.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Port Orange: Great Support for Safe Passage and PT Challenges

Deb speaking at the Port Orange United Church of Christ
Great hospitality and generosity from Port Orange, Florida!   But tough going with the rehabilitation - who knew it was so much work holding up a head!

Louise and Jim Eagan in Port Orange have been following the expedition for months and looking forward to meeting me at the dock, having me stay a couple of days and then seeing me off from the dock.  When plans changed after the surgery and I talked with them, they generously offered for me to stay for the three weeks necessary for the physical therapy.  Then the arranged for me to speak at their church, at the town library, a reception with a fantastic spread of food and people, and a great article in the newspaper.  I'm taking a copy of the newspaper to Guatemala to give to Angel, the Safe Passage child my husband and I have sponsored for the last seven years.  One photo in the paper is a picture of a picture of Angel holding up a message of support for the expedition.  I think he will enjoy seeing himself in a US newspaper!  You know you are providing great opportunities when you sponsor a child at Safe Passage, and this is just a tiny "thank you" to Angel.
Angel's message of support
We are splitting our time between Louise and Jim, and their fellow church members, we've been Molly and Charlie Baskin.  They live out on Ponce Inlet, and provided a wonderful traditional meal on the 17th of corned beef and cabbage and hot cross buns.
Laughing with Molly and Charlie!
I'm loving walking across the road to the beach, and doing my neck exercises while playing in the surf with children, surfers and kayakers.  One young girl in particular caught my attention as she was standing still for a very long time, just mesmerized as she watched the waves.  I can remember being that girl.
Young girl captivated by the surf.
From the newspaper connection I was invited to speak at the Port Orange Rotary Club and met a Rotarian with another great kayaking fundraiser: Paddle Out Poverty.  Sometimes I wish I too had opted for a one day fundraiser.  And with such a great poster!

The post surgery rehabilitation is progressing, but I seem to be going backwards, with lots of pain.  I have to keep remembering the message Mirna, one of the mothers at Safe Passage gave me to share with folks during the expedition.  Mirna asked me to tell people about a quote that has been very meaningful in her life: "If you believe you can do it, you can do it."  Okay, Mirna, I have just have to work hard and believe!
Mirna's message continues to inspire and motivate me!

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