Apparently every 5 to 7 days we will be taking a rest day to recuperate and to prepare for the next part of our travels. I have decided to use these days to blog about the main reason I have decided to embark on this month and a half long journey, to fundraise for the St. Luke’s Foundation for Haiti and to raise awareness about the efforts the foundation is making to address the issues of unmet basic human needs in the region. Over the past week we have raised $2,100 of the $50,000 goal. There is still much fundraising to be done and any little bit helps!
A bit of an overview on the organization. The St. Luke Foundation for Haiti is a 100% Haitian-run non-profit organization, providing education, medical care and dignified humanitarian outreach in places that have been under-served by traditional service providers. The foundation believes that by following a shared vision for the future, the foundation and the people it serves can walk hand-in-hand towards a more prosperous and independent Haiti. Programs, run by highly skilled and trained Haitian leaders, save lives and create opportunity.
One of the reasons I decided to assist in supporting St. Luke is because promised aid has not reached Haitians. You may have heard about the billions of dollars promised Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. In truth, most of those funds never reached Haiti, and what did rarely ended up in the hands of Haitian people. The St. Luke Foundation for Haiti has leveraged pre-earthquake programs and infrastructure to grow programs and services to those in need. 100 percent of any funds that you donate to the St. Luke Foundation go directly to Haitian programs and Haitian people. On the behalf of the foundation I thank you for any donation that you are able to give, no matter how large or small. If you are unable to give at this time we would appreciate it if you could share the blog, fundraising site, etc. with your friends, family, church, anyone, and everyone!
More about the foundation on my next rest day. Now for an update on today’s events. Last night we stayed in a Cave In Rock state park. I thought my sleeping arrangement was pretty stellar, my hammock between two trees and a tarp hanging above and along each side of my hammock. It worked well for the first hour of the thunderstorm that came through at 4am, however an hour in to the downpour my feet and head began to get wet. As it turns out, about an inch of each end was not covered by the tarp. This was enough to let in the water. Roughly an hour and a half in to the storm I was fairly soaked. Since it was about time to get moving for the day I went to the park’s showers and restroom, and got ready for the morning activities.
We ate breakfast at a diner in town, and were obviously the only ones there who were not locals. The “Table Of Southern Knowledge” as it was labeled by the sign hanging above, was filled with men who were likely ordering off of the senior menu and sharing stories about the good ole days Cave In Rock. It reminded me a lot of one of the small diners in my hometown of Sunbury, Ohio.
The rain continued to come down, but we made our way to the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Park. The rock formations and the views of the forrest were breathtaking. Check out a few pictures below to see for yourself.
Tonight we are staying in a cabin in the park, which is nice since most of my gear is soaked. I ran some paracord between the rafters on the screened in porch in hopes that it will be dry be morning. We are back at it in the morning, and strangely I am a bit anxious to get back on the road.
Until tomorrow . . .