Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Joseph's Corner: Day Two & Three

The journey continues! Yesterday the place we were staying at had no Internet access, so blogging was impossible. But it had probably the most relaxing pool I have been in, so it was acceptable. We walked 23 miles that day, from the small town of Esperanza to Belize's Capitol Belmopan. And man was it intense! Luckily we finished around noon, just as the sun was coming out, so we avoided the 90-something weather that was predicted for the day. But that didn't stop the hurting. Just abiut everyone's feet felt like they were about to fall off at the end of thr day. Rowan was a true champ through and through, though, never once complaining about the several blisters I found out later he had gotten or the intense pain he said he felt in his feet for more than half the day. He reminded me that any problems I had were tiny in comparison to others', a lesson I have been learning continuously throughout this trip.

We had maybe a dozen people join us for the whole way, and again several more who joined us for parts of the way. And after these last two days, I don't think there is a single person who doesn't know Rowan and his story. Yesterday four different tv stations followed our group for the last mile into Belmopan, videotaping us (but mainly Rowan and his dad) as we were walking. As most of the group collapsed as we finished our hike, Rowan and Joe were forced to use up what little strength they had left to answer the several reporters who were waiting for them. I learned later that the interview and footage was broadcasted on pretty much every news channel during the prime time news, so Rowan really has become a household name!

Today was a little less intense than yesterday; we only walked 18 miles i on mostly flat road. The weather, however, decided to not be as kind and unlike the first two days came out early and came out strong. Our impressive group of almost 35 people did not give in to it though, and pushed through to finish at the Belize zoo, where the Garels and I staying tonight.

I really saw the community of Belize come together during today's walk. Almost every single car, bus, truck, or whatever slowed down and honked or waved to us as we passed; several small crowds waited for us along the road to cheer us on; and it seemed that every other car or person that went by donated something.  In fact, one cyclist stopped by out of nowhere and handed Rowan a $1500 check. It turns out that he was from 'Energy for Life,' a charity set up by the Belize Oil companies who learned about Riwan and wanted to support his cause. It was hard to believe just how big this fundraiser had gotten, and we still have two more days of unknown potential to go. I'm excited for what might happen next!

Today also marked an important benchmark in our trip: we passed the halfway point! At the end of the day we had walked 53 miles, and tomorrow we're aiming for another 18 miles to bring us even closer to the finish line! We also left the Cayo district, the westernmost, mountainous, district of Belize, and entered the Belize district, which is (thankfully) mostly flat and goes all the way to the coast and Belize city.
Tomorrow I will be able to post another entry, and hope you will read about what interesting things we're going to do! Until then, good night.

Rowan & I
Walk Across Belize

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