Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saved by Scarpa, Racing Heart Rate & a Dead Dog

Greetings from Santa Maria del Rio! An interesting week to say the least & my boots have played a major role a few times. This is stunning countryside Nikki & I are walking through - stark mountains, cactus everywhere, farmers on donkies - but the walk very nearly came to an end a few days ago. For the last four days in a row we've been unable to find accomodation in our destinations & have thus been shipped off to neighbouring towns for the night before returning the next morning to resume the walk. On one particular evening after completing our scheduled walk Nikki & I needed to walk an extra 6km off the main road to a rural hotel. A few kilometres down the road we managed to thumb a lift. Nikki jumped in the front but as I was trying to squeeze myself into the back seat the young driver impatiently took off with my right foot still firmly planted on the ground. The movement forward caused my foot to lift slightly such that the sole of my boot was now facing the rear tyre & in a split second the car mounted my boot with me being contorted & pulled out of the car. Thank the Lord his Dodge didn't have enough power to get all the way over my boot & onto my ankle & with Nikki & I yelling at him to stop he depressed the clutch & the car roled backwards & back to the road! Incredibly my Scarpa boot somehow managed to hold steady with a car parked on top of it & I literally walked away with nothing more than a dusty trye mark imprinted on it. My knee is still a tad sore from the twisting motion but other than that, walk on. In other news, earlier in the week I had a nasty experience after pushing too hard at the end of a long day. Nikki was suffering from massive leg pain & so caught the bus to our destination after completing 40km of the day's 53km. Me, in my stupidity, decided to take on a challenge of increasing the normal km rate to finish off the final 13km in 2hours rather than the expected 2&half hours. Especially after having already walked 40km that day it was not a moment of wisdom. I knocked off the final 13km in 1hr & 50min but my glee soon turned into 'whoops' as my body went into melt-down. I'd pushed too hard & now my heart rate was soaring (200bpm) & my temperature rising. It took nearly 2hours to get everything under control & to a point where I could stand up without feeling faint. It was dumb on my behalf, so, note to self; 13km can be covered in less than 2hrs but is seriously stupid to attempt. DO NOT ATTEMPT. My boots have also been involved in a nasty incident of a different kind that nearly saw me throttled to death by Nikki. While searching for spot to sit down & eat lunch along side the road I accidently trod smack-bang in the middle of a dead dog that had been festering for at least 6months. I laughed it off but Nikki was mortified. We eventually found a nice little spot (away from the dead dog) & Nikki placed her backpack on the ground. Unbeknownst to her, the mouth piece of her water bladder had slipped down onto the ground & then I, not looking, stepped on it, leaving a dirty great big 'dead dog' foot print all around & over it. Nikki's reaction was, well, priceless. My reaction was to rapidly apologise & then assist in washing it by providing water from my water bladder. I removed the mouth piece to increase the flow of water but I misjudged the force at which it would exit the nozzle & instead of wetting her mouth piece the water shot straight over the top & into her open backpack... ouch. Some days just go from bad to worse. I retired from humanitarian work for the day at that point. Anyone else want to walk with me? Poor Nikki. I'm currently in the market for a new pair of socks after leaving my 2nd pair on a clothes line at a priest's house but I'm not having much success - size 16 socks aren't sold here. I'm having to wash my one & only pair every evening & hope that they'll be dry by morning. Also, one of my walking poles is struggling badly. The tungsten tip fell off & the plastic it was protecting is no match for the bitumen roads & is lossing a few mm every day. I'm hoping it will stay long enough for me to reach the USA where I should be able to find a replacement. As I mentioned earlier, the scenery here is amazing - very typically Mexican. We are still, however, having trouble with the locals who refuse most often than not to return our greeting. People stare at us all day long as we walk & if we say hello or good morning they either continue to stare or quickly look away as though they've been snapped out of a trance. In a moment that was straight out of a Hollywood film this afternoon, Nikki & I walked through the towns main square while a huge Mexican ensemble played a very upbeat tune with the locals looking on. As the tune came to a thunderous end not a single clap was to be heard. Instead, every single pair of eyes (including the members of the ensemble) was wide-eyed as they followed us across the square. It was a little unnerving. I smiled at one guy & said hello but he then looked confused & turned to his mate beside him for what I think was moral support. I'm pretty sure a pigeon taking off was the only movement apart from the two Aussies. So, that's been my week. I hope yours was dead-dog free & painless. Please continue (or begin) to pray for an increase of love & truth so that all people of faith may be united in Christ. God bless & peace be with you! Sam
"May the Lord make your love increase & overflow for each other & for everyone else, just as ours does for you." 1 Thessalonians 3:12

7 comments:

Corey Payton said...

Hey Sam
Corey here mate, thougth it be about time I sent a comment through to your web. Been thinking about ya and keeping you in prayer. Something that I came accross and made me think of your mission here for unity:

“Dear children! Today I look in your hearts and looking at them my Heart seizes with pain. My children! I ask of you unconditional, pure love for God. You will know that you are on the right path when you will be on earth with your body and with your soul always with God. Through this unconditional and pure love, you will see My Son in every person. You will feel oneness in God. As a Mother, I will be happy because I will have your holy and united hearts. My children, I will have your salvation. Thank you.”(Aug 2 2007)

I got it from www.mej.com a message from Our Lady through Mirjana one of the seers at Medjugorje. Anyway, I found it inspiring and I hope that through your travels and prayers many hearts (including my own) will have this beautiful brotherly and sisterly unity in it.
Godbless bro
Corey
ps hello Nikki

Robyne said...

Hi Sam! I've been flat-out moving states so haven't had a chance to read your last 3 blogs til now.

When you are on the right path powerfully doing the Lord's work, that's when the devil will try to throw obstacles in the way, often through people's negatives comments or attacks. If what you were doing wasn't destroying the devil's work, he wouldn't bother. When Jesus was in the garden of agony, he could have prayed for anything but what did He focus on? Unity:

John 17:20-23

20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Be encouraged Sam!

Robyne

Lids said...

Hey guys! this is my first post. Just want to say a big hello and I really enjoy reading about your many adventures! Sam, your accounts of situations are interesting and unique - very you! I've just got a few minutes now at work, but will write more another time. Hope you're encouraged by all the prayers and well wishes from all the ppl back home.
God bless,
Lids

Miguel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel said...

Hola Sam,

Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus Acts 9 was doing what he thought in his heart was God's will in all sincerity and honesty...The Lord stopped him...I appreciated Paul's response " Who art thou,Lord?" Jesus spoke...Paul responded "Lord what wilt thou have me to do?" Jesus told him what he must do...He obeyed...The way was opened up and it meant his salvation! What a useful Child of God Paul was. He had a wonderful part in the Lord's ministry. Called not according to the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the Spirit of God.

Margy said...

Hi Sam,
For older folk like us we hear of your obedience to God & think "what an inspiration to young people"! We see so many lost young people around us dying spiritually because they don't know the love & mercy of our Saviour & Jesus' command to live in love & unity. To leave a top job to follow Jesus in 2007 has to be a great encouragement & inspiration to many.Our prayers are with you.
Margy & John

Kristen Toohey said...

Hey there Sam,

Just wanted to remind you about the hundreds of people back here at home who have been inspired to pray at 4.01 because of what you are doing. Over 250 people have now asked to receive regular updates!

What I love about Walk4One is the simplicity of it - just praying and surrendering to the Father's vision of unity - just as Jesus himself did in John 17:23. Thanks for the inspiration to focus on the example Jesus himself has given us!

May God bless, protect & encouarge you no matter what obstacles you may face!
Kristen