Sam Ridenour

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Days 5-6

Giordani's house

Undoubtedly the most rewarding part of having done the Run Across Haiti® 3 of the past 4 years is the visit into Menelas. Seeing the progress made through our collective work and giving is the harvest of those seeds.

Giordani's job as a Run Across Haiti® crew member (seasonal) and as a tap-tap driver (permanent) have allowed him to budget and methodically build a new, much larger home for his family of 9. When my wife Kathy and I visited in August, the outer walls were half in place. Now it is completely finished and the family has moved in while still using their old tin home as a kitchen and storage facility. A major milepost in their path to independence is now complete!

I've also learned at lot more about Giordani this time around. We are both drivers. We have both been married 22 years. We are both Protestant Christian. We are both generally quiet in nature. I look forward to seeing him in Truck #1 every day.

Giordani is simply a dude. He and his family are well down the path to independence. His story is 1 of ~60 that our collective giving is helping to write.

Thank you to those who have given! We are on our way to the $250k goal, but are still a long way from the finish. Let's keep this going!



Day 2

What is it about this Run Across Haiti that keeps me coming back? When looking at the logistics, there is nothing comfortable about it. The heat, the humidity, dodging traffic for 200 miles, the 200 miles. There’s not a thing on that list that plays into the strengths of my physical abilities. So why did I spend so much time and energy doing this for a third time?

Family. One that is not defined by bloodlines or nationality, but rather by working feverishly towards a common goal; ending the cycle of poverty one family at a time.

Okay, that sounds like a very canned answer. But over the course of the past 3+ years, the money that has been raised has not only created jobs, but community. The experience of the Run has evolved from having a single all-too-brief trip to meet some of the families to now having them comprise the majority of the crew. We have time carved out daily to learn more Creole, so the language barrier is slowly eroding. And there are translators enough so the conversations have more depth than my meager tourist-level Creole vocabulary can allow.

But most of all, we are all committed to each other to make it across the island. The crew are as committed to us as we are to them. They provide the laughter and the energy when we are tired. They ask us for what we need, presenting us with ideas even if we don’t know what that is in the moment. They are the eyes that we need in the back of our head so we don’t get flattened by a moto at an aid station. That support allows us to dig a little deeper as we go across the island.

This is an intense experience. The type that changes a person. These are friendships forged in a 200-mile long fire. The bonds are strong, strong enough for my wife Kathy and I to come on a vacation last year to spend some time with those same friends.

Please help us meet our fundraising goal. Giving begets giving. If there is one thing I have learned about Haiti through the years, it is of the generosity of its people. There are waaaaaay too many stories that can be shared in a single blog post.

Pou Ayiti!