The following is an excerpt from the daily journal kept by the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity members riding in Push America’s Gear Up Florida cycling trek. The journey is a 2-week ride across the state of Florida, which provides opportunities to promote the message of Push America.
Throughout the route, friendship visits and service projects will be completed to serve those with disabilities. NSU Pi Kapps John Hall and Wil Adams are participating in the event.
Monday, May 22, 2007
Written By: John Hall, B.O. – Northwestern State University
When everyone woke up at 7:30, we all knew this was going to be one of the best days of the trip. Today was the first day we woke up and the sun was already out. The night before Jon Wilson told us we were able to sleep in till 7:30. I never thought I would be excited about waking up at that time. Another great thing about this day was we were off the bikes, which came after a 45 mile ride from Lakeland on the previous day. For breakfast we relied on the vans to get us to Florida Powertrain, where we received letters and packages from our family and friends. Everyone looked really excited to hear from people back home. After we were all done with breakfast, we were on our way to Wet N’ Wild. There we had a friendship visit with Best Buddies, and they were paired up into groups as we took them around the water park. The park was a great way for everyone to relax and have a great time with people they had met during the trip. We had plenty of time to go on all the rides and truly enjoy our day off from cycling.
A walk back from the water park put us at the Rodeway Inn International around 2:00, where we had lunch provided by the crew chief. Ham and Turkey sandwiches again! We had about two hours to shower and relax before we headed off to dinner at the Russell Home, which specializes in care for Autism and people with Down syndrome. We had a great meal that consisted of BBQ brisket, chicken and cole slaw. After we had all finished eating, we were given a tour of the home. The Russell Home has won numerous awards for their excellence in service towards those with disabilities. They only hold 25 patients at a time, and since their founding in 1953, they had taken care of more than 2000 individuals. Seeing how much they cared for their patients really brought light into a lot of our hearts.
We returned to the hotel around 7:00 and following a quick team meeting at 7:30, we were given the rest of the night off.
I have a few people I want to say thanks too. First of all my Mom and Dad- Thanks for all of your help and support in my decision and I could not have done any of this without you. To my brothers back in Natchitoches – hope all is going great back at school and try not to have too much fun with Karaoke Paul. To all my sponsors- thanks for all your continued love and support, it is without doubt that it is your contributions that make Push America and Gear Up Florida what it is today. Finally this is for everyone reading this- Thank you for your continued support and interest in what we are doing. We are all giving it our best effort to make this the most memorable two weeks of our lives.