Cindi and I arrived in Centralia on Thursday evening. A man named Richard stopped his truck to ask about our cause. We were invited to the Grace Foursquare Church where we were fed dinner and prayed over.
We enjoyed speaking with many members of this congregation and hearing yet more stories, involving a very broken and coercive mental-illness system. We shared our hope for compassionate mental health care and our wish to shine the light on the web of deceit created by the profit-driven mental illness model. Directer Tammy announced our goal for 100 stories. Our most sincere thanks goes out to the Grace Fourcorner community – truly a place where hearts can heal!
Updated Sunday, July 29, 2012: This welcoming community put us up in a motel for the night and handed us their evening’s collection for our fundraiser and “to get us a good breakfast in the morning”. Thank you!
We awoke Friday morning feeling renewed and refreshed for the 20+ mile hike which lay before us that day.The first leg of our day’s walk took us past the Crescent Grocery where we were astounded by the kindness of the grocer and possibly the owner, a delightful man named Eddie, from Korea.
We handed Eddie one of our hearts and he offered to make us egg fu young. We had to decline this offer in order to keep moving so Eddie rushed back out with milk, sweet treats and cherries for the road. We are not sure if Eddie knew what we are walking for, but we would like to thank him for his incredible compassion for two tired, sore ladies with big backpacks. This is the sort of empathy it will take to re-invent our communities!
Friday afternoon, Cindi and I celebrated crossing our 50-mile mark by laying against our backpacks on a clump of grass and elevating out feet for a good 30 minutes. Half way there – yes!
We walked until we felt we could go no further, when, to our great joy, we were joined by Maribel, who drove several hours to join us.
Maribel has a son who is being drugged against his will and kept in solitary confinement for three years after being rejected by a psychiatric hospital due to not having medical insurance.
Maribel is an amazing woman who listened to the people in her community and supported them in organizing themselves. With shared vision and hard work, they began a co-op building club. Her delightful presence and moving stories gave us the inspiration we needed to reach our destination, Tumwater, arriving around 11 PM.
We were then brought by Maribel’s husband to the Governor Hotel where we were fully sponsored to stay for the night. Exhausted and sore, we nevertheless took notice of the Project Planet Saver cards on our beds for which we applaud the management of Governor Motel. The hospitality was fabulous and we didn’t know hotel breakfasts could be that good.
Pictures of our adventures will be shared on this blog as soon as we can get them uploaded. Please continue to hold us in your prayers and look for our updates in upcoming days.