2011 01 05 RATS by Angela Madsen
Yesterday we arrived at the boat and began the chore of food preparation. I opened my box to find rats had ravaged it and I had lost 20 days of my food supply. Forty meals at about $5.00 a pop. Liz lost about six meals. I was so angry I had to go outside the gate of the boat yard and let out a big yell. What a waste. Deb and I paid a great deal of money to have a space big enough to sort the food at the house but the authorities would not allow us to move food from the boat to the house so our grand plan was offended and extra costs incurred to us by customs and port authorities. Last night we loaded the food onto the boat and sealed it up. We cannot afford any more loss of provisions as there is no place to purchase or replace expedition food here.
They could make it easy for us here because we do not fall into pre-established category so they are making the rules. I do not think we have enough money to make it go our way and they do not see past our pocketbooks into the future. Ocean rowers can contribute greatly to their economy in the future as we have this project. Future ocean rowers will not choose to come here when made aware of these circumstances. It would be better for them in the long run to welcome us and ensure our safety and success of our rowing projects. There are other places in the world to row from. They may have us here now but never again. I will take my business elsewhere.
Still no sign of my wheelchair and negative symtoms of life without it are becoming evident with more back, shoulder and wrist pain. The crew are trying to help me out as much as possible and do not mind pushing me around nearly as much as I do. Accepting assistance is a difficult thing for me.
We leave the boathouse at dark so avoiding all of the obstacles becomes more difficult. Abrupt stopping when hitting an obstacle can injure the person pushing and can eject me from the wheelchair. We are trying to be cautionary as any injury now could be detrimental to the success of the project. The wheelchair footplates keep falling off and the wheel has fallen off once. Cabbies still don’t want to give me rides and want to charge more money. I have to use cabs because I cannot possibly push this chair where I need to go and I don’t go in cabs alone since being robbed. Just 3 more days. 3 MORE DAYS.
The weather reports are looking good, progress with boat is good, progress with food is good. So far we are on schedule for Jan 8 departure.