Monday, October 17, 2005

Paving The Way

Can't sleep

It's 1:05 in the morning and i am unable to sleep. Why? Because I seem to have chants running around in my head that I can't seem to quite right now.  Right now as I type this their are a few snores going on and  if you actually listen closely can hear a very beautiful symphony(in a piggish sort of way, I will take 20 bucks if you want to know the names)!!! Anyways, thus far the trip has been AMAZING and the hospitality shown to us has been nothing short of phenomenal.  But the most exciting thing today was having to take a hot shower, not a bird bath.  Who knew a shower could be so wonderful!! Andrew(Ross) said he could go without showering for a whole week, now, lets hope for all our sakes that it does not come to this..lol! I think I will go to bed now the voices in my head have been silenced!! Until next time!!

Paving The Way

Day Three

Day Three

     BOY!!! I finally showered …yehhhh!!Lol...but like Charles King says this is “Urban Camping” and Valerie Jimenez says “it is what it is”.  This was our first day of the 16 mile walk and it went great. I mean the crowd was pumping people were loving us they were marching with us little kids were holding our C2EA Banners.  This is what I was hoping and it’s working spreading the word out most of these people aren’t aware that there is still people that care about the AIDS/HIV issues.  It’s just so sad that in New Jersey no one really cares about AIDS issues and Newark ranks number 2 on high rates and only like 3 or 4 people showed up but our group was there waking everyone up and chanting.  The Banana chant is so funny and cool. When we entered to Elizabeth we rested and had lunch and at 2pm the rally started. Once again no more than 10 people showed up to talk about issues that they are facing in there city, but you know what that is all we need.  Needle Exchange is not legal in NJ and it’s one of the main reasons why there is such a high infection rate in NJ and that broke my heart. I really felt happy to be with Paving the way and marching down.  But I look around and don’t see anyone my age and that makes me angry because there should be a lot more people like my age marching to D.C. I know I’m not the only one out of school (which I plan on going back in 06).  But you know what it only takes one person to represent the face of HIV for the youth and the Latin community.  It’s not easy but I know that I’ll be helping out and talking for so many people that I might not even know.  This is only day three and boy I am so HYPE.  Tuesday day four we will march to New Brunswick Can’t wait.  By the way I am staying in Rahway, NJ at a Baptist Church the food was great much thanks to them. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Matt Frank you’re a funny dude

E-N-D NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Johnny Guaylupo

Today is the thrid day of the march and we walked 15 miles my legs are numb. I have learned today that in order to protest and advocate for a cause , one has to educate one self about the problem. I had the honer to be one of the speakers in front of city hall in Newark and it was a good feeling, education is the key that opens the door to the solution. We are also so lucky and blessed to have fried chicken with cake for dinner ( I felt like I died and went to heaven). We are also lucky to take a shower tonight ( we have not taken a shower in 2 days)

Good night,
Andrew ross
Sent via BlackBerry - a service from AT&T Wireless.

Paving The Way

3rd day w/paving the way!

Finally hit the long days of walking and I am feeling it! I was told it was 15 miles but I could swear it was 32 today. All you people that told me to get in shape –can still keep yer yaps shut. Told you all I will be complaining 2 weeks after I get back so watch out! Everyone involved are having loads of fun, chanting and singing, begging sympathy for various pains but still loving every minute!  Whether someone is walking one day, a week, or the whole shebang – we know and feel like family. Even so, this has been the most amazing experience beyond those of us on the ‘paving the way caravan’ and we are only at the beginning. Responses from the host committees and people putting us up and feeding us have been truly phenomenal. People along our route have been tremendously interested in what we are doing and a few have even joined us for parts of the route!

On a last note before I try to get some sleep. . .
A lot has already been said about the Zealand’s in Newark and the unforgettable work and love they give every day. I just want to add that if you get down that way DO make an effort to stop by and say hello. You will cherish meeting the family forever. If you can - volunteer or buy some of the great art or even drop a few ducats as a donation.

Much love,
Eddie Fukui

Paving The Way

Paving The Way, Days Two and Three

Dear Friends,

I meant to write every day on the Paving the Way Journey, but didn’t get to it yesterday.  But I want you all to know that day two was pretty amazing.  It started with twenty or so of us going to attend church at Grace Van Vorst Episcopal Church, where we were warmly welcomed by the Pastor, Janet Broderick  (yes, she is Matthew’s sister).  Pastor  
Broderick spontaneously decided to integrate my brief C2EA homily right into her sermon.  At the designated moment, she simple stopped her sermon, invited me up, I did a three minute mini-sermon, and she got up and finished her sermon.  I have never before preached an extemporaneous tag-team sermon, but it worked.

We set out for Newark at 2 pm, chanting lustily about forty people strong.  It was sunny but with powerful gusts of wind.  The wind was so strung that at one point, our flag pole, with the American flag, snapped in two.  (We are marching with the American flag out front and adding state flags for each state through which we pass.)  Still, we met many folk on the street, and thrilled each time someone jumped in and joined us even if only for a few blocks.  One teenage guy joined us for several miles.

We spent Sunday night, at the Firehouse, a program that serves children affected by AIDS and their families, run by the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children.  The fire house faces a $1.3 million dollar deficit, accumulated over several years, because it has been run without any government and little private support.  The Board of the Foundation has decided to close the Firehouse and sell it if a plan isn’t developed by the end of this year to secure its future.  Still, the treated us like honored guests, with a delicious home-cooked meal of roast turkey, baked potato casserole, home-made bread, home-made pies…you get the picture.  (The Foundation is a family affair, founded and directed by Terry and Faye Zealand: the Firehouse is run by their son and daughter-in-law, who did all the cooking.)

The financial circumstances of the Firehouse were a vivid reminder of the number of tiny AIDS organizations around the country running on little more than passion and ingenuity who need C2EA.  So we cheerfully bathed again in sinks, shampooing in the slop sink, which worked out quite nicely and got ready for today’s march.  We were so moved at the dire circumstances and the warmth and hospitality with which we were received, that we took up a collection and left $716.00 behind to help keep the doors open.  

Today was a long day, with two rallies and a fifteen mile march, but we had more than 75 people, so it was nice and rowdy.  We started with a spirited rally at Newark City Hall, where we shouted “shame, shame” at Mayor Sharpe James, for his total neglect of AIDS prevention and services.  From there we marched to Elizabeth, for a rally in front of City Hall.  At each stop in New Jersey, we have emphasized needle exchange, which is illegal here.  We have also come up with some great new chants, thanks to Amos Hough of the NYC AIDS Housing Network.    

The banana chant is the best.  “Bush is bananas, B—A-N-A-N-A-S, he won’t give no money for A-I-D-S-H-I-V.”  Alex was with us, so we sang “We Shall Overcome”, “We’ve Come This Far By Faith”, and “I Ain’t No Ways Tired”.  Between Amos’s preaching chants and Alex singing, we sounded like a revival service marching down the street.  And the impact was similar.  One man asked for an “End AIDS” sign to mount in his car.  He told us his uncle died of AIDS just last week.

Today ended at The Second Baptist Church in Rahway.  Again, the hospitality was amazing and the food was delicious, spaghetti, chicken, chocolate cake…the works.  The only downside:  No showers, only two sinks.  But then the mayor’s office called.  The City is keeping its recreation center open until 11:30 tonight so that we can all get a long hot shower.  As we have each night, we went around after dinner and shared highlights of the day.  I could not possibly capture in words how rich the experience was this evening.  All I can say is that I am traveling on this journey with some pretty incredible people.

Tomorrow, we will begin our day with a demonstration outside the Rahway State Penitentiary.  I am exhausted, but fired up for day four.  While he was marching with us to Elizabeth, Terry Zealand received a call informing him that one of the children with AIDS served by the Firehouse had just died.  One more child dead: one more program on life support; one more powerful reason to keep on marching.

I so look forward to joining you all in Washington, and I hope and prayer your own journey is as rich as mine.

Love,

Charles King

Paving The Way

Monday October 17 20

Monday October 17, 2005
C2EA Day 3

Supporters,

Today was our first full 8 hour day…..15 miles. My feet ache, my forehead is sunburn and my heart is full.

I knew at the beginning of this journey that I would have the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people along the way that would offer me beautiful stories.

Today I met Terry Zealand the Executive Director of the AIDS Resource Center for Children in Newark, New Jersey. The Resource Center was the first place in the United States created to serve the needs for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. This man was full of life and treated us with a passion that was undeniable. His organization is about to loose their headquarters because of lack of funding. This agency has placed 800 orphans into homes……and they are close to loosing funding for their Children’s Center.

Today I met Carol from the Second Baptist Church in Rahway, New Jersey. Carol lost her husband two months ago and has isolated due to grief. Today was her first day back at her church and she decided to volunteer her time to feed thirty fatigued and starving marchers. She sat down and thanked us for listening……….Carol, thank you for sharing your heartfelt story.

Keep your thoughts with me, as mine are with you.

Walking,

Michael Hickey

Paving The Way

RE: The beginning!

The tunnel arrival shuld have been used somewhere, somehow in a movie...and the picture we saw in the NY Times left you with in indelible memory of the light finally arriving. coming thru the tunnel has new meaning in any HW setting!

The walk in the the first of the Jersey City leg was quick, fast....we walk ahead of schedule & the energy is a surprise. 8 miles or so on the first very short day.

A night with arroz con pollo cooked by a community "mom" - Carmen Diaz and the set uip "to sleep" in the Boys n' Girls club had rough edges...this place clearly needs a Gotham Crew! William Rodriguez has been a center to getting things moving, organized and in order. He left tonite to go back to ENY to get cleaning supplies for the RV...we missed putting on toilet taper! Early in the day I was on the phone w/ Bob (Carlos did not answer his radio) working thru the RV "issues" - a story for the archives!

How did Andrew Coamey find the only gay bar w/in walking distance of the Boys and Girls club to watch the baseball game...a whole new perspective on Rudy Creamer, Elena -Charles King & Coamey himself. We didn't stay for the show to begin!

Sunday morning was a beautiful fall day...and shook away all the grime & grit of sleeping in the B & G gym...Grace Van Horst Episcopal presents a whole new challenge in spiritual growth...a Garden of Eden "set" in the nave of a late 1800's church with much Dutch detail. Rev. Janet Broderick (yes, brother of) has built a worship community.

So this will be continued...(Media pls email this forward...and give people info on how to sign on to the blog page.

Paving The Way

My First 2 Days

NYCAHN BEGINS MARCH FROM NYC TO DC

By, Cameron Craig, NYCAHN Board Member
Day 1 of Paving the Way
<a href="http://c2ea.blogspot.com/">On the road with C2Ea</a

Knock, knock, knock...Knock, knock, knock. Yeah, it's after 5:00 a.m., O.K. I'm getting up! That's how our morning started for the Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA)-we almost overslept!

LaVerne Holley and myself had spent the night at my mother's house in Brooklyn because we didn't feel like getting up at 2:a.m., leave from the Bronx, to meet Jennifer Flynn at NYC AIDS Housing Network in Brooklyn at 6:30 a.m. in the morning.

After many months of planning and a postponement because of Hurricane Katrina, we are finally on our way. We are at Times Square, holding a rally to begin the kick-off. Charles King from Housing Works is speaking and I'm looking around to see who else is making the walk. I see Terri, Valeria and Robert Cordero from Housing Works. There's Jennifer, Shirlene, Amos, Romeo, Julah and Karen from NYCAHN. There's Kayona and others from Youth CAHN. I see Daliah, Eddie, Wilfredo and Ben from CitiWide Harm Reduction.

We begin our descent into the bowels of the earth (Lincoln Tunnel), under the Hudson River to our first state of New Jersey, but not before a spectacular send off of "We Shall Overcome" with some of the words changed to reflect the C2EA Campaign. I don't think of any of us have ever thought about how long it would take to walk through the tunnel, but here we are. There's no traffic, but for the 1000+ people who have decided to be part of this historic event.

The first city in New Jersey we arrive in after coming out of the Tunnel is Hoboken, where the Mayor declares October as C2EA month. From Hoboken, we go to Jersey City to hold a rally advocating Needle Exchange and hear a speech by the Mayor of Jersey City representative.

Our first night is spent at the Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County where we receive a marvelously cooked dinner of chicken and red rice with olives.

Cameron Craig

Day 2 of Paving the Way
Well it's Day #2 of the march. It's 7:20 a.m. in the morning and after walking 8 miles surprisingly we are all well rested and eager to begin marching to our next city-Newark. I must mention the fact that we have a man who is 71 years old also making the march. It turns out that this man, Juan Santos is also a NYCAHN member and he started the march with us from New York.

Charles King from Housing works is leaving early today to go to church to inform the congregation about our march and the importance of what we are doing and the impact we hope to have-not only on elected officials-but also on the public. As we walk through Jersey City with our police escort LaVerne and I are passing out flyers detailing our four point platform that states we will be going through. I am amazed that the citizens of Jersey City are not only keeping the flyers they are actually reading them. As we hand out flyers to the passing cars, very few of the drivers have refused to accept them. When we stop at a local McDonalds not only do they want one of our posters (END AIDS) some of the young people in McDonald's ask us for condoms.

In order to get to Newark we board the Housing Works mini-bus into Kearny, New Jersey. We pick-up the march through the commercial section chanting "Bush is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S! He don't give us money for A-I-D-S/H-I-V!" along the way. As we enter Broad Street into Newark, people are looking at us as we walk by. I don't know what's going on in their mind, but I hope it's positive.

We have arrived at City Hall in Newark and there's NO reception other than the marvelous cooperation of the Newark Police Department. As we decide our next move, we find out that we will be staying at the Firehouse which is part of the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children.

This organization, which volunteered to house us for the night, is in major financial trouble. Dr. Zealand, the Co-Founder, informed us of the difficulty he is having to pay for the rehab of the building which provides afterschool care to young people affected and infected by HIV. Many of them are AIDS orphans. It seems that no one is aware or wants to help this amazing organization that is doing wonderful things to up-lift the moral of HIV+ children. Right now, this organization is $1.3 million in debt and this program gets no support from the City of Newark.
For tonight, LaVerne, Amos and I are staying at Jennifer's mother's house.

Tomorrow we begin again.

Cameron Craig

http://www.nycahn.org/
NYCAHNCampaigntoEndAIDSCommittee.htm

Paving The Way

News Links

Here are some links to news articles online. Some good photos:
http://www.bluejake.com
/archives/2005/10/15/walk_the_tunnel.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2005
/10/16/nyregion/16aids.html

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local
/manhattan/nyc-tunn1016,0,5156795
.story?coll=nyc-moreny-headlines
-Robin Milim

Paving The Way

Review of Day 2

Day 2—What an amazing day! We slept in the Jersey City Boys Club in the gymnasium. It was a huge pajama party where we laughed all night till our bellies ached! The people there gave us a warm welcome. A lady from a local AIDS organization, Paco, cooked arroz con pollo for everyone for dinner and it was awesome. Then, in the morning, we got up and went to Grace Evangelical Church for a service and breakfast. The Pastor was great and she and the congregation also gave us a great welcome. Charles spoke and people even gave us donations (even though it was Stewardship Sunday and they were being asked to give even more in the Church). During the service, the Pastor asked everyone to take some clay and mold their “fears” into an image and placed them all on a table so we could see each others fears. Your fears lose their power once materialized! Lol . Then it was on to City Hall again where we assembled to March to Newark. The march was amazing. Out folks were vigilant in handing out flyers all along the way. Laverne (and the rest of the “flyer crew”) was running alongside, handing them out in stores, schoolyards, to people on the street, church group we passed, cars stopped at lights, EVERYONE. No one was safe from her! And people were stopping, reading, talking. And then, cheering and chanting along with us. We even had some people join us and march a ways with us. It was awesome. We marched to Newark where we stopped at an organization for kids orphaned by AIDS, called AIDS Resource Foundation for Children.. The people that run this are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Their names are Terry and Fay Zealand and they run this place with help from their grown children and a bunch of other folks. They are truly all angels. His daughter-in-law cooked us a gourmet meal that had us gorging ourselves like we had never seen food before. It was the most amazing thing! The building itself is an old converted firehouse that they renovated and is also an art gallery, where they teach the kids art and everything is for sale (lol). They desperately need money to keep this place going and we all vowed to help. The amazing people we are meeting along the way and the lives you unwittingly influence is such an inspiring experience. This journey so far has been the greatest adventure I have ever had (and I’ve had a few good ones! Lol), and it’s just begun.
Robin Milim