Friday, October 21, 2005

Paving The Way

It is what it is

It is what it is!

Wet cold rain
Tired bodies
Good people
Short tempers

Deep belly laughs
Lugging luggage
Moving, walking
Chanting, drumming

New energy coming
Comrades leaving
Lights out

Early wake ups
Great hosts, different state
Vehicle leap frog
Neighborhoods, communities

Packing, unpacking
Not enough sleep
Snorers, early risers
Loud voices, personalities

Churches, meals
Water, bathrooms
Flyers, buckets
Cars, trucks

Cell phones, crackberries
Air mattresses, I-pods
Laptops, work
No end in sight

Sprinters, stragglers
Marshals, asphalt
Making new friends
Missing loved ones

Urban Camping: Paving the Way…
No longer a dream…it’s real!
I am honored!
It is what it is!

Paving The Way

Update from the road on our SVP/CIO

Hi Everyone,
I just received word that Duane's surgery today went very well and was successful!   Duane Ebesu is a Senior Vice President as well as Chief Information Officer of Housing Works.  He had surgery today for removal of a benign tumor in his abdomen.  He will be in the hospital for about 5 days.  He is requesting:
no gifts/cards or flowers
He IS requesting a one day minimum of participation in the C2EA march in lieu of these. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with him, especially as his are so obviously with all of us here on the march.


Paving The Way

C2ea- The Paving the Way Caravan Hits Pennsylvania

C2EA Hits Pensylvannia!!!!
It was a great moment today when we crossed the Trenton Markes Bridge into Pennsylvania. We are actually DOING THIS!!!!!! Holla!
Robin Milim

Paving The Way

Hey Everyone

Hey Everyone

Today was a hell of an interesting day, well let me start from the morning time.  I woke up to go to the bathroom and didn’t realize the time and yelled out “time to wake up” and went back to sleep.  I didn’t realize once again that everyone woke up and I was asleep.  So, anyway that was funny.  The day was nasty it was raining and paving the way was still marching and I was soaked and wet.  We had a wonderful rally in Trenton, NJ the host committee there were so nice and well organized.  So anyway I really don’t have much to say because I wasn’t in such a great mood today but we all have our moments, I think its PMS.  Well now we in Philly and I can’t find my bag but as I am writing this my new buddy Daniel told me that it’s in the van…Ughhh

Johnny Guaylupo

Paving The Way

Maries Walk Blog 2

Marie’s Walk: Blog 2

Friday, October 21 _ Day 7 since we left NYC thru the Lincoln Tunnel and for me a big return to the Campaign after a quick trip back to Brooklyn.  I reconnected in Trenton, NJ and after a rally at the State Capitol we stepped off _ about 40 of us!

The empowerment is reinforced with my return.  For anyone who is HIV or living with AIDS I cannot think of anything that would be more empowering than being on this walk. Being able to stand up and say who you are and demand respect and treatment and to join in giving other information to prevent infection.

We look very different today because it is pouring and Derrick has produced these $1.99 rain suits bought on Willoughby street – the bizarre sizing explain the price. We are all white plastic & subject to a random group of descriptions – from walking condoms to KKK rain suits!

The moment of the day for me was crossing the bridge over the Delaware River – marked by the ceremonial addition of the Pennsylvania State flag. Our N.J. hosts and many of the AIDS activists from around the state escorted us to the bridge & the teary eyes as we hugged goodbye to them all lined up along the walkway.

If I can’t make each of the 21 days it will be very special to be there at each state crossing…

We ended the days walk in Bensalem, PA…and then took our vehicle caravan into Center City Philadelphia where we are staying in the shadows of City Hall in the basement of the historic United Methodist Church. For me…a special way to return to Philadelphia…a moment of silence and salute to Steve… I am pretty excited about seeing Kitty – one of my oldest friends and largely responsible for my move to Philadelphia.

-Marie Nahikian

this is an audio post - click to play

this is an audio post - click to play

Paving The Way

Soul of the South Day 5

Day 5

7:30 AM

Houston's local event was fun! We got into Houston around 1 (from Austin). Chuck and Larry went to Larry's house, and I went to mine. After hours of running around getting everything I had to do done (remember I wasn't expecting to do the WHOLE caravan), Robert came home. We hung out for a bit, then I had to leave to go to the Houston event. It went really well. Our event was called "Community Coming Together". A bunch of the ASO/CBOs got together and we had dinner, and basically hung out and talked about our agencies. We had a local Hare Krsna temple come and prepare us food. It was sooo yummy. Larry was afraid at first, but when he saw it he said, "I'll never make fun of Krsna food again!" I told him... :) Larry made a short speech on the importance of collaboration and communication. Everyone agreed that the agencies in Houston (and across the country) are very fragmented. We need to stop worrying about status quo's (dunno if I spelled that right, and I'm too lazy to look it up:P), and fighting over grants, federal and state money. The only way to End AIDS is to come together in one voice and understand each other. We also got a bunch more of the rep/senator cards filled out. It was good to see Nike, Stephanie, and Leon. I won't be seeing them for awhile. After that we went to a nearby radio station and hung up a couple of posters. Then they brought me home to finish laundry, packing etc. I'll miss you Robert :) Well, here I am at 7:30 AM getting the final arrangements ready to do the rest of the caravan. I hope I packed everything! I'm going to be lazy and copy and paste part of an e-mail I sent to Naomi that tells how I feel about the Soul of the South so far.
This caravan is so uplifting. I wish lots more people could be on them. It’s so fulfilling to see people like me out there. I’ve been on the verge of tears several times since I started in Brownsville. It’s been so much fun. There is so much emotion just everywhere. People all over the place keep hugging me, e-mailing me, calling me, just to say that they are proud of me, but I don’t understand. I had to do this. I wasn’t planning on doing the whole caravan, but I knew I had to be a part of C2EA. Once the caravan started, I realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and without a full time job (and having school online), I had to do the caravan. I want to represent all of the people displaced by Katrina, all of the young people affected/infected that can’t be on the caravans. This opportunity will live on inside me forever.
Hand in hand, in the fight against AIDS


Well, we are going to 2 meetings this morning (State of Emergency, and Title 2 CAB) to drum up more support for C2EA. I think this is the most important part of the caravans, people actually seeing our face, meeting people, letting them know that C2EA will be around until we End AIDS.
I talked to Rico from Austin (he's such a cutie) and he said that he saw me on TV. I think I'm gonna write them to ask for a copy to send to my mom and dad.
*shoutout to my people from New Orleans!*
Don't forget I'm still fundraising:

on the flip side!


Chris Rothermel


Paving The Way

Bristol Myers

Thursday October 20, 2005
C2EA – Day 6


I knew the day was going to be interesting when the breakfast host brought us peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.

The significance of today was when we stopped for lunch, for which our police escort located. It was the front lawn of the world headquarters for Bristol Myers Squib. This is a pharmaceutical company that produces HIV/AIDS drugs at a profit of over a billion dollars a year. This compound was enormous, easily 200 acres of well manicured lawns. I can not tell you how many limos/chauffeured cars I observed driving into the compound. The compound even included a man made lake at its entrance. Needless to say, Bristol Myers Squib security was on us in no time. I have no doubt that they expected us to leave, but our police escort took care of that reticence (the police have been unarguably decent and respectful to the caravan during the entire march). I sat on the manicured lawns with people living with HIV/AIDS and felt like I wanted to storm the compound. There has been much argument how HIV/AIDS has become an industry, guaranteeing longevity to the virus. I myself work for an HIV/AIDS organization, so yes I see the industry. However, it is one thing to provide services for people with HIV/AIDS, but it is a far other thing to be making billions of dollars on medications for people with HIV/AIDS. As I was looking at that compound it was unquestionable that there were people in that building who had the intelligence and the tools to find a cure. So I ate my non-vegetarian prepared lunch (I’ve learned that vegetarians are accustomed to making the best of non-vegetarian prepared meals and carnivores pout and create chaos when forced to eat a vegetarian meal) and understood the importance of the Campaign to End AIDS. I want to leave you and Bristol Myers Squib with a statistic:

Everyday 8,500 people die from HIV/AIDS .
Everyday 13,500 people contract HIV/AIDS .