06/23/15 - Here We Go
Well it's finally starting. After months of fundraising and weeks of getting everything ready to go, I'm finally headed to the Salt Lake Airport to get on a plane for Boston.
For anyone who doesn't know, I am a part of the Build America 2015 team and will be spending the next six weeks traveling all around the country building accessible amenities for summer camps and community centers to support children and adults with disabilities. Training starts tomorrow in Boston, and from there our team of twenty young men will spend the next six weeks traveling from camp to camp everywhere from as far North as Vermont to as far west as Wisconsin. Our journey finishes up on August 8th when we arrive in Washington D.C. alongside all of the cyclists and crew members from the three legs of the Journey of hope coast to coast bike ride.
I decided to start this blog so that I could let all of my friends and family see the type of amazing work I'm gonna be up to these next six weeks. I'm going to try my hardest to post every day to keep everyone updated.
Also, since the trip is funded entirely through sponsorships and donations raised by its members, I'm still eagerly accepting donations. If you feel inspired by the work I'm doing and want to support me in this experience, I encourage you to visit rykerbelnapbuild.us to make a donation and read a little more of my backstory on why I chose to do this. The Ability Experience is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations made are completely tax deductible.
After so much build up, it's crazy to think it's actually time to head out. I've been excited to get started for months, but it really wasn't until I started packing that it really clicked that it's starting. And boy was the packing tough! I'm used to packing light, but cramming my sleeping bag, pad, toiletries, and all my clothes and gear for the next six weeks into a 1' x 1' x 2' duffel bag was not easy. I'm glad my bag has strong seams, because it is filled to the max. Now it's sitting in the back of the car as my family drives me down To Salt Lake to leave.
its been tough saying my goodbyes since I'm going straight from D.C. To school in Moscow and I won't be seeing my family til thanksgiving. But now most of the goodbyes have been said and I'm ready to head out.
Kick off is tomorrow morning and I'll try to keep the blog updated on the start of our journey. For more info and pictures from previous Build America (BaM) crews, visit theabilityexperience.org.
Thanks for reading, and I can't wait to share this amazing experience with all of you!