Update to Previous Post

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The table at the bottom breaks down the needs for the climbing supplies I am raising support for, as described in the previous post. It is my hope that I can start purchasing items in August. Although it would be ideal to purchase everything at once I would like to start by purchasing the harnesses, Gris Gris, and carabiners first. The crash pad is likely to be my last purchase, only after getting all the essential gear will I consider purchasing the pad (used for bouldering and working with the smaller children on the stone walls we have here on campus).

One item I don't have listed in the spreadsheet is "The Self Coached Climber", written by the owner of Rise Up Climbing in Lynchburg. I didn't purchase a copy of that book before I left for Beirut and I am now regretting it. If anyone is interested in snagging a copy for me and sending it this way let me know, I would greatly appreciate it (and I think the kids would too once I start working with them on more technical matters and they see themselves improving).

The goal of working with the children on climbing is to help them build confidence, develop teamwork skills, add another physical activity to their "repertoire", and as we move from the climbing wall to the great outdoors help them develop an appreciation for nature and God's creation. There are many activities that can be done in groups that assist the children in working together and building trust and community with one another, doing something like this when you're 20-30 feet off the ground adds an entirely new (and exciting) dimension to learning.

If you are interested in supporting this project financially (it is cheaper to purchase the items here rather than shipping them) click here and let me know. Since the equipment will belong to Dar el-Awlad (Kids Alive International) any financial assistance could be counted as a tax deduction. Thanks for your consideration, I look forward to posting pictures and sharing the success of the children as they reach new heights :)
Item Quantity Cost per Item
(USD)
Total Cost
Total Amount Needed
Gris Gris
1
100
$100
$816.25
Climbing Harness
3
67
$201

Climbing Harness (XS)
1
40
$40

Locking Carabiner
2
20
$40

Regular Carabiner
2
9
$18

Quick Draw
1
27
$27

Sling
1
9.5
$9.5

Rope (per meter)
45
3.25
$146.25

Crash Pad
1
235
$235



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Rising above the challenges set before us...

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This will likely be the only post for July as I am off and traveling next week, will see you all in August...most likely with some amazing photos and stories to share.

Rising Above...
This past Tuesday I had the first chance to take some of the children rock climbing at a local amusement center (Putt Putt), which has a 25'-30' wall they have started to let us use. My previous climbing experience in Lebanon didn't end up so positive (lack of water+heat=dehydration) so I really had my hopes up for this time with the kids. First of all, it felt really good putting on the harness and clipping all the 'biners and belay equipment to it. In addition to the "feel good" moment of "dressing up" for climbing I was about to share this interest of mine with a bunch of children that had never experienced something like this. My overall goal is to use climbing to teach some teamwork skills and build confidence, but the children need to be exposed a little to the climbing wall and know that they are safe with what they're doing. I am starting with the residential students first but hope to expand this to include the school children in the fall.

I took six of the residential students and with the help of two co-workers had them harnessed up and ready to climb. There were mixed levels of success with how high up the wall the students made it but I am extremely proud of the fact they all attempted it and didn't give up when it got difficult. I will take another group on Monday for a couple of hours and see how they do, but if the willingness and success of the first six are any sign then I am quite confident they next few groups I do will excel.

Needs and Prayer for Climbing...
Before I travel next week I hope to draft a letter to some climbing gyms and fellow climbers, asking for support. Please pray that these letters and contacts will provide some much needed equipment for this project. If you are interested in being a sponsor for this project (more information to be posted here soon) please contact me. Unless you live in Lebanon I am going to have to request that the support be financial in nature, getting the equipment shipped here to Lebanon will be expensive and I do have a local outfitter I can get everything from. Putt Putt has generously allowed us to use their wall and have acccess to their equipment, but there may be times when we climb at other sites (away from Mansourieh and formal climbing walls).

Specific Needs and Items:
  • Belay device (Gris-Gris) x 1
  • small/one size fits all harnesses x 4
  • locking carabiners x 4
  • quick draw x 1
  • sling/sling material
  • rope (about 75-80 meters) and storage bag
  • bouldering crash pad (to work with older residents away from the campus and Putt Putt)
The estimated cost for this project is around $700-$800 USD (as of 7/17/09). I will be visiting the outdoor store this weekend to get estimates and see if I can get them to discount the equipment for us.

I will purchase the items as I get the financial resources to do so and if the money is sent via Kids Alive it may also be able to be counted as a charitable contribution and eligible for a tax deduction.


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