A Countdown to the End!

A Countdown to the End!

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Hey friends,

It is unconceivable that we are less than two weeks from completing Project 800. Don't get me wrong, we have many more kilometres to walk, but we are much closer to the goal than when we started. 

This journey continues to amaze and inspire me. Today held some sadness as we have said goodbye to several people we have been journeying with. It really does become your Camino family as you walk along together. Some are heading home and some are resting for a couple of days, but we are pressing on. 

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A few mornings ago, I had the privilege of spending time with a lovely young woman, Anna, from Denmark. She had heard from others on the Camino of my work with anti human trafficking and wanted to chat with me. As I shared with her not only about our work at Daughter Project but of the global epidemic of modern slavery, Anna began to weep. This beautiful young woman allowed herself to open up and listen to what is going on in our world. She listened not only with hers ears but with her heart. There was a sense of destiny in our conversation, like somehow Anna had heard things she could never look away from and she would move forward changed. As we ended our conversation, I said to Anna what I would say to you: look around in your life and see what young girl you might impact. Who might you spend time with, helping her navigate the challenges of being a young girl in today's world? If you have a bit of time, you can change a girl's life. Too often we overlook the everyday things we can do while we wait for a big moment that might never come. 

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Blister update - I am seeing some improvement. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. I continually remind myself that no matter how painful my blisters might be, the pain I am experiencing is nothing compared to what the precious girls I am walking for are going through. It gives me great perspective. 

Buen Camino!

Cathy

Physical Challenges + Perseverance

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Hi friends,

It is one o'clock in the morning here in northern Spain and I am unable to sleep, so I thought I would write you some thoughts.
 

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It is difficult to put into words what this experience is like, but I can tell you it is definitely the biggest physical challenge of my life. I am almost half way and that feels good. In my life I have not been someone who has gone looking for big physical challenges and if you had told me I would set out to walk 800 kilometres across Spain, I would have said you were crazy... and yet here I am. It amazes me what we are capable of when we set our mind to it and with determination and perseverance we can accomplish things we never thought possible.
 

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When we think of the global problem of modern day slavery it seems like one of those impossible problems to solve. Just like walking 800km across Spain seemed like something impossible for me to accomplish, with determination and perseverance we can do something about it and will find our selves at a solution. Yes there will be many challenges along the way, however just like I am not allowing the blisters on my foot to stop me from accomplishing this journey, we cannot allow challenges and set backs to keep us frompushing on with our fight to end modern day slavery. The cost is too great for us not to.
 

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Well I should get some sleep, another day of walking is ahead. It has been wonderful to have my sister along these last two days. Each day brings new experiences and challenges and these two grandmas are faceing them together and getting this Camino done!

Buen Camino!
Cathy

One Day After Another + A New Partner

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Hi friends, 

I am more than overdue checking in. The days seem to flow into each other and I find myself happily unaware of what day it even is. I am 11 days in and it continues to be an incredible experience. 

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I have met people from all around the world, each walking for their own personal reason. I have been giving mini seminars on human trafficking almost daily, when people ask me why I am here. They have been responding well to my message, but I have yet to chat with someone who correctly understood what trafficking truly is.

Trafficking is the process of moving someone along in the direction to exploitation. It involves recruiting, harbouring, transporting, selling and buying of humans for sex or labour. This can happen from country to country, province to province, city to city or in your own neighbourhood. In Canada 96% to 98% of all trafficking is domestic. Everyday young Canadian girls are lured, groomed, bought, sold and raped. I know you all agree with me this is unacceptable. We must do all we can to help our country wake up to this issue to leave our mark on history. 

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On a personal note, my sister Bonnie is coming to walk the rest of the Camino with me! Walking the Camino has been something she has wanted to do for a long time and she arrives on Saturday. I continue to miss my partner Macy daily. It's not the same without her. But I must say walking this with Bonnie will be a lovely experience!

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Until next time!

Buen Camino

Cathy

Los Arcos + Goodbye to Macy

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Hi friends,

It is with a very sad heart I am sitting in Los Arcos, Spain writing this to you and my companion is on her way back to Canada. After several days rest Macy's pain continued to increase so she made the very difficult and disappointing decision to end her Camino for now. I say for now because I trust she is able to come back one day and finish what she so valiantly started. I will miss her every step of the way but I will continue on.

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A very common question asked on the Camino is "why?"  "Why are you walking?" People are walking for so many different reasons. Some religious, others for health; many are walking for life experience or to challenge themselves. I must say it is quite an experience. To set out with only the basic necessities of life on your back and walk. Your life is so simple with the singular daily goal to reach the day's destination.  

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If you ask "why does Daughter Project Canada exists?" We know exactly why. We exist because everyday young Canadian girls are being lured, groomed, sold, bought and raped. These girls and every girl at risk of exploitation is as precious as our own daughters. Because of what we know we are compelled to do something about it. 

Will you join your voice with ours? Will you help get the word out? Canada we have a problem and we must do something about it. It's not going to be easy and it won't be overnight but it must be done! 

Until next time.

Buen Camino!

Cathy

Pamplona + Pray for Macy

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Hi friends, 

We have made it to Pamplona- the city of Hemingway and the running of the bulls. To be truthful, we feel like the bulls have run us over. Day one we crossed the pyrenees mountains, which was by far the hardest thing each of us has ever done (other than childbirth for Cathy, but that is a different category all together). Crossing this mountain was 25km and 6 hours of uphill climbing in the cold rain. Our legs were burning and hearts beating out of our chests. Every time we came across another incline, we looked at each other in disbelief, but pushed on anyways, determined to conquer it. As the saying goes, what goes up, must come down- so on we went to over two hours of decending straight down. It was ankle deep mud over slippery rocks and unfortunately Macy slipped and took a tumble, injuring her knee on the way down. It was a cold, windy, miserable day- but we did it!  

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While we were crossing I (Cathy) kept thinking "just take it a step at a time ". You can't look at the mountain or you will be overwhelmed. You can only conquer it a step at a time. That got me thinking of our "just one" camapaign, where we challenged people to attack the huge problem of human trafficking one action at a time, one girl at a time. If you haven't checked out the "just one" campaign, I encourage you to. You will find it on our home page. I crossed that mountain one step at a time and we will make a difference in human trafficking one action at a time, one girl at a time. 

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The next two days were a dream compared to the mountain we faced, but nonetheless, still challenging. We faced rough terrain and various ups and downs with our tired, sore bodies and Macy's hurting knee. We've been hearing stories of people in their 80's and even 90's who have done the Camino and we are utterly inspired. It's safe to say we underestimated the challenges the Camino would bring, but we are confident our bodies will rise to the challenge and we will only grow stronger every day. 

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Buen Camino!

Cathy + Macy

We Made It!

We Made It!

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Hey friends!

 

We made it to our starting point by Saint Jean Pied de Pont in France with our official pilgrim passports in hand and shells attached to our backpacks. First thing tomorrow morning we will begin our assent to cross the Pyrenees. The first day is the hardest; it's good to get that over with!

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These past few days I have been thinking a lot about the low value and low self esteem that make girls vulnerable to exploitation. Perhaps it has been the "no make up" "no hair product""wearing the same thing everyday"of our journey. Why is it that how we look is so ingrained in our value? We are so much more than our physical appearance. Society tells us how to look and we can hide behind that. How liberating it would be if every girl/woman could look in the mirror complelty natural and feel truly beautiful. 

On the train here we were asked why we were walking, so we shared with them a bit of our story, fundraiser and organization. We are so thankful for all of your prayers and support and are eager to get walking!

Buen Camino,

Cathy + Macy