Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 18. Hoover Dam & Vegas

Day 18. 22nd June

Having gone to bed so early, we weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves, so were up again, packed down & at the gas station to wash before 7.
It was here that we met Shannan. She walked by in tears, so we apprehended her to see what was going on. It turned out she was in a sleep deprived state having driven all night, & was in a state of flux, not knowing what to do. She had a friend with her who needed to get back to
Albuquerque, New Mexico for a hospital appointment, but she was going to California. (Donald was an adult, but perhaps due to a great time on synthetic reality enhancers at a younger age, no longer had quite the capacity of someone else his age. This was adding to Shannan’s stress, as she felt responsible for him.)
Paul let her use his phone & we discussed options with her, finally deciding on going to our friend’s station to ask the police what services were available. (We decided against kneeling to pray on the doorstep, tempting though it was.)
The police officer at the station had a doughnut with no jam in it, but despite her sourness, she did give us a list of services. Being Sunday though, only one was available, and that one not until 4.30.
On our way to Ride Assist, we saw a Vinyard church getting ready to start a service & we figured this was a great opportunity for them to utilize all the things they hopefully preach about. So we went in, found James, a shining example of what Vinyard people believe, who was more than happy to take Donald & help him get to RideAssist by 4.30. We left Donald in their capable hands & drove off into the sunrise.
It was interesting to hear stories of Shannan’s life, such as being locked up because though her face was unrecognisable after a beating, she hadn’t reported her boyfriend & so was liable.
Shannan was a great girl, looking for more in life, but unsure quite where to find it. She was getting disillusioned with doing good, but getting shat on all the time for it.
We had some great conversation over the 100+ miles to
Kingston & the reality of her value started shining through. With this reality came the realisation that people who don’t see the value of a person maybe need to be left alone for a while in order to give those who do a chance to reward it & draw it out more.
We got a feed for all of us, Shannan not having eaten since yesterday morning, prayed together & we said goodbye.

We only stood in the 112 degrees for about 20 minutes before Jeff drove by.
He realised no one was going to pick us up, so took the duty on himself.
Jeff had not long broken up with his partner of 30 years. He hadn’t married, as he hasn’t yet found the right woman.
We hit up Hoover Dam – Jeff paid for us to park in a car park that was further away from the dam than the free park we had originally stopped at

– took another stumbling picture,

before heading on to Vegas.

Not a hundred yards from our drop off point, we met two homeless dudes, Johny & Mike. They told us the best way to get our bags looked after for free & after a chat, Mike walked with us to show us the way.
He’d come to Vegas in 2000 after his grandfather & father had both died & his wife had left him. He wouldn’t take any food or the cigar I had, but offered free advice & company, then went on his way again.
We decided we should get some computer access first up, so went to the mall.

I wish we could have recorded people’s expressions on seeing us.

We walked all over the strip. Got a free shot at winning a million, so decided that wasn’t technically gambling. Paul won a flashlight, which he promptly gave away to a mother of 5.
After much walking,

being sung to at a karaoke bar, talked to by a few brave souls, and a little temptation

we decided to work an angle & try for a room. (Not much space for tents in Vegas.)
Hollywood was amazing, gave us a few more flashlights, but was overbooked already.
We decided to aim big & tried one of Vegas’s most prestigious hotels, The Belagio.

Diana was the unfortunate one to have to deal with us,

but she bid her manager hear our case…and he did.
His hands were tied however, but he gave us his time & wished us well when we were done.
Diana however, wasn’t prepared to let such a freak show away without showing it off to her friends, so called Trevin at The Carriage House & convinced him he should see us. Which he did.
Thanks to Diana's generous act & Trevin’s generous heart, we were put up for the night in two rooms with king size & queen size beds, two baths, kitchens & all the facilities that go with schwanky hotel rooms. And all on Trevin’s credit card?!
Vegas may be known as the city of sin, but don’t tell me saints don’t dwell with the sinners. We found at least two who do.


Brian said...

That stumbling picture is WILD!!

We are praying that QIK sponsors us!
. .