Rowan Garel to dive Blue Hole for charity

His exploits have attracted much attention in recent years – from scaling the Victoria Peak to walking across Belize in five days, all in an effort to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI)’s programs for student rehabilitation. Now, 14 year old Belize High School first former Rowan Garel is taking on a new challenge: diving the Blue Hole. He tells us how he proposes to do it.

Rowan Garel_ Visually Impaired:
vlcsnap-2013-05-24-19h21m53s64I plan to dive the Blue Hole.  When I say dive the Blue Hole, I’m not going way down to the bottom. Most people do about 130, but I’ll be 15 so I have a maximum depth of 70 feet, so I’m not going deeper than that.
There’s an on-line course that you can take, and I’m goig to do that.  It has some lessons, some chapters.  Then at the end, there’s a little knowledge review and some quizzes that will prepare you for the skills that will be necessary in the water.

Blue HoleAs the date for the dive, July 14, draws closer Rowan will be undertaking practice dives at other dive sites including Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The program of which Rowan is a part is important to the future development of its participants. He explains.

Rowan Garel_ Visually Impaired:
The rehab program is so much more.  It’s everything from when the child is starting pre-school, and this is a normal school that sighted people attend, all the way up to into getting a job.  We need so many things.  We need multiple canes, because I am notorious for losing them or breaking them.  We need brailers, which is just like a typewriter but it writes brail, which is what we read.  And even laptops, because you can educate someone like that as well. We can use computers, for instance I’m learning Portugese on a computer website.

Is it difficult for Rowan to find new challenges on a yearly basis and continually putting himself at risk? Not really, according to the teenager, who told PLUS News this is not for his own satisfaction.

Rowan Garel_ Visually Impaired:
It’s important to me because I’m not doing this for gold or glory.  I’m doing this for the students that are in the program with me, because this rehab program is free of cost for the students. If you’re going to get a brailer or a laptop that definitely not going to be free for the BCVI.  We need the funds for that.  The thing is that the BCVI push for inclusive education, integrating the blind into  a normal school setting.  We’re trying to raise awareness that the only thing that we cannot do is see, but apart from that we’re just like everybody else.

To contribute to Rowan’s effort, deposit to Belize Bank account number 71096 or drop donations off at BCVI on Princess Margaret Drive. Also you can send payments to PO Box 525, Belize City.

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