Rowan Garel to dive Blue Hole

vlcsnap-2013-07-25-14h27m27s161Visually impaired teenager Rowan Garel’s latest adventure was to have taken place two weeks ago when he was scheduled to dive in the world-famous Blue Hole in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. However, there was inclement weather and the trip was postponed. Now it is on again for Friday morning, July 26, the climax of another major fundraising effort for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI), after the conclusion of the annual summer camp and AGM in Belize City tomorrow, Thursday. BCVI Communications Officer Carla Ayres Musa, who will also be making the dive, spoke to us today about their preparations.

Carla Ayres Musa – BCVI Communications Officer:

vlcsnap-2013-07-25-14h28m40s172Rowan, his sister and I, we’re all doing the dive together, and we’ve all just finished certification about two weeks ago, the Friday before the original dive date, and with that certification and the regulations based on Rowan’s age, he can only go down to 40 to 60 feet.  So we’re going to be at about 40 to 60 feet which is just about where the ocean floor turns down into the hole.  So he’s not actually going all the way down, which only a couple of people in history have ever done, and recreational diving is to about 130 feet and he’s not going that far either.

The event will also be a family affair, as according to Musa dad Joe Garel and Rowan’s sister will be coming along.

Carla Ayres Musa – BCVI Communications Officer:

vlcsnap-2013-07-25-15h41m02s213This is something that Rowan wanted to do, along with his dad and along with his sisters.  So it’s a family event for Rowan, and BCVI is very excited that we’re able to come along with him, because Rowan is a part of our extended family.  We’re all anxious.  We’re all excited.  We’re all very much looking forward to the dive.  I would say Rowan is beyond prepared.  He was prepared from the first day that he got into the water with his scuba gear on and said, “I’m going to do this.”  It’s just something we’re all excited about now, as a nice outing together.

Carla Musa reminds us why the funds should keep on rolling in, especially for the rehabilitation program.

Carla Ayres Musa – BCVI Communications Officer:

vlcsnap-2013-07-25-14h29m07s129We don’t really need to raise awareness any more about what someone with disabilities is capable of doing, especially when it comes to Rowan, because we know that he is more than capable of doing anything he wants.. BCVI does have, and Rowan is a part of, our rehabilitation program.  It’s the third portion of BCVI’s comprehensive Eye Care Program.  We have a Primary Eye Care Program which is dedicated to preliminary testing and diagnosing, if someone need glasses.  We have our Secondary Program where you go if you need surgery of treatment. For people who are irreversibly blind we have our rehab Program. That area of BCVI is 100% not-for-profit. Everything that we do, all the year round support that we provide, which goes well beyond Summer Camp, we need to be able to fund that. BCVI has have lost funding throughout the years, from people who are just moving out of the Central American Region.  We do get support from UNICEF.  We’ve been getting support from UNICEF for a few years now, but there is a big chunk of the program that still needs to be funded, and that’s why it’s so important that we have these annual events.

The target for this year is one hundred thousand dollars and about $45,000 of that has been made. Contact the BCVI for details on donations.

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