Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where does the money go?

A: All of the money goes straight to Africa. Neither we nor the Community Alliance Network NGO hold a single cent of it. We are paying for all our travel and equipment costs of the expedition ourselves and work in the Community Alliance Network NGO is done by caring volunteers, who also fund their own trips to Africa from their own pocket.

2. How did we become connected to the Community Alliance Network (CAN)?

A: One of the co-founders and director of the organization, Santiago Perez, is one of our close friends. Maggie and Santiago originally met during the CFSIA university program in East Africa where they traveled around Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar together in two truckloads of 38 students. As we, Maggie and Bryan, left for our trans-African journey spanning from Cape Town to Cairo, Santiago volunteered at the Mama na Dada organization over the summer. Inspired by the programs offered by Mama na Dada and the amazing resilience and creativity of local African people, a few of the volunteers there decided to form a non-profit charity to help. bryan, Santiago and I have continued to be great friends and continue to travel together so when Bryan and I were thinking of a charity to support, we immediately thought of CAN because of their grassroots approach to invigorate local leadership and initiatives. Also, people have become a little jaded to charities and aid organizations these days because a lot of the money gets lost in the bureaucracy. With CAN, we know that every penny goes to Africa and to the project.

3. How do you donate?

A: On the right hand side of your screen, you will see a little button labeled "Donate". Click on that and it will take you to a Paypal page where you follow the instructions on the page. Paypal is secure and is used my many internet transactions including EBay.

4. Can I get a tax receipt for my donation?

A: Yes, we do tax receipts for large donations. Just send a copy of the receipt that paypal gives you when you donate and make sure that it includes your name to my email address (maggie.m.woo@gmail.com) and we will have a receipt mailed to you by early February 2011.

5. What safety procedures do we have in case of emergency?

A: We will be carrying a VHF radio to contact passing water traffic in case of emergency and a SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger that will allow us to contact for help from friends or local emergency response, such as the Coast Guard, with our exact GPS coordinates. Furthermore, we are carrying a survival/first aid pack (including railway flares and a signaling mirror), my cellphone and have taken a course in Capsize Recovery in our kayaks.

6. What are we going to eat/drink?

A: We are predominately going to be eating fish and other edible plants we can find. Our coast is extremely rich and there is lots of seafood that we can eat. We are pretty adventurous and open to trying most things so that includes seaweed, limpets, abalones, clams, mussels, oysters, and edible greens such as sea asparagus! Even the sea cucumber is edible! For water, we have two water containers(total 30L), two water bottles and a filtration system that removes bacteria, parasites, chemicals, debris and even bad odor/taste. Since we are following the coast, there are many streams and creeks heading out to sea that are available to us.

7. Where are we going to camp?

A: The simple answer is anywhere we can! Within the Sunshine Coast, there are lots of homes so we are mostly going to hop from provincial park to provincial park. However, north of Lund, we will mostly be doing wilderness camping wherever we find a nice place to pitch our tent!

8. How are we going to get back from Alaska?

A: We are going to ferry it back! Amazingly, Alaska ferries actually service the coast better than the B.C. ferries and there is a route that leaves twice a week from Ketchikan to Bellingham where we will be picked up by Pat and Bill Kinshella.

9. Are we crazy?

A: I guess that is up to you to decide. We certainly don't think so as many crazier things have been done by the human race before us. While in the big picture, it is an epic journey spanning basically the entire coast of Western Canada, the day-to-day picture is kayaking along the coast about 10 to 25 km a day and camping. Things really aren't impossible unless you convince yourself they are!