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Samaritan House and Edisto Gardens

April 28, 2013

South Carolina – Monday, April 22

It was so pretty to go to sleep last night with a nearly full moon peeking through the trees, and to wake up to the sight of pine trees too. That’s one advantage to “car camping” – I can see out, but with tinted windows, I have privacy too – not that there’s many people around! And Tula’s a great camp dog! We started the morning off with a 3 mile walk around the state park. It’s so nice to get out for a walk first thing. Then I got packed up, and we started heading toward Orangeburg. I had done a little research, and there was a nice shelter there, which has been helping homeless people for many years. I spoke with the director to find out if food, supplies or a check would be most helpful, and she said a check would be good.

I drove through some rural areas of South Carolina on my way there, and we made a stop in the small town of Bamberg for a little more walking, because I saw a long walking path right down the grassy lane in the middle of a divided boulevard. It was called Bamberg’s walking path, but I was the only one out walking! I shopped for a few groceries for me and had a little lunch in the car.

Then we made it to Orangeburg, and I found the Samaritan House. It was a very neat and tidy house, with a freshly-cut lawn. It must be a very comforting place for the people who live there. I met the director, and she told me more about the place. They’re the only shelter between Columbia and Charleston, and there are 16 units of emergency shelter, and 20 units of transitional housing. The residents have to follow a lot of rules and do chores, and each of them has an individual plan toward self-sufficiency with the help of guidance from counselors. Samaritan House receives some funding from federal programs like HUD, so there are some strict guidelines the director needs to follow as far as who all she can help.

When I left the Samaritan House, I went into the town of Orangeburg and did another mile and a half of walking. Tula seems to be doing better, but I left her in the car for this walk – I don’t want to overdo it. It was a pretty town, but there were a few empty storefronts here and there, and it seemed a little quiet. And then, just outside of town, there was a beautiful, shady place called the Edisto Memorial Gardens. There were wonderful long boardwalks by the Edisto River, which is the longest free-flowing blackwater river in North America. A blackwater river isn’t dirty – it’s just colored by tannin which is produced by the decaying vegetation that falls into the river. And there were oak trees with Spanish moss, rose gardens, an herb garden, a bamboo grove and a lily-pad pond. I finished up my walking for the day there.

Then we were ready for a little car time, and drove a bit farther north to Florence, where I’ve got some plans for tomorrow!
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One Comment
  1. Rosie Mackay permalink

    Hello Nancy Zyburt. I have not read your blog as yet, although I did a cursiory glance. I read your story in the St. Croix Source, saying you are in St. Thomas this week. I hope you get to make it to St. Croix since St. Croix is so much different to St. Thomas. Be that as it may, I absolutely salute you for your innovation, your courage, your bravery, your sense of commitment, your charitable nature and your adventurous trek across the nation, surely seeing the Americana that I so love. Safe travels, Nancy, and may the forces be with you. You are now one of my new heroines. Rosie Mackay, St. Croix, 340-513-7893

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