SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - With his Jackson kayak now parked in his garage, Shawn Puffer has had time to reflect on his adventurous summer of 2018.
“It’s kind of crazy when you think about it."
Just months after a triple bypass, Puffer kayaked from the northern tip of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico.
He decided to challenge himself to such an incredible feat, not only because he realizes just how precious and short our time on earth truly is, but because it was important to appreciate every moment of it.
“It’s the slowing my life down that’s the important part of this,” explained Puffer after reaching him by phone last year during his 66 day long trek down the Mississippi.
He also navigated one of the longest river in the world to bring awareness for the need of clean drinking water for hundreds of thousands in Honduras.
“The people were thankful for a river, because that’s where they get their water,” explains Bryan Reed of Simple Church, who helped lead a recent mission trip to the poorest country in Central America.
And as Puffer explains, the overall conditions in the area they were working, were about as third world as you would imagine.
“People are living in shacks with tin roofs and open sewers."
In one weeks time, these Simple Church volunteers helped drilled down and installed two clean water drinking wells, a crowning moments of sorts for the man who spent two months on the water, as far as the eye could see, to unearthing it for Hondurans who never experience such a first world luxury before.
“When we hit water on Wednesday (day 3), quite a few people were ecstatic,” explains Puffer describing the close to 200 people who had gathered to watch one of the new water wells pump its first bucket of water.
“The people, for the first time, see water coming out of the ground. And they realize how much their lives are going to be changed,” adds Reed.
And after all the hard work was done and on the final day in Honduras before flying home, Puffer decided the time had come for one more significant change in his life.
“He said, ‘You ready to get married?’,” said Puffer’s girlfriend Carrie Moore, who also spent the week working in Honduras.
“And I said, ‘I’ve been ready’,” she added.
A fitting end to the last twelve months, says Puffer, who navigated 2,300 miles of water and then drilled another 75 feet down to deliver water to the people of this rural area in Honduras.
“What better place to end something as monumental as what we’ve gone through the last year,” says Puffer.