Students On Ice Antarctic Expedition 2005/06

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DAILY EXPEDITION UPDATES


Saturday, January 5, 2008: Day 12

Drake Passage - 11:59 am EST

Posted by Geoff Green, Expedition Leader

Hello from the Drake Passage! The seas have been pretty good so far. Students and staff have kept busy with various lectures and workshops. We began the day with a presentation and discussion entitled “Sailing towards a Sustainable Future,” which looked at issues such as Climate Change and other environmental problems around the world, and how and why we need to take action to address these and find ways to live more sustainably on Planet Earth. This afternoon we have a few other sessions planned where the students will start working on Action Plans, ideas, goals, impressions, reflections and much more.

Last night we bid farewell to Antarctica at around 8:00 pm after a final day in Antarctica that could only be described as unbelievable. During my 73 expeditions to the Antarctic over the past 15 years, I can easily say it was one of the best days here I have ever experienced.

Very best wishes,

Geoff Green
Expedition Leader & Executive Director,
Students on Ice

Posted by Haruka Nawata, student

I haven’t been writing journal entries in the past few days because I just could not sit and type on the computer when there are so many interesting things going on outside! So whenever I had time, I went outside to see whatever there was to see. Now that there are just waves on the sea, I’ve decided to write one.

Today, we had a wake up call at 8:15 so I suppose everyone had a good sleep! We left Antarctica yesterday, and the journey of SOI is about to end. I felt very disappointed to see no icebergs from my window this morning. We are passing through the Drake Passage right now, and we have some big waves coming. But it’s not a problem because now everyone has sea legs!

After breakfast, we had some free time. Everyone became great friends and it is impossible to think that we have only known each other for less than 2 weeks.

At about 10:00, we had a lecture of “Sailing Towards a Sustainable Future” given by Eric. He talked about how we can live in a way that can continue forever. Like, not using resources faster than they are regenerated, maintaining the health of ecosystems, and leaving the world a better place for future generations. He also showed us some graphs of increasing temperature, carbon dioxide, and the world population. I could see that as population grew, more carbon dioxide was produced and temperatures rose.

From that, I think the first problem to solve is the growth of population. Of course solving climate change is also very important, but I don’t think we will ever find the best solution to it unless the population decreases. Because the main reason of almost every problem we have comes from population growth. So it really got me thinking about our planet, and I think I am very lucky to have this opportunity.

After the lecture, we had lunch (burgers and hot dogs) and we had some free time again. I wrote a limerick, journal entry, and a ‘letter to self’. Then we had a lecture given by David called, “Be the Change?” We talked about how and what kind of actions we are going to take after this expedition is over and how we can ‘be the change.’ It was very deep and interesting. After some free time, we had an activity. We had to write down our passions and issues and connect them together. For example, I had ‘socializing’ for my passion and ‘climate change’ for the issue. So, I put them together and said that people from all over world would meet and go to Antarctica (just like us) or any other places that are influenced by climate change. I think that would change their actions to our planet and if that happened all over the world, it would make a great difference.

Today’s last activity was a slide show of “Living in Antarctica.” Many staff members took turns speaking and had interesting presentations. They were about expeditions in the past when dogs were not abandoned yet, how to build a building in Antarctica… and more.

And that’s the end of today! What a fun day it was. Good night!

Posted by Felicia Vanacore, student

Hey everyone! Well let me start my saying my trip is coming to an end and its really sad! But I do have to say that yesterday was the best because what we did was not planned. We went to a bay and it just so happens that this bay does not have a name. It was covered by a sheet of ice and the ship tried to go through it, we got through some of it. Then the staff went out to see if it is was strong enough to walk on and it turned out that it was and so we all got dressed and got ready to go down. We spent about three hours outside, walking on top of iced sea water, playing in the snow and taking pictures. It was even better because we did not have to wear our big jackets because the sun was so strong. It was kind of hot. We had time to go sit by ourselves anywhere on the ice and to think. I thought that was a very good idea and it was fun to just sit there in the quiet and look around. After we got back on the ship we all pretty much stayed outside and took pictures and just hung out. I went to the back of the ship with some friends. We sat there and Ian came and played some songs for us. Afterwards I ended up taking a nap and then it was my group’s turn to go out for a zodiac cruise. It was so much fun. For our last cruise we were going through the icebergs and everything. It was so much fun!

Now today is not the best day for me. We are back on the Drake Passage heading back to go home and I am sea sick again. Last time was a lot worse but this time isn’t much better. All I can do is lay down. I really do not feel well but they said by tomorrow afternoon should be a lot better. This trip was just an amazing experience!

Well I am going to go because I really do not feel well. I will try to write again tomorrow but if I don’t then you know why. Bye everyone!

Posted by Lori Bostick, Chaperone

Greetings from the Drake Passage once again and my final journal entry. There is a bit of melancholy onboard the ship today as we sail towards civilization and thoughts of home, and numinous reflections upon everything we experienced on the most precious and most beautiful continent in our world. The Ushuaia is now our “philosophical ship”, we are “sailing into a sustainable future” and we must convey something back to our planet with new ideas and new attitudes. We have learned that we must live within our means, and only take out what we put in, so that we all can live in a way that can continue forever.

We are presently going through the processing segment of the trip. Oh yes…the processing…how do we communicate with everyone at home what we have just experienced? People will continuously ask, “How was Antarctica?” Many will be interested, but some will be really interested in finding out about our adventure and what we have learned. Besides our photos and perhaps off the cuff statements or responses, it is our duty to become a mover and shaker and do something with what we have learned! For me, it is no longer the feeling that I have reached the 7th continent, but rather what is it that I can do to make our world a better place.

“At this point in our relationship with Earth, we work for an evolution,
from dominance to partnership; from fragmentation to connection
from insecurity to interdependence.”

Thank you to Geoff Green and SOI for giving our youth this unforgettable and most valuable experience of a lifetime! The scientists, educators, crew, and the participants from 15 countries have given our students a most remarkable gift!

I look forward returning home to my family, friends, and to my classroom.

I will see you all soon!

Posted by Ankur Gupta, student

I will start today with another poem I wrote yesterday night while watching the Antarctic coast shrink.

As we say goodbye
This land not ours
A feeling grows
In us like flowers

Our hearts do stay
But our memories follow
We care so much
It becomes hard to swallow

A world of blue
A world of white
As we sail towards our well known night

Awe and wonder in our trail
Our hearts and minds at full sail

What lies ahead will be no easy task
But what we can do
Others, in it, will bask

We won’t forget
This land not ours
A heavenly planet
Where we spent numinous hours

Goodbye, we say.
Goodbye. We pray.
Our experience
Will not be in vain.

Today we began our discussions on climate change and policy and what we can do. We learned that a lot of policy from government ends up being about economics yet we also forget what economics comes from. It comes from the words ecology and numbers. We tend to forget the ecology part of it. I apologize but this entry is also going to be short. We’re in the Drake Passage. Enough said.

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Posted by Brittany Pieters, student

Today we had wake up at 8:25 AM, the latest start of the expedition, but it was a hard night since I was up most of the time just staring at the wall. Other than that we had our first lecture on climate change, greenhouse gases, and other topics relating to global warming. Afterwards we had some free time where I discovered the card reader had ruined Ingrid’s memory card that she lent me so hopefully when I go home I can get some smart computer guy to get the pictures out of it. Next, David talked about being the change, making a difference and taking action in your community. I had to leave half way through the lecture though because I was feeling quite seasick because of a grapefruit I ate. Serin, Mohammed, and I went out on the top deck where the water was so magnificently blue and the waves were rolling. Later on we had a briefing on the day where we also began to form action groups by listing hobbies and issues and combining the two to make plans for the future. Then we formed larger groups like water, over consumption, endangered animals, and climate change. We started brainstorming and are finishing it tomorrow. It is almost our last day and it is very bittersweet. I am going to miss everyone from Students on Ice. I have made some great friends from all around the world. On the other hand, I can’t wait to see everyone at home. Miss you all!

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Posted by Ale Cueva, student

Bye Antarctica!

I can’t believe we left! I will miss Antarctica so much when I get back to Mexico. This trip was a great experience and I have changed in many ways. I have learned that we need to really take care of the world, because it is changing quickly and it is affecting us, humans, and other animals and their ecosystems. Before this trip I had had a lot of global warming speeches in school and I believed them but I thought it wasn’t affecting us that much. I still took care of the energy around my house by turning off lights and reducing other electricity use. But now that I’ve seen animals in their wildlife and have learned more about their ecosystems, I don’t want them to suffer because of us. Humans need to learn that over consumption is bad and that you can not have everything you want. Humans are really selfish and don’t realize that they are affecting animals and in the future, it will affect them.

During this trip we had a lot of thinking time and during this time I though a lot about my future. First I began thinking of what I wanted to study and I still haven’t made a decision but I want to do something to change humans’ way of thinking about our planet. Then I started thinking about the future generations, and I want them to be able to see the wildlife like it is now. I want them to know Antarctica as it is now. Today the staff made us think about our self interests and world problems and to connect them and to think about a solution for that problem using our interests. The self interest I choose was music and the problem I choose was pollution and global warming. So, I decided in the future to write music about pollution and global warming. I would like, if I am able to, to join with a popular band and write a song about some of the planets problems. I am looking forward to going back home and begin writing songs! See you in about 3 days.

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Posted by Shipley Foltz, student

Well, it’s hard to explain the feeling in the pit of my stomach. I know you have probably heard it a million times before but there really aren’t words to describe everything that has happened to us. I still remember when I was in the Miami airport. I didn’t know anyone, no one knew me. Now I love every single person here in a different way, and I know that I will miss them all. We are all one family, and we will help each other and stand up for each other no matter what. Despite the hardships we had to go through (Drake Passage) we all made it out okay, and seeing even a glimpse of Antarctica made everything worth it. Okay, I sound a little sappy, and I hate that, but you can tell by the look when we were leaving on everyone’s faces that they thought the same thing. Sure, I know it’s just a continent, but I really will miss it. Last night I almost cried not because I will miss my friends (which I will) but I will miss this unforgettable adventure that took us through rocky waters, over penguin guano, and even on sea ice. Then again, maybe its time to go home to use this knowledge I have gained to help the environment and to encourage others to help the environment. I know I will come back one day and I pray it will be the same as ever. I have a dream now and it’s going to require a lot of work and a lot of confidence, but Geoff has proved that anything is possible with good karma. I will see you all soon.

I love you guys!

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Posted by Yvette Alfara, student

Today is my second-last day on board the ship on route to Ushuaia, Argentina. I can’t say I’m happy since this is one of the moments I dread since it’s closing to an end. I am really happy to think that I’m going to be close to my family and resume my normal life but that is what I’m afraid of. I actually got so caught up in it, I forgot all about New York and even lost track of time. Yesterday I heard it was Friday and I even asked myself what that meant to me. Was it something important here… nope not at all. Hours and minutes fly by with no real hurry and the sun that stays up almost all day and night, which gives you the idea that everything is continuous. I even forgot that I was going to school since I have never learned outside a classroom. This is one of the best experiences I ever had.

I don’t want to forget what happened here and make it part of some distant memories in my mind. At least that is how I feel it will be. I know that relating to someone that came here will be difficult since they all live pretty far away. Also, explaining all that I felt will be impossible to describe to someone who has never set foot here. So an easy way to look at it is that I’m going to depend on my memories and everything that I learned. All I really know is that I feel an urge to come back and I really hope that I will come back. Yesterday we entered the Drake Passage and well, you just don’t want to know the details. If I can remember correctly, today will be my last day sailing through the Drake Passage. Anyways, I’m spending the day on the ship listening to lectures and doing some activities. I spent last night watching a documentary that Ingrid took part in. I can’t say how I will feel later but I’m going to hang in there. Take Care and until next time!!

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Posted by Serin Remedios, student

Theme Song of the Day: Set Yourself on Fire - Stars

Today has been almost a culmination, the pinnacle of everything that we have been working towards on this trip. We are back on the Drake Passage, so we no longer have zodiac cruises or landings. Our whole day was dedicated to creating actions from what we have experienced. We have had lectures on climate change, activism, and we have even organized ourselves into action groups.

I have found that the mood of today has been very good for me. After I returned home after my Arctic trip this past summer, I was so inspired and so full of youthful optimism. However, after a while that fiery passion began to fade. It didn’t die out (I don’t think after an experience like Students on Ice that fire can ever burn out completely), but my desire to change the world, that blood churning aspiration, definitely did just smolder to embers. However, I am again beginning to be invigorated, like shaking off the dust and cobwebs from my eyes, ears, and mouth. I am again excited by the prospect of doing good things for my community, by living in a way that benefits others. To the reader, this whole entry may seem disjointed. However, it is hard for me to tie in those wispy tendrils of ideas so I can create one cohesive thought. Despite this, it is actually quite wonderful to feel this way again.

Well, I’ve also had a few camera problems. Half of my pictures have been deleted, which is really upsetting. I’ll have to find a good camera person when I get home to try and recover my photos. Sorry again about the short journal entry, but lots of love to everyone at home. I’ll be seeing you soon!

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Posted by Iraida Cabrera, student

AN ANTARCTICAN’S WORDS

Yes, you know me as an American
My accent states that I am Dominican
Ask me again
I am Antarctican!

A NEW YEAR
A NEW ME
A new born Antarctican!

Turn mess into a message
I NEED to be the change
I NEED to be demanding like the stormy Drake Passage

Honestly, I am intimidated by complexity
Yet, the key is FLEXIBILITY

- Iraida Cabrera

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Posted by Ian Tamblyn, Education Team Member

Little Green Frog

There’s a little green frog in a pot of water
There’s a little green frog getting hotter and hotter
But he just sits ‘cuz you see his skin
Can’t recognize the trouble he’s in

There’s a little green frog in hot water
Looks a little bit like me

There’s a little blue earth with a lot of water
Little blue earth getting hotter and hotter
But it will spin round and round
Could it care less if we are gone?
There’s a little blue earth with a lot of water
Looks an awful lot like mine

There’s a little green frog sitting in hot water
Seems he don’t know what he oughta
But this is the only planet we got
So if you wanna stick around GET OFF THE POT!

There’s a little green frog, glub glub glub

SOI Picnic

If you go out on the ice today, you’re in for a big surprise
If you go out on the ice today, protect your skin and your eyes
Today’s the day like never before Fritz is drilling an old ice core
Today’s the day SOI has their picnic

If you go out on the ice today, look at the mountains high
If you go out on huge ice today, wave Antarctic goodbye
Today’s the day you’ll never forget, put sunblock on your ears and neck
Today’s the day SOI has their picnic

Picnic time for SOI
The students are having a lot of fun today
See them gaily romp about
But this is not a holiday
So much here to think about
Students hauled out like penguins everywhere
But at 1 o’clock Geoff and crew will take them back to ship
Cuz we’ll soon be leaving here

In Wonder

In the distance hear the thunder
Mountain fall with snow
In silence and in wonder
We will go

Out towards the ice fields
Out towards the white
In silence and in wonder
And in light

So big
So small
In wonder
Of it all
We go on

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Posted by Emma Roche, Chaperone

My Favourite Sounds of the Antarctic

1. Geoff’s announcement to let us know we had arrived in the Antarctic as well as the cheer that followed.
2. The ice chunks that had broken off from the glacier bumping into one another at Point Wild on Elephant Island.
3. The loud bang when a section of the glacier broke off and fell in to the ocean at Point Wild.
4. Ian playing his guitar and singing the Penguin Song – especially when the students joined in during on of the recap meetings on the ship.
5. Zoe, Janet, Sara, Lilith and Ian singing Silent Night in the giant oil drum at Whale Bone Bay on Deception Island.
6. The sound of the wind at the Argentine base on Esperanza.
7. Ingrid calling out “arreba, arreba, andale, andale” when she gears up the zodiac.
8. The crack of the iceberg as it split in two in the water at base of Danco.
9. The sound of the penguins calling out to each other, interrupted by the snort of an elephant seal on Pleneau Island.
10. The sound of the waves as they crash against the side of the ship when we sit in the lecture hall or when I fall asleep at night.
11. The low thunderous bellow of an avalanche in the mountains around the unnamed bay.
12. The silence as we all sat on the ice in the unnamed bay just off of Wilhelmina Bay. And then, the broken silence as two penguins joined us on the ice.

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Posted by Christy Hehir, student

My Reflections and Wonders from the Bottom of the World …

I’m currently sitting in the lounge, looking out the window at open sea, with a cup of tea, listening to the Eric Clapton (I think) sing, ‘take a look at yourself’ and figure this is the perfect opportunity for me to write my final thoughts, feelings, and reflections as I rock and sway with the Drake Passage, which is once again taking us back into reality from this truly special journey.

The highlights range from the first view of an iceberg out the port hole, running (sorry Geoff… walking!) outside to see my first penguins floating by on an iceberg, to stepping foot on the continent and being in such pleasant company of thousands of penguins.

I also want to mention the scale of this continent. It’s huge, larger than life, more than I could of ever imagined. In the thickest fog, the mountains shine and glaciers are sky blue, but it’s when the sun comes out that this place is magical for me. The ice looks like it’s been scattered with diamonds and the water is so clear you want to dive in. Add a few humpback whales, seals, and of course penguins into the equation and you get this almost perfectly un-spoilt place, that somehow still exists in our world under the name Antarctica.

SOI has been an incredible experience, sharing a pristine environment with Ingrid who is totally inspiring to me, having devoted her life to the Orca, Geoff who’s good karma has created such a unique and awesome student experience, add Fred Roots and Fritz who both have Antarctic mountains named after them, a cosmonaut and others and then you can imagine the company I have been embracing … and that’s just the educational team.

I have thrived on this trip and my eyes have been opened to the world’s environment, my final comment concludes with my limerick …

Antarctica is my personal space,
Which will always put a smile on my face,
Being part of Geoff’s team, we all share a dream,
To preserve such a pristine place.

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Posted by Irene Shivaei, student

Salaam!

Action Groups!

That´s the thing that we did today: real action groups!

We have 5 groups among students:
1. Climate Change
2. Over Consumption
3. Water
4. Human Rights
5. Wildlife Conservation

And I am in action group number 1! ;)

In these groups we talk about the solutions and things that we can do to solve these problems. I like these action groups - it seems that we can do anything that we want, a lot of hope and power! YES! :D

Tomorrow I will have 4 interviews with Fritz, Eric, Geoff, and Fred about climate change and global warming :)

I miss you a lot. In these two weeks we were like a big family, with a very kind father, Geoff :) I know that I will miss them all :) but now I miss YOU! ;)

See you sooon!

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Posted by Jamal Alfalasi, student

My Antarctica

I love this beautiful country
This land of icy plains
Of sharp edged mountains
Of skies that hardly rain

I love her white horizon
I love her deep blue sea
Her beauty and her terror
This white desert is made for me

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Posted by Stacy Wilson, student

Hello again!! I know I have not written in awhile, but I’m back again. So starting January 1st we arrived at Deception Island. This is where a huge volcano is now filled with water, but the ground is still really hot. We walked around and watched the Gentoo’s body surf. They are funny little animals. Then it was time for a big decision: to swim or not to swim. Well, after standing on the beach watching many others going into the Antarctic Ocean in just swim suits, I thought they were all crazy. I did wear my swimsuit under my warm clothes in case I changed my mind. Then Kelly, one of the chaperones came over and asked me if I was going in, and I said “sure” after some convincing from others. So we stripped down and ran in. It was so cold. We only went in up to our waists and then ran back out. I did not want to put my head under. Geoff had made a “hot spring” at the edge of the ocean where the water was warmed by the volcanic heat. By the time that we got in, it wasn’t hot anymore. That afternoon we had bad weather so we could not make another landing, so we had an afternoon on the ship. That night Mikhail, a cosmonaut, gave a presentation of pictures around the world that he had taken while up in space. It was so cool. January 2nd was the day that we went to Danco Island. Here we saw a Weddell seal on the beach surrounded by Gentoo penguins. Then we hiked up a huge glacier! It was funny how the penguins got up the hill faster than us. They had made a “freeway” for them to easily go up and down the hill. Once on top we took some silly pictures and made snow angels and finally took a huge group photo with an amazing background. On the way down the mountain, we got to act like penguins!! We all slid down the glacier on either our stomachs or butts. I chose face-first on my stomach. It was an amazing rush. Unfortunately, I did end up sliding through algae and I think penguin poop, so my clothes didn’t smell very good. Haha. Later that day we got to Neko Harbour where we had three activities. First, I was with Fred who gave a lecture about rocks. Then we did a plankton sweep on the zodiacs with Eric and Ingrid. Then we hiked up another glacier but it was nothing compared to the one from the morning. Fritz did an ice talk and then we got to slide down that one too! This time I chose to go down on my butt since this one was a lot steeper and faster. I even got air going down. It was so much fun. There were some female elephant seals on the beach, along with Gentoo penguins. We even got to see some of the ice fall off the huge glacier there, and that was really cool. Later that night we watched an IMAX movie about Shackleton’s adventures to Antarctica. Alex helped make that movie and even had a part in it. The next day was January 3rd. We started at the Yalour Islands. Here there were many Gentoos and even two male elephant seals. They were also young so they didn’t have the big nose yet, but they were still huge. Then we did a zodiac cruise around there and we saw two crab-eater seals, two leopard seals, penguins, and amazing icebergs. The feet of the icebergs have a beautiful green/blue color to them, they look so cool. Later that afternoon we went to Port Lockroy, which is a British base that is kept like it was in the 50s. That’s where I got to send postcards. There were also many Gentoos there and very recently born chicks. We also went to an island right next to the base where we saw many Gentoos, a fur seal, and a magnificent skeleton of a whale. It was huge. Then on January 4th, our last day in Antarctica, we went to an unknown, uncharted bay and crashed into fast ice. It was so cool. Then we got into the zodiacs for a two second ride to the shore and got out. We were walking in this amazing bay that was frozen over with ice. Then later that day we did a zodiac cruise and saw a leopard seal, some penguins, and cool icebergs with the blue/green feet. That night we had a lecture from Ingrid about working with Orca and researching them. That was neat. It was so sad to leave. Now on January 5th we are in the Drake Passage again and it is much rougher than it was on the way down here. We’re having lectures today about global warming and such so it should be an interesting day. I really hope I don’t get sea sick.

Shout out to Galt! Have fun going back to school on Monday! Haha. Well, I have to go now for a lecture.

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Posted by Ken Ellis, student

Right now we are sailing home from Antarctica across the Drake Passage, where all the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic are pushed through the gap between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. Due to that, the Drake Passage is highly unique in terms of weather patterns.

Today we started talking about the global situations like sustainability and on ways which might affect it in positive and negative ways. We learned about the earlier population of Easter Island and how they used the resources around them too quickly and killed each other over what was remaining. This is something that I think is highly possible in the next century. I think this is what the definition of sustainability is: the ability to use resources in a way they will be able to regenerate as fast as we use them.

We also talked about places like China, how they don’t want to be denied the luxuries that the western world has had and continues to enjoy. This whole planet, especially the United States, is interested in instant gratification and self interest. This is the kind of thing that many government systems are running on. The world needs politicians that aren’t completely consumed with this kind of greed, we need politicians that want to serve the people, that want to serve the will of the people and that want to serve the world as a whole.

The IPY is an example of what all of the world’s scientists should be like, if all the money in America that is spent on developing weapons and funding wars was focused on something like devolving a new source of energy that can easily be sustained, then we would be getting somewhere in this world. I think the most important concern of the world today is not dealing with “terrorists” but stopping the production of greenhouse gases and ozone depleting gases. Because at the rate we are producing these gases the “terrorists” don’t even need to do anything because we will flood many of the major cities and countries.

An hour or two later we went to another presentation but this one wasn’t as big a subject. It was about how to be the change. The main aspect of this lecture was that we need solutions for problems but there are different ways to accomplish them. David Brook used the example of an extremely busy hotel, but this hotel only had one elevator. The engineer says the problem is that they need another elevator or make this one bigger, and then David introduced Ian to the story. Ian says to the hotel manager that the problem isn’t that there’s only one but that the people waiting for the elevator are bored. The part of this lecture I heard was pretty much about how to solve problems and how different people look at the problems in unique ways.

Around 5:30 we were split up into seven different groups, in these groups we wrote down some of our passions and some problems with the world. I wrote down Taekwondo as my passion and as a problem I wrote down lack of drinkable water. But in this group we were tying to make everybody happy in some sort documentary which was really stupid, you can’t incorporate Taekwondo at all with everything else we were doing. Then we pretty much dropped what we had done and went into one of five action groups. I didn’t know which one to go into so I “Enie, Minie, Miny, Moed” it and ended up with the wildlife group. In that we decided to make a website, but we hadn’t decided exactly what we wanted yet.

Well I guess that’s all I have to say about today.

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Posted by Iraida Cabrera, student

Hey everybody! Hi Shaggi! :) WOW, IT’S BEEN SUCH A WONDERFFUL EXPERIENCE!!! Once in a lifetime! Hopefully, not in my case ;) (Hasta que el cuerpo aguante? Eh? :)

I know that at my return I will be asked about my experience. With this is in mind, I have one response: NUMINOUS!

What is Numinous? Numinous is feeling a supernatural presence in wilderness. Perhaps, this word can be a reason to describe why words are NOT ENOUGH!

Today we started to address our next step towards improving OUR (yes, it’s yours too!) global ecosystem. One word that was discussed throughout the entire day was sustainability. Although, this word can be defined in so many ways, we agreed that sustainability is the ability to live in a way that can continue forever. Two examples are not using resources faster than they are regenerated and maintaining the health of ecosystem. I personally believe that these are two simple steps that EVERYBODY can contribute to.

I don’t regret one second of going to Antarctica, no matter how cold it is or how stinky it is – PENGUINS. I have no doubt that Antarctica has been my best classroom on Earth!

Honestly, when did humans loose connection with nature?

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Posted by Zoë Caron, Chaperone

Antarctica

Just when I thought the world was fine
That I’d reached a decent state of mind
I had my passion and goals in sight
Certain of my morals to make the world right

Just when I felt I knew a fair bit
That I could take on any project or problem that hit
I had a bubbling inspiration inside
Ready to lead and make changes in stride

Then something happened - I still don’t know how
That something has moved me, between then and now
The people and cultures were just the beginning
That started to wear down my walls - they were thinning

Expressions and faces that pulled at my heart
Conversation after conversation that tore it apart
Laughter held my hand, their ingenuity broke my fall
A cycle of breaking and rebuilding my wall

But then I met you and you knocked me down hard
Didn’t give me a chance to play my next card
You left my mind clear and with a blank stare
Didn’t know what to think - Couldn’t sense a single care

Feelings overwhelmed and on sensory overload
My body just shut down. The world put on hold.
You took my tears for your own and carved laugh lines in my face
You swept me off my feet. You put me in my place.

Nothing has ever drawn my eyes as the elegance of your face
Nothing has ever pulled my ears like your sighs and creaks and breaks

You were the first to redefine my sense of scale and pace
Your purity simply dissolving our inheritance of haste

With clarity by my side, and a new calmness in my veins
My breath slow and steady - So little feels the same

Now I am here. I stand very still.
A blank slate stares at me. I stand at your will.


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