Thursday, May 24, 2012

My face is exploding with exhaustion as a plunder around this morning. Today is my food crews day to make breakfast. We made dinner last night and lunch for today too. As a result I feel as though I havn't got to sit down in 24hr let alone sleep. It has been go go go. Perform, then run around to all the local health food stores in Moncton to get donations and ethically sourced food, and then of course cook. AND on top of this we have all of our regular tour responsibilities, so needless to say, I am a little zonked. This 15 min that I have found to write this post (at 7:30am) just shows how crazy our lives are right now.

To ADD to this, I am fairly grumpy right now, and utterly sorry for this, but when sleep becomes elusive I think I get upset because I just want to rest and not play games. But anyways.

With all of that said, it is great to be cycling with the Otesha team. Last night during our daily check-in, every person expressed their challenges with being super exhausted, so I am not alone. However I also expressed to the team how its the little things that are awesome. Writing chalk messages on the road (even though none of my other team members saw it...booo), eating lunch in a car wash since that was the only shelter we could find from the rain, having awkward conversations with people in health food stores, swapping clothes, laughing at how ridiculous each of us looks, its all part and parcel of the experience and I love it! Without these little things life would be so boring. The hardest part sometimes is to leave space for these little things to grow and frolic.

Ok, I better go do my back exercises before we head on the road. Thanks for listening.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Last thursday was the kind of day that is meant for hibernating. But not for us. The rising tide team is composed of 9 youth volunteers and we were awake and jiving before even the sun woke up. It was our first official day of the tour but no one would have guessed the day we had in store (as is the case with most Otesha tour days). 

So after our graceful 5:30am wake up we all grunted and groaned as we rolled up our sleeping mats and stuffed our sleeping bags into their sacks. A peak out the window was all one needed to do to recognize that the day was going to be a rainy one. Dark clouds crowded the sky as rain pelted the beautiful park around us.

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and cornmeal (for those that are gluten free) we packed up our stuff and headed on our way. Being an Otesha tour ment that we would spend the next 2 months cycling on our bikes to bring a little sparkle of hope and inspiration to communities and students throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 

I was with the first group, the lead team as we call it. So we hitched up the trailer (the team has 2 trailers that allow us to carry all of our group gear without needing a car) and cycled out. Today our performance was not very far away, however after the first 5 minutes I was soaked. So I surrendered to the wetness, as the rest of my teammates also  did, and just enjoyed the rain. After 45 minutes or so the whole team had arrived at the school. A school that insisted on providing us with food both before and after our 3 performances.

Such generosity is something that we will no doubt be facing many times on our tour, however every time I encounter it I am always taken a back by the reminder of how amazing people are. We are, essentially, strangers to the many people we will encounter on the road, and yet constantly we are welcomed in with open arms to feed us, shelter us, and simply just respect us. Such respect is sometimes hard to find, and so I am always so grateful for it. 

But back to the rain, because of all of our wet gear, which we hung to dry during our performances, small lake systems started to form on the floor of the school's staff lounge. These lake systems soon became a hazard when I, in a mad rush to put food in my mouth between our 2nd and 3rd performance, slipped on one of the lakes and smashed my knee into the hard ground. I always thought those "careful: slippery when wet" signs were silly, however I now realize there importance. It was a hard fall, and my knee still hurts, it has prevented me from biking, yet it did not prevent me from performing. The show must go on!

And so, we completed our 3rd performances, spreading even more inspiration to create change simply through our daily choices. Its amazing what an impact we can make when we stop and think about how what we eat, wear, say can have on both our local and global community. Hopefully the students left inspired to be change makers. We planted the seeds, the watering is up to them.

And so after 3 performances, one nasty fall, lots of rain, and even more inspired students, the day ended. We will all pretty excited to crawl into those sleeping bags and say goodnight.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rising Tide Tour Begins

Today is my day of reflection, as Nicole (from Otesha headquarters) put it, reflection means more then the vest you wear, it is about reflecting on where we come from, where we are going and what is being obtained from our everyday experiences. If our life is not contributing to personal growth what is stopping it from contributing? I feel as though personal growth is an important part of living and having done a previous Otesha tour I am in a privileged place to see how I act and react to the experiences I am having on this tour compared to my last. How can I go into the tour with more zest, a stronger sense of center and ability to connect with my tour mates? All questions I am pondering.

It is only day 3 of the "official" training week (although I have been in Fredericton for 6 days) but it feels like we have been here for weeks, which is characteristic of most intense experiences. I am trying to take it day by day, embracing the silly times and conversations but also finding places and time to be with me and reflect and listen to my body and self.

(Aside: there are chick monks going crazy behind me right now that I hope do not attack me...I am sitting in the woods.)

I am really excited for our team, there seems to be a lot of openness, creativity, and passion. I hope that I am able to keep true to myself without being a leader. I find it challenging to draw the line that divides where I am stepping up because of simply my nature and who I am vs because I planned the tour and am a tour liaison. Something that has seemed to work is that by  sharing the route pages (where we are going, distance biked each day, etc.) with the whole team prior to training week starting tour members have been able to check out where we are going on their own and have been commenting on stuff that they have found out for them selves rather then always asking me!

Thats all the reflection I have for you now! Bike safe and wear those reflective vests!!