Monday, 24 September 2012

fine line between urgency and one thing at a time...

In fundraising for this expedition, concentrating on the end goal is an essential part of keeping the momentum going. With all the media attention on the dramatic levels of melting in sea ice levels in the Arctic this week, the end goal of my aspiration to be an effective Antarctic Youth Ambassador is ever more poignant and the urgency of the issue  has increased my urgency to keep working as hard as I can to get to this goal.
Overwhelmingly this week however, the support I have received from friends, family, and colleagues has made it so that I simply HAVE to make it all a reality now. People's openness and generosity with their time, ideas, and resources is amazing. I seem to be hovering somewhere between sleep deprived clumsiness and blind panic a lot this week with the monumental task ahead but  I am really touched that people are sharing this weight and every kind deed is pushing me closer to the line (and the boat in Ushuaia in 20 weeks time!!!) 

Special shout outs to all the Carlin/Mc Tague gang, Simon, Luna, Helene, Dud, Kim Mc Kazi, Maggie, Michelle, Sarah, Cleo, Carolyn, Ashe, Della and all the wonderful people who have been giving so generously on my gofundme page....
I am really excited to get working on the great fundraising ideas you have had, and will be taking you up on offers of help......So so much to do!!!

In the Guardian this week, George Monbiot
summed up the inheritance that we are leaving to the next generation...
"In June he (David Cameron) struck an agreement with the Norwegian prime minister "to enable sustainable development of Arctic energy". Sustainable development, of course, means drilling for oil.  Is this how our children will see it: that w

e destroyed the benign conditions that made our world of wonders possible, and then used the opportunity to amplify the damage? All of us, of course, can claim to have acted with other aims in mind, or not to have acted at all, as the other immediacies of life seemed more important. But – unless we respond at last – the results follow as surely as if we had sought to engineer them."

Please, keep supporting the protection of our Polar Regions, and keep doing one little thing to combat climate change.  Keep spreading the word about this project and 2041, to make someone somewhere look twice at a newspaper article or headline about the damage that has been done and what we can all do.

 There it is again, that fine line between urgency and one thing at a time.....

Monday, 17 September 2012

Another week in...stickers, scissors and a million emotions

Happy International Polar week Everybody!

What a week, sometimes it feels like you are getting nowhere when fundraising for an expedition and a cause of this magnitude- and then someone or something inspirational makes me believe it is possible again.  I am reflecting on all that has happened in the space of one week, my proposal is finally ready to go (after being proofread by many many brilliant friends) I have been busy talking to potential supporters, charities, Educate Together, nursery suppliers (I have a plan to get 2041 trees donated to my mini ambassador programme for school children!).... and I spent my Saturday night this weekend cutting out little sticky labels for DVDs of last years expedition for sending out to sponsors also.... the upside of spending this time doing my best Blue Peter impressions with stickers and scissors was that I got to watch this wonderful expedition again and again, and it is clear that I have no choice but to make it. Protecting the polar regions is simply a necessity in my mind.

I am incredibly happy to announce that this week my college Kimmage Development Studies Centre became my first official supporter.  I am deeply touched by their generosity and support.  My learning experience at KDSC was definitely one of the reasons I applied for this Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme and most certainly one of the reasons I was accepted.  I am looking forward to working with and for KDSC over the next months. I would like to send out a massive thank you to all the wonderful, dedicated and inspiring staff at this great institution.

I always remember when I was in 5th class in Raphoe Central National School, my principal Mrs. Millar's son Alan had been away climbing in the Himalaya and he came into school to give us a talk about his experiences. I remember being completely transfixed by his epic adventure and it inspired me so much to go out and see the world, and to care.  To have this amazing opportunity to go to Antarctica will be a life changer, not only for me, but for anyone and everyone that will listen when I get back. If I can inspire even one young person by my story in the same way I was inspired back in 1990, to be curious and to find out more about out polar regions and how to protect them I would be happy.

Till next time,

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

And so it commences!

I am now officially one week into my preparations for the 2041 Antarctic Youth Ambassador Project. A lot of questions have been thrown at me about the Expedition, arent you scared you will die? How will you handle the cold? What about the Polar Bears(!)  What exactly is The Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme? Wait, won't you be too old to go in 2041?

To answer a few of these, On 28 February 2013, I will be joining up with the 2041 crew in Ushuaia, Argentina for the start of the International Antarctic Expedition 2013 (IAE 2013). With their carefully selected team, I will explore the Antarctic Peninsula with their on-board experts and will gain firsthand knowledge of the continent’s fragile ecosystem, experience its unique wildlife and observe the magnificent landscape of Antarctica, all while learning about climate change and what we can do to protect the last great wilderness on Earth. This is the link to who 2041 are.

In the year 2041 the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty could potentially be modified or amended. 2041's aim is to work towards the continuing protection of the Antarctic Treaty so that the last great wilderness on earth is never exploited.

I am so proud and excited about the prospect of having the incredible honour to visit Antarctica and to meet the team of incredible people who I am sure will be life long friends working towards a common goal.

In the meantime, I'm launching into my Project Proposal and mentally preparing for a brilliant 18 months ahead....