October 2011 Issue

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October, 2011
Otesha spelled with bodies header with bikes
Riding on Hope

The Otesha Project's Monthly Journal 

October 2011
Welcome Elly!
The Organic Affair in Ottawa
Board Member Applications

Donate to The Otesha Project via CanadaHelps  

CanadaHElps - Donate Now


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Homecoming as a way of life 


Big things are happening at The Otesha Project's Ottawa office. Our Sunshine Coast Tour and ourKootenay Mountain Tour are busily cycling around the Canadian West exchanging knowledge and perspectives with all sorts of new and interesting folks. After bonding together at Training Week in Vancouver the two teams set out on their journeys to new lands. Just over halfway through their tours, the teams are becoming a road family, the only constant in their ever changing surroundings. But our teams aren't the only ones that are having new experiences. Our new Co-Executive Director is experiencing a new work life, our new volunteers are learning more about their new placement, and the Otesha staff is settling into our new office home after having departed from our mighty snug "Manor of Marvelous Mayhem." 


For this edition of Riding on Hope, why not get cozy and take a listen to Disney's "A Whole New World". Though change can be daunting, it's also exciting and new. New experiences are what enable us to learn and grow and at the end of the day, we're all finding our way home.


Elly AdelandOtesha has a new Co-Executive Director!


The Otesha home is welcoming all sorts of new members, including our new Co-Executive Director, Elly Adeland. Elly loves cycling, sustainability and youth empowerment. How much more could you ask for? 


After only a short time, Elly has already jumped in to contribute to multiple Otesha projects and has contributed her enthusiasm and warmth to the office environment, not to mention her passion for making the organization as great as it can be. 


We welcome her with open arms and can't wait to see what she has in store for Otesha! 

Canada World Youth move into the Otesha office 

  Canada World Youth - Lydia and Lucas

The Otesha Project staff has some new roomies! This month we welcome our two newest arrivals, Lucas and Lydia, our volunteers from the Canada World Youth Program.


Lucas comes to us from British Columbia andLydia came all the way from Central Province, in Kenya just in time for Canada World Youth Week, October 17-23.


We look forward to celebrating with these two awesome additions to the team! 


The Organic Affair in Ottawa is coming!  

Here at the Otesha office, we are planning our biggest event of the year, the Ottawa Organic Affair! This year, our afternoon celebration will be held on Sunday, November 20 at St. Joseph's Parish (151 Laurier Avenue East @ Cumberland Street). This inspirational afternoon tea brings together the Otesha community to celebrate what we've accomplished and imagine a sustainable and hopeful future together.  


With that in mind, we'd be honored to have you bring a long a few friends and family who may be interested in the work we do. If you would like more information, and would like to attend, please contact Shirley.


Otesha office-warming and Reason to Dream book launchOttawa Reason to Dream Book Launch


Thank you to everyone who made it out to The Otesha Project's Office Warming and Book Launch! After chatting amidst baked goods and fresh local veggies, attendees were escorted to Otesha's new office where they learned about the co-operative living space that is Heartwood House and viewed Otesha's new mural.  


Visitors then made their way to the HeARTwood Gallery for readings from Otesha's new book, Reason to Dream, presented by O-lumni Makeda Zook (Highlands and Islands Tour 2010), Sean Poulter (Coast to Capital of Saskatchewan Tour 2010), and Kelly-Anne Wiltshire (Ferocious Farm Tour 2010). It was so wonderful to warm our new home with such good friends and members of the Otesha community. We hope you enjoyed visiting us!


Just in time for our guests


Employees from Deloitte made their annual visit to volunteer their time to help out at Heartwood House and The Otesha Project had its inaugural visit from the dedicated group. Spearheaded by Ri Lee, the group painted a beautiful mural based on Ri's design to make our office more colourful, inviting, and fun! Have a gander at the group's work.

The Otesha Mural  by Ri and Deloitte Employees

Last chance to keep up with our Fall tours! 


Otesha's Sunshine Coast Tour and Kootenay Mountain Tour have been on the road for just over half of their voyage. While they form an adventurous community on wheels that provides them with a temporary home wherever they travel, these nomads will be returning from whence they came quite soon! To join them in the remainder of their adventures, you can sign up for Notes from the Roadfor the Sunshine Coast Tour and the Kootenay Mountain Tour.

Katimavikers making bike love notes September 2011Bike Love spreads across campus  


This month, the Otesha community spread the Bike Love. Following the success of the Spring event, dreamed up by Otesha's very own Prairie Sky Tour 2009 O-lumnus and former staff member, Katrina Siks, Otesha's volunteers lovingly assembled 500 bike love notes.  


Each love note included a fact related to sustainable transportation, creative decorations, and a note of encouragement, such as "nice thigh muscles" or "thanks for helping toBike Love participants in September 2011keep our air clean" and "keep on riding in the free world". The notes were then anonymously tied to bikes across the University of Ottawaand Carleton University campuses.  


Both campuses were full of sustainable transportation advocates that rode their bikes to campus and the notes ran out quickly! Special shout outs go to the Ottawa House Katimavikers and Carleton Serves volunteers that assembled the notes. You rock!


If you have a Bike Love story to share, send it in to us here at the office. 


The Otesha Project is recruiting Board Members


Want to get more involved in The Otesha Project? We are currently accepting applications for Board Members. Our Board has been working hard with Otesha staff to develop an effective system of organizational governance since 2007. We're motivated by the fact that a well-run Board can provide accountability, guidance, and support to our organization. If you would like to help Otesha develop by being a part of such a body, click here.


Spotlighting Our O-lumni: Jawn's new sustainability path 


Jawn Lafratta and a sheepOtesha O-lumnus, Jawn Lafratta (Sunshine Coast Tour 2007) has been quite the busy bee since returning from his Otesha Tour. After mobilizing for two solid months on tour, Jawn left tour feelling motivated and energized. Jawn felt like he needed a change in his life, so he moved to Victoria to work as the Head Mechanic at Coastal Cycles for two seasons. He decided to go to school at Vancouver Island University where he got his diploma in Green Building and Renewable Energy.  


After graduating earlier this year, Jawn stayed in Nanaimo and started up his own bike shop called Hub City Cycles. While speaking to him about Hub City Cycles, Jawn's doorbell rang. He returned with big news: "I just had my first ever part delivery to my bike shop."


Jawn's shop promotes the bicycle as an "indispensable tool for those who seek to empower themselves and make our communities more livable". He strives to help keep more bikes on the road, regardless of age, by teaching bike mechanics to others and by repairing bikes himself. In addition to running his own business, Jawn works in home energy evaluation, consulting with home owners to optimize their energy efficiency. Talk about living sustainably through our everyday choices!  


Jawn Lafratta playing bike poloJawn is still an avid cyclist and says he is "pretty much obsessed with bike polo". He usually plays pick-up with Nanaimo Bike Polo where players play in teams of three to score.    


Jawn continues his work in activism, having lobbied for Greyhound buses on Vancouver Island to install bike racks and has stayed engaged in the Otesha community. He supported the Fall 2011 Training Week in Vancouver for the Kootenay Mountain Tour and the Sunshine Coast Tour. When asked about his time as a Training Week volunteer this year, he happily reminisced, "The weather was great, the people were great, the location was great. It was wonderful!" Jawn's inspiration story of change is currently featured in Otesha's newly launched book Reason to Dream.   


Keep ridin' the wheels of change, Jawn!

Postcard of the Month

Otesha Hope Postcard


After every Otesha presentation, we invite our audience members to change the world by committing to one new hopeful action. Each individual receives a postcard, writes the action on the back, and if they complete the action, they mail it in to our office. We now have thousands of postcards from across Canada, and they are our proof that we are building a movement. Here's one of our favourites from this month: 




"I'm going to try to ride my bike or walk to places not far away instead of driving."

 --Nolan G., age 10, Dundas, ON

Wish List
Calling all office folk! We need your help in replenishing our stock of 
used (one-sided) 8.5"x 11" white paper

We've gotten pretty low, but we know we've got tons of (re)cycling superstars out there who have paper to rescue from being wasted. Save those one-sided sheets and let them live again!


Drop offs are welcome between 9am and 5pm 
from Monday to Thursday at The Otesha Office (153 Chapel St.)