October Journal

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October, 2007

Hello Friends of Otesha, Oteshaites, and Oteshees,

Here we go, zip zip zip, another amazing Otesha clip.

In this journal:

1) celebrating the environment
2) bike tour updates
3) staff changes
4) say hey to Otesha UK!
5) postcard of the month

1) One planet, one people, one common cause: A celebration of the environment – a special artistic program and interfaith festival

Otesha has been invited to participate, along with a handful of other movers and shakers, in this super exciting event that combines art, performance, spirituality, and of course, Mother Earth. A group of Ottawa based O-lumni will be performing the Morning Choices skit and joining in on the festivities. Come and see us perform!

Where: Marc Hall, Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Ave, Ottawa
When: Saturday, October 13th, 7:30 pm
Why: Because we will have so much fun together!
More info:http://www.mediasplash.ca/enviro/celebration_of_the_environment.html


2) Bike tour updates:

From black bears in British Columbia to love notes on bike seats in Ontario, we've been all over Canada this summer. Fortunately, the Lake Superior tour is still rolling until October 22nd, so the fun is not quite over.

a) Maritime and East Coast Tours

The Maritime and East Coast tours came to a close at the end of August, and we are more than a little sad to see them pedal off into their own lives. Together, theses tours traveled along nearly 4000 km of Maritime roads and inspired approximately 1500 audience members to consider the impact of their daily actions. We are super pumped about these tours because instead of school performances, these two tours performed at community functions such as Farmers' Markets, church events, and summer camps. Our socks are rocked to know that because of these tours, older and more diverse audiences have heard and watched our message and are now taking staggered showers, eating organic and local veggies, and wearing their underwear outside of their pants (if they look to these silly cyclist for fashion tips).

We are doubly grateful to the Maritime and East Coast teams because they pioneered our first car-free bike tours! Working harder every day to walk the talk as much as we talk the…uhhh...talk, Otesha decided to run two car-free tours this summer. Instead of using a support vehicle to lug their cooking and presentation gear around, the Maritime and East Coast tours packed the extra gear onto a few Otesha bike trailers. The verdict? Strong legs, big lungs, and small chain rings are essential. We hope that as tour members carted their heavy loads up uber steep hills they were thinking about all the petroleum they were saving, but apparently, other thoughts were also racing through their heads: Why didn't we make less spaghetti last night? Do we really need that extra cutting board? Maybe if I stop and eat the spaghetti now it will weigh less? These tours found out that participating on a car-free tour is an added challenge: grocery shopping became a science so that no extra food was purchased; different safety precautions were developed; the team dynamic changed because only certain people can haul the trailer due to bike / trailer compatibility and leg strength. But do you know what? These teams became grocery shopping scientists! They vanquished their fears! They showed us how strong they can be! And because they proved to us that it can be done, we will certainly be running more car-free tours in the future. Thanks heaps gang.

b) Lake Superior Tour

The so called Lovely Ladies of the Lake Superior Team (there are 15 of 'em) are winning hearts all over Manitoba and Ontario, and they're hitting up a record number of performances while they're at it. They just completed a gruelling 125 km day, and they are loving their time on the road. These ladies most certainly look forward to Thanksgiving because Jason managed to score them a free weekend in a hotel in Sault Ste. Marie. Enjoy the warm beds!
What's more, along the way the Lake Superior tour has been scoring some big points with the media. Visit the following website to listen to a CBC feature about a mysterious bike seat and love letter that arrived in the mail of an unsuspecting household in Thunderbay. 

3) Staff changes

As September slides lazily into October, we say goodbye to the much loved Michelle Lee, Barbara Hayesand and Christina Hunter. Michelle reports that she has treasured her time with Otesha, and has learned more in this year of work than during any others that have come before it. The wind is blowing her westward, where she will commit time to further develop her yogic lifestyle. We are grateful for everything she has given Otesha and her energy and passion will be missed. 
Barbara, who coordinated several of the 2007 bike tours, will also be missed by everyone at Otesha. Her hard work and dedication was appreciated this summer by all of the tour members who benefitted from the many kind hosts, warm beds, and exciting visits that she planned. We congratulate Barbara on her new position as National Director for the CYCC (Canadian Youth Climate Coalition - http://www.ourclimate.ca). CYCC is lucky to have her, and we can't wait to see what organizing she gets up to as she helps to build a movement!

Christina was our enthusiastic summer intern whose smile lit our office up so brightly that some of our plants grew way faster than we ever thought possible. She was always willing to take on new tasks and she believed very strongly in the Otesha message. She has embarked on a Canada World Youth project in Waterloo and Peru. Best of luck on this exciting journey Christina.

We are glad to welcome Mike Kozlowski to the Otesha crew. Mike pedaled this summer with the Sunshine Coast Tour, and just couldn't get enough of the magic that Otesha creates. He moved from the prairies and is happy to be watching the maples change color in Ottawa. Mike, who's been wild about bike since his first set of training wheels, is from Red Deer, Alberta and recently graduated from the Honors program in English at the University of Alberta. Mike adds his experience with development projects and student government to the Otesha mix, and is ecstatic join forces with the wonderful do-gooders at the Manor of Marvelous Mayhem.

4) Say hey to Otesha UK!

The wonderful Liz McDowell has been busy since the middle of May all the way across the pond in the UK gathering together a group of earth-lovin, bike-riding, veggie-eating hooligans to start up Otesha UK. Today they launch their new website! Congratulations gang! Click away and take a look at their website:

5) Postcard of the month

"We all helped Daddy rake the leaves and put them in our compost bin. It was pretty full!"
Anderson, Hannah, and Lucy, aged 7, 5, and 2, O'Leary, PEI.