Riding on Hope: Holiday...Shopping?

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December, 2012

The Otesha Project


Riding on Hope
The Otesha Project's Monthly Journal

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It’s December and, at least here at Otesha HQ in Ottawa, a winter wonderland is upon us. We’re eager to get the winter tires on our bikes, cozy up with some farm-fresh eggnog (or whip up a vegan variety), and spread some holiday cheer with our loved ones. On the agenda? Some crafty DIY gift making inspired by the blogs of such WonderWomen as Olumna Elizabeth Fraser and Vegan-Icon Isa Chandra.
Oh, and, we may be doing some online shopping. (Huh?? Yes. Read on.)

Happy HolidaysThis Holiday Season, Otesha is asking you to...shop? Hold up a second…
The National Retail Federation in the United States conducted a holiday consumer spending survey , and it predicts that nearly $586 billion (USD) will be spent over the 2012 holiday season.  Now, of course, all of this shopping seems in direct contradiction with Otesha’s less-is-more attitude, and our belief that upcycling, DIY-ing, and sharing non-material gifts can be fun, meaningful, and inspire creativity.
So it’s even more of a contradiction when say that we’d like you to support Otesha by going shopping this month, isn’t it? Why on earth would we tell you to do that?
We discovered a great initiative called FlipGive, who have partnered up with Ethical Ocean to give online shoppers the chance to support a cause of your choice (us!). Purchasing a $50 gift card to Ethical Ocean means that you’re also sending $10 our way - to support our 10th year of cycling tours! It doesn’t cost you a thing, and if 100 people purchase these gift certificates, it means Otesha will receive $1000. It’s a win-win for all!
Now, we wouldn’t normally encourage everyone to go shopping, and we still want to empower people to critically review and reduce their consumption habits. So hear us out, and read on here...
Earlier this Month, we had a little Affair...
The Organic Affair200 slices of vegan chocolate cake, 135 cups of Fair Trade coffee, 150 cups of organic tea, and 17 bottles of local wine later, we are still digesting the immense outpouring of support.

November 12th was Otesha’s Organic Affair, our only annual fundraiser. We are so humbled by the gifts received from our guests and supporters, including Shanti Tea, Church of the AscensionCamino,  Market Organics, Rainbow Foods, Natural Food Pantry, BridgeheadNatunolaCochrane’s Dairy, Loblawsand Pipolinka Bakery.

Read more here.
We’re Tickled about our 2013 Tours
2013 Tour Lineup...and, judging by the response we’ve been getting, so are you! If you haven’t yet taken a gander at how dozens of folks will be exploring - by bicycle - everything from urban agriculture and indigenous issues to tools for effective social change, you can get all the details here.
If you don’t yet have plans for New Year’s Eve, may we make a suggestion: Grab a fun outfit and a friend and get your tour application in already! We’ve all got friends and family on the brain during the holiday season. Now there’s more reason to have them on a bike during the touring season!

Apply before January 1st with a buddy and you’ll each have your application fees waived and receive $100 worth of fundraising materials to get this party started. All you need to do is indicate your buddy’s name in the “promotion code” field of your application.
O-lumnus Spotlight
Past program participants, affectionately known as “O”-lumni, are always up to wonderful and inspiring things. Here’s one example for this month:
JadisJadis Dumas
Although first introduced to an Otesha performance in 2003, it was only since biking on the Sunshine Coast’07 tour that Jadis came out of the bike-shed as a full-fledged oatmeal-wolfing, downhill-bombing, flat-tire fixin' bikesexual.

Subsequently, her love for cycling and meeting new folks while learning about “rad ways of unschooling the world” has led her on cycling adventures across Europe, Canada and beyond.

Currently living between Montreal and Vancouver, Jadis has been passionately involved with working at a centre for victims of sexual assault, contributing news reports for CUTV television and the Montreal Media Coop, and is always working on various video projects. She is particularly excited about developing a feminist documentary project on decolonizing education with Native mothers across Turtle Island.

She was grateful to be reminded of the “amazingness” of humanity when fate brought her back to Otesha this summer to film the Pedal to Plate’12 Tour. You can check out the 4 Video Blogs and the Seeds of Change video here.

Wherever she may be, Jadis always looks forward to welcoming more Otesha-ites to her home to exchange knowledge, climb trees, or simply share a cup of tea!
Website of the Month
Over the past 6 months, Otesha Olumna Elizabeth Fraser and her brother Dr. Evan Fraser have been working on a video chronicling the global food crisis and posing a 4-part plan to address it. If you’ve yet to see the engaging, easy-to-digest video Feeding Nine Billion, we recommend you take a moment to do so!
Classifieds and Donations
Does your home office or office office have an extra paper shredder kicking around? Are you in the Ottawa area? Otesha would give that lonely shredder a happy home.
CISV PeacebusO-lumni Zone
O-lumni, you know who you are. Here’s some news that’s just for you:
Children’s International Summer Village Canada contacted us to let us know that they are recruiting 4 leader/drivers for the 2013 summer cross Canada CISV Peace Bus experience and they encourage Otesha O-lumni to apply. See cisv.ca/peacebus to download the job description and application. CISV is an international peace education organization with 200+ chapters worldwide.

Peace and Bike Grease from Matt, Kira, Elly, Austin and Shirley

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www.otesha.ca | The Otesha Project | 153 Chapel Street | Ottawa | Ontario | K1N 1H5 | Canada