Riding on Hope: Sunny Skies & Strong Thighs

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June, 2013

Riding on Hope, June 2013

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The Otesha Project’s Monthly Journal

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Sunny skies and strong thighs ahead...
The Otesha Project is ramping up for our upcoming 2013 Tours, and the excitement from our enthusiastic and eager tour members and passionate staff is rising like a high tide! The countdown is on as we launch our first tour NEXT MONTH! Want in on the fun?

It's not too late to be a part of the action -
you can still
apply to ride on one of our three tours!

The Pedal to Plate TourThe West Coast TourThe Nation to Nation Tour


News from Otesha HQ 
Andrew Wolf Memorial Bursary Recipient
Janet CaoAnnounced!

Janet Cao is the 2013 recipient of the Andrew Wolf Memorial Bursary! Janet got her first taste of experiential learning and living at a camp based out of Kingston, and since then she has also worked at Sandy Lake First Nation. Janet is particularly interested in issues of food, social justice and outdoor living skills to empower disadvantaged communities. Janet is excited to be riding on the 2013 West Coast Tour. Congratulations, Janet!

Upcoming Events
Capital Vélo Fest, June 1-2Capital Velo Fest
TODAY and TOMORROW The Otesha Project will be at Capital Vélo Fest, Ottawa’s annual bike festival! Come visit our tent at the City Hall Bike Rodeo, take part in the Tour La Nuit, and check out Community Spokes for some family-friendly fun throughout various Ottawa neighbourhoods! Bike tour expert extraordinaire Kayla Siefried will also be presenting a 20 minute Bike Tour Workshop on Saturday at 2:30 – you don’t want to miss this, folks!
International Children's Festival
International Children’s Festival, June 1-2
This weekend is BANANAS! We’ll also be at the Ottawa International Children’s Festival on June 1 and 2 at Lebreton Flats park facilitating our Banana Workshop on both Saturday and Sunday from 2:15-3pm. Ideal for ages 10+, this workshop is an active exploration of how we can ALL make a big difference – for people and the planet! Bonus: entrance to the event is free!

The Ottawa Small Press Book Fair, June 15
The Otesha BookWhat’s more fun than supporting local publishers and their amazingly creative works? At The Ottawa Small Press Book Fair, happening Saturday June 15th from 12-5pm, you’ll be able to get your hands on The Otesha Book: From Junk to Funk, as well as check out other local goodies, from poetry books to cookbooks to gum-ball machines with poems (really!). Come visit us at Ottawa’s Jack Purcell Community Centre (on Elgin, at 320 Jack Purcell Lane). Entry is free!

*If you aren't in Ottawa but would like to purchase a copy of The Otesha Book, you can
order copies online and we will mail them to you!


MEC Bikefest, June 16
Come join the fun and connect with Ottawa's cycling community at Mountain Equipment Co-op's Annual MEC Bikefest on June 16 at LeBreton Flats Park. You can try out gear, test ride a new bike, browse exhibitors’ booths, score deals at the MEC Bikeswap, or learn skills at a bike clinic. There’ll also be performers, entertainment, food vendors, and kids’ activities.
MEC Bikefest
Otesha will be there in full swing facilitating a Bike Touring Basics workshop from 11:15-12:15. Whether you are embarking on an Otesha tour, your own individual tour, or want to bring your own experiences to bike touring, be sure to come on out! We will also be hosting our "Bike Love" art workshop, where you can make your own cycling love notes out of recycled materials. It's fun for the whole family!

Opportunity Knocks

Ottawa Chapters Bilingual Coordinator
The Otesha Project is HIRING a full-time student summer position! The successful candidate will be our Ottawa Chapters Bilingual Coordinator. But if you want to apply, get in gear: the deadline is TOMORROW (Sun, June 2nd) at 12:00 midnight!

2013 Bike Tour Training Week Volunteers
Wanna cook up some yummy eats or facilitate a wicked workshop for amazing tour participants as they get ready to embark on their Otesha cycling adventure this fall?

Be a Training Week Volunteer! have 3 groups of enthusiastic individuals coming together in 2013: The Pedal to Plate Tour (August, Toronto), The Nation to Nation Tour (late July-early August, Ontario) and The West Coast Tour (September, Vancouver), and each tour needs some more Training Week help, joy, and genuine silliness! If you're interested in helping with The Nation to Nation Tour, we need to hear from you soon, so fill out this form by June 16. For the other two tours, we need to hear from you by July 31. 

Check This Out!

Bike City, Great CityBike City, Great City
David Chernushenko, Otesha Olumni and Ottawa City Councillor, wants Ottawa - and every North American city! - to strive for Gold rankings in bike friendliness, and he’s going to take us on a ride to find out how it can be done.
Check out the trailer to his independent,
crowd-funded documentary & donate online today!


FairPhone is the world’s FIRST fair trade cell phone! It contains conflict-free minerals, tin and coltan from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and is made in a factory where a specially established fund ensures that decent wages are distributed amongst workers. You can order yours today – visit www.fairphone.com

2012 Annual Report

Otesha's 2012 Annual Report now available!
Otesha's annual reports contain information about program areas and accomplishments from the past year, as well as financial data - all for your reading pleasure!

Olumni Spotlight
Alumni of Otesha’s Programs, affectionately known as “O”lumni, are continually inspiring us with what they are up to in the world. See for yourself...

Olumna Miriam SteinFor the past 2 years, Olumna Miriam Stein (Across the Rock ‘09) has been living and working as a CUSO volunteer in Southern Cameroon with the African Model Forest Network’s Campo Ma’an Model Forest. Probably the most important lesson that she learned from Otesha and took with her to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean is the power of collective action: that in a group, each person can make a valuable contribution to a positive outcome.

So far, her work has focused on the link between conservation of natural resources and local livelihoods. One example is an initiative to organise local farmers’ markets (or, as they say locally, “ventes groupées”).  The idea came from a local Model Forest field staff member who saw that the farmers in his area were subject to the prices given to them by middle men (actually middle women) called “buyam-sellams”. These same products were then being sold for double or triple the price to consumers across the border in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. 

Olumni SpotlightBy organizing monthly markets, the farmers are able to get better prices and the buyam-sellams are able to purchase in bulk. The sales are organised and run by leaders from the villages, many of whom are women. This approach is very different from what often happens in development projects, in which there is a small pot of external resources to be shared by many people, which can create challenges as to who gets what. But with the ventes groupées, the more an individual farmer brings to market, the more money s/he will earn. Similarly, the more families that participate, the better bargaining power they have as a collective.

Otesha Classifieds

In search of friendly ports...


Otesha's bike tour teams use performances and workshops to share a message of sustainability and hope that our everyday actions can - and do - make a difference. Invite them to your community!

If you are living in the beautiful Canadian
West along one of these routes OR in the Greater Toronto Area and are interested in hosting a performance, billeting the team, or just be a friendly face to the team when they roll into your town, let us know! Contact Kayla if you've got any groovy leads.


Solid coloured t-shirts wanted!
We want your t-shirts!

Are you spring cleaning your clothing drawers?
If you are in Ottawa and have coloured t-shirts (sizes S and M) that you no longer need, we'd love to have them! We'll be flipping them inside out, silkscreening them on the 'wrong' side, and then handing them over to our 2013 tour members to show off while they are pedalling on their tours. Feel free to drop them by the Otesha office at 153 Chapel St., or contact Kayla and she'll see about cycling over your way to pick them up.


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Peace and Bike Grease,
Matt, Laurel, Elly, Austin and Kayla

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