Wow, those cherry tomatoes are good!

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September, 2005

Well, the summer might be over, but try telling that to our exploding tomato plants – it looks like they’re going to be churning out ripe, red goodies till December! But lest you think that all our excitement involves edible (local, organic) goods, let’s move along to the update. Hit it, Recycle-zor!

(Full disclosure: Joss and Ed are still biking down the West coast, and Jess is biking with the BC tour. So although “Recycle-zor” may not actually exist, make-believe sustainable superheroes – borrowed from the Great Lakes Tour – can go a long way towards companionship… uhh… let’s hear it from the tours!)

The Great Lakes Tour has already come and gone and its team members are spread out across Canada once again. But they are still connected in so many ways – two months of such intense learning and living will keep this crew spreading the Otesha jam in whatever ways it can. Over the two-month tour, 15 GLT Otesha Sustainable Superheroes presented to over 2700 people at 50 presentations, and biked over 1600km! It was a life-altering event that inspired tour members – and hopefully many others along their route – to make positive changes in the world every day! They’re also sending out a warm and fuzzy thank you to everyone who gave them hope and support throughout July and August.

And now for a check-in with the last regional tour for 2005 (sob!). After packing up their panniers and doing last-minute preparations, the BC team finally all met up in Prince George on September 1st. The entire month of August was a marathon of phone calls, emails and (seemingly) endless discussions covering the logistical and ideological dimensions of the tour. But they did manage to take some time to present at the Sierra Club's Making Waves gathering, which provided them with lots of thought fodder for their upcoming Otesha Jam: Youth Summit for a Sustainable Future. Check out this page (broken link) to learn more!

And finally, those gurus of gears, those sages of cycling, those pushers of pedals, those Otesha-ites who have been eating up kilometres across Canada like a hungry vegan munches on tofu scram: the Coast2Coast tour. C2C is just entering the last leg of the tour – the East Coast! – and is currently enjoying all that New Brunswick has to offer – superb sights and friendly folks. But their two months in Ontario and Quebec won’t be easily forgotten. Their stop at the Manor of Marvelous Mayhem (here in Ottawa) gave us a chance to witness the presenting magic of these cyclist extraordinaires – tents abounded in our backyard! They were also super fortunate to learn from a few communities with powerful and inspirational stories – Tyendinaga and Kanehsatake – and want to thank Sue, Sean, and Clifton for sharing their experiences and knowledge about the struggles of their communities to defend their right to self-determination and autonomy. C2C also said farewell to two beautiful team members: Sophie and Michelle. They wish them many thanks and much luck in school and in life. Another exciting moment came in Quebec. C2C was given the opportunity to do their presentations in French! It was a learning experience for many people on the team, and a great chance to include more communities in the Otesha experience. A big thanks goes out to Julien for all his work on translation.

And Central? Well, on the subject of Otesha rocking it in French, after passing through the creative hands of Colin, John and Kevin, Le Livre Otesha: de poubelle a rebelle has finally arrived. And not only that, but due to the translating prowess of Janique, Sofian, Leslie and Natacha, much of our website is now available in French!

Outside the language realm, much of our excitement is drawn from getting the Hopeful High school Hooligan program running again – Triple-H is back! (Check it out here.) Our first financial contribution for this program recently came from Green Street. We found out at the same time that we have been re-approved as a provider for this environmental education network for 2005-2006. Woohoo!

See you next time!

Postcard of the month – “Plan: perform a selfless task that will benefit others; Action: raised money for Oxfam by providing fair-trade coffee samples in a bake sale.” – Emily, Age 17 (Toronto, ON)