We’ve definitely missed out spring here in Tbilisi, its already shorts and T-shirt weather, and leaving the window open all day. On the downside, it means that everyone is back to living out of doors, and that increases the noise level, number of flying insects in the house (very annoying) and its at the warm point, where both the cat and the dog are already just too lazy to move and catch anything! Not sure what this means for summer. Its definitely much hotter than this time last year, and its only April, so I’m trying to figure out whether summer will be even hotter than last year, or whether its going to be all freakish and weird, and be really cold or stormy or something? Maybe the Mayans were onto something with their end of the world theory?
Either way, I hope to get as much of the web preparation and funding applications in now, whilst I’m not sticking to my computer or feeling too hot to do anything, and this year I am DEFINITELY investing in a fan to keep the room cooler! Am in the process of creating an outdoor office at the moment, and trying to do a little decorating everyday, otherwise I always fall asleep about 4pm anyway…going to be interesting!
Few little updates today, nothing massively special though. My favourite clothing brand White Stuff have added me to their list of ’Super Shoppers’. Sadly they no longer have ‘Brand Ambassadors’, but this is still a great opportunity, and I’d definitely encourage others to get involved if they love the brand. Basically it means that three times a year, they give you new products to test out, and in return you keep the products, and get other products and White Stuff vouchers as gifts. So I’m all up for that, especially as you then take the vouchers to any White Stuff store and get to spend them. Very interested to know more about being a Brand Ambassador and seems like loads of companies have them, so that’s pretty cool. Going to be pursuing that some more.
This week, my target is to raise £2000 to cover the cost of 6 of our Oceans Project Leaders taking their BSAC Snorkel Instructor course here in Georgia. The £2000 covers the Instructor’s flight from the UK to Tbilisi for the week, insurance, and they will stay with me, so I also need to feed them. Then we spend 5 days in the pool (need to find a pool still!) and we will take our certificates in: ‘Snorkel Diver’, ‘Advanced Snorkel Diver’, ‘Snorkel Life Saver’, ‘Snorkel Dive Manager’, ‘Snorkel Instructor’, as well as one year of BSAC membership each. Once we have all these, and the snorkel equipment, then we will train all of our kids who are interested, up to the level of Snorkel Diver initially, and if they wish they can go up to Advanced Snorkel Diver, all of which will be great preparation for their Earthwatch expeditions where they will get to snorkel with dolphins or around coral reefs all day, collecting scientific data.
My major task now, is to try and get equipment donated in kind, raise the funds for the course, find a pool, and then book everything. Question is, how do I do this in the best way? One way might be to advertise the course itself, and bring two instructors over to Georgia, with others paying a little extra, perhaps as a holiday? Or perhaps booking in children onto snorkel courses and taking a deposit from them, which would cover the costs for OPG, but also give me some employment over summer? I know there are a couple of grants we can apply for, but it seems like a massive effort and a lot of waiting around for such a small amount of money. Crowdfunding might be another way, especially if we can convince 40 people to donate £50, but the best way feels like approaching companies that sell snorkel gear and asking them to donate. But would be good to have a really nice incentive for them. We’ll also need snorkel gear for the ocean row, and for my PhD, so it’ll definitely get some good use. Need to think long and hard on that, try and figure out the best way. Be great for me to be working as a snorkel instructor though as I also need to get fit, and might be able to sneek in a couple of extra lengths at the pool whilst teaching. Vera Laguna would be ideal for that. Olympic pool is also great, and one of our kid’s has relatives working there, but its a little bit tricky to get to from here, especially if it was a regular thing.
Vake Park and SunYoga Tbilisi
On a fitness theme still, I was very excited to see a free yoga session will be taking place at Tbilisi’s Vake Park on Sunday 22nd April, will have to tell our Oceans Ambassadors as I know they will love that! Plus it will count towards their physical fitness section of the International Award, and be even better if the weather is nice. Wonder whether they might take me on as a freebie and train me up for the row too????
The Georgian Wildlife Show
What else? Well, I have to say that I’m totally excited by this. Our Oceans Ambassadors told us they were working on a project, but wouldn’t spill the beans for a while, but they have basically built a website and each week they will be making an episode for their own show called ‘The Georgian Wildlife Show’. I love it, but I am biased! The website isn’t finished yet, but I still think they have done a brilliant job, 12 year old Luka designed the page: http://georgianwildlife.com/ and if your too lazy to check out the page itself, then you should definitely watch their pilot episode:
They have some great plans for future episodes, including a special episode to celebrate Rhino day at Tbilisi Zoo. Hope you enjoy their pilot show anyway. Right, well I’m off to chat with me rowing girls in a bit, so enjoy your evening, and if your in the UK, you might want to check out our OPG Patron Paul Rose and his new BBC 2 Documentary which will be shown on Sunday 22nd April: