After the past few weeks of craziness, I’m happy to report that its been back to business this week, and a few nice breakthroughs, so lets hope the progress stays that way. Massive thanks to everyone who has shown me so much support recently, told me not to be so hard on myself, and that if the row doesn’t happen, it really doesn’t matter because no one will think less of me. That’s taken the pressure off and I’ve really felt the love, so a massive thank you.
Blogging and Writing
Some very cool things to report this week, little steps that feel massive. Firstly, I’ve written a piece for the TLG blog about my life in Georgia and with OPG, it isn’t out yet, but I’ll re-post it once its out in the public domain. Was actually really nice to write it, and to reflect on everything that has been accomplished in the space of just 18months. I was feeling like I’d not achieved very much, but its amazing how much you view things differently when you start to list what you have done. That has given me a massive energy boost and I’m seeing the future very clearly in terms of where I want to be on my journey and how the row fits in if it happens for me, and perhaps my journey is not meant to be as part of a team, but as a different kind of expedition? So I’m going with the flow now, see what opportunities arise, which invariably seems to happen thank goodness. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about the girl I want to adopt, and worrying about what happens to her, especially if something happens whilst I’m away, maybe the world is telling me something? Yet, I also have a sense that I need to do the row, that there is a bigger destiny for me, in short I seem to have become rather spiritual this week, and not entirely sure where its all coming from, but hey, I’m happy to go with it.
It seems to be a writing week this week, and another skill I need to develop, which is something I think I’ll also enjoy. The TLG blog was the first, and I also have the opportunity to write an article for the International Award, and to contribute regularly to the Lush Times since Lush have given us our first small grant for OPG. That in itself is a huge opportunity, especially with them having stores worldwide. And then, to top it off today, our Patron Dr Alex Kumar has asked us to write something for the European Space Agency blog, basically about Alex’s work at the Concordia research Station in Antarctica where he is currently working as Base Doctor and conducting physiological experiments to help ESA send astronauts to Mars. Which includes him swimming out of doors!! Here is the link to Alex’s ESA Concordia blog: http://blogs.esa.int/concordia/2012/06/19/join-the-dark-side-send-us-questions-and-photos/ So that is pretty awesome! He is in mid winter right now, so complete darkness for 24 hours a day, and we need to think of ways to brighten life up for him. Rather insanely we figured out that last week’s temperatures here (especially in the house) when it was almost 40degrees meant that there was some 110degrees c temperature difference between us!!! Hard to get your head around that!!!
Samples and Things
Well, I also got the video of our Fuzion tasting session at Ferghana Uzbek restaurant, made by one of our Oceans Ambassadors who is 14years old. Though sadly, a lot of the footage was lost. Still think he did a great job, especially as he has been busy with exams. Here it is:
And very excited today, as I got to pick up a load of suncream samples from the post office, thanks to the kindly people at Ultrasun (http://www.ultrasun.co.uk/), their sun lotion is made in Switzerland and here is their info:
The Swiss company Ultrasun was founded in 1992 and specializes in the development and manufacture of sun protection products.
All Ultrasun products are free of perfume, oil and emulsifiers. They are photostable, waterproof and dermatologically tested. Ultrasun closely collaborates with specialists at home and abroad and regularly brings out innovative products.
The products are available in Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, Great Britain, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Malta, Portugal, Cyprus, and in the Benelux states.
Very much looking forward to testing out their range over the summer, both here in Tbilisi where the UV is very high and it gets really hot, and also testing it out in Latvia on the beach. Will be great to test it under two very different conditions. Firstly because I usually hate the greasy, sticky feel of lotion and it can make my skin a bit crazy, and secondly because I’d like to see how it works in a less humid environment, and one where I’m in and out of the water all day, whether it rubs off easily, whether it leaves marks on material, and whether I ended up like a bit of a sand magnet. And I guess most importantly, how well it actually protects against the sun.
I’m not hundred percent sure how to test it yet,one idea that could be interesting, would be to draw squares o my arms and put different lotions in each square, see whether I get burnt or not. And I’m also really keen to try and make my own sun lotion, see if it works. It seems a bit trivial and not so important to be testing different lotions at this stage, but 6 months of wearing lotion at sea, means I want the best lotion for my skin type and that enables me to perform well as a rower. I don’t want to keep re-applying, only to end up with greasy fingers that make grabbing and rowing with the oars difficult, or makes me feel sweaty and horrible. Especially given that we won’t be showering and our fresh water is going to be limited. So I’ll be adding layer upon layer of lotion on my skin. What’s the best sun care advice at that stage, especially given that generally people row naked to avoid sores. Should I start with a high factor and gradually work down to the point where I no longer need lotion? Or keep the same level throughout? What about storing it, 6 months lotion is a lot of extra space on a 23foot boat with four girls who need a full body’s worth of lotion. What about the plastic containers, and where do we dispose of it. ow will the packaging and the lotion itself cope in the heat and salt. Will the ink come off the bottle, will the lotion become too runny, will it lose it’s effectiveness when hot? How will we store it, especially for capsizing? Is it better to get big tubs or small tubs, and what kind of shape: bottle, screw cap, flip lid???
There are lots of articles on the dangers and benefits of sunscreen, as well as recipes to make your own, like this one: http://wellnessmama.com/2558/natural-homemade-sunscreen-recipe/ The recipe looks lovely, but I wonder how easy it would be to make it on the boat?
Another lovely thing this week, we got a bit on the British Rowing web page: http://www.britishrowing.org/news/2012/june/20/unique-opportunity-adaptiveable-bodied-rowers
First Step Georgia
Well, basically so many very exciting things have happened this week, but its 1am and I’m very sleepy, so its hard to write more now. I’ll have to continue another time. OPG kids been messaging me all week, and a group of them will be helping to decorate the house and office, so that’ll be cool. Next week I have lots of meetings and friendly time scheduled in, and I’m now organising our ‘graduation’ ceremony for the current guys, which will be held at Europe House in September. Also very excited to be taking OPG and the International Award to some super kids at a place called ‘First Step’, and I’ll be encouraging everyone to like their page and to get involved with them: http://www.firststepgeorgia.org/ We’ve already applied for funding to work with kids like these who wouldn’t usually have such an opportunity, and I ca’t wait to start modifying the programme to meet their needs. Nice video here too, and so happy that the kids were rescued from the previous Kaspi centre. Disability is such taboo here, but these guys are really fortunate, thanks to a lot of support, especially from Ireland.
Not sure if the link will work, but here it is: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=261073737324414&set=vb.167202343378221&type=2&theater
Also great to speak with Actuality Media, who are currently filming in South America, here are their two most recent videos. Looking forward to them filming us in the Autumn.
Great chat with the International Award in Ghana too, looking forward to them joining our young Georgians on Earthwatch expeditions over the next year…all exciting stuff!!!
So to bed!