Getting ready to go...

Trip Start Aug 30, 2007
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Trip End Sep 30, 2007


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Flag of United States  , New York
Saturday, August 18, 2007

So it's getting close....leaving for Iceland on the 30th of August...got about 11 days to do everything...seems impossible.  Got to get Corey off to another year of college, got to get my house ready for renters, still setting up this travel blog to stay in touch with you all, got to pay my bills for the upcoming year (or make sure they get paid somehow),  figure out what I need to bring, have my last catfish burrito with friends, make contacts with people involved in sustainabiliy projects, figure out how to work my camera and video, find a place to stay in Reykjavik, pack, and then it's down to Long Island to visit mom and off to JFK and then ICELAND!!  Pretty excited about all of it - the preparations can seem daunting but I know that once Im on that plane, everything not done will take care of itself one way or another.  And what am I going to Iceland for?  In case you have no idea or just forgot, here are my thoughts about the upcoming year.  I have this incredible opportunity of a sabbatical to study anything of my choosing and for me, it's environmental sustainability.  Can we live in a way that will ensure our existence for generations to come?  In school we teach/learn a lot about how we're destroying the planet, using up it's resources and polluting the rest.  But there's so much going on all over to change the tide of misuse.  My plan is to interview and document projects that have been initiated at the grassroots level that promote the wise use of resources (mostly grassroots anyway, except for some like the use of geothermal energy for just about everything in Iceland, for example).  In order for our next generation to become environmental activists, it is critical for them to have HOPE.  And a sense of power and confidence in their ability to make change and prioritize differently for the future.  My thought is that by presenting them with the possibilities for living differently, as many people already are, they can be part of sustaining the planet.  I intend to visit communities that are living in sync with the natural world, intentional eco-communities.   I'd like to visit projects that suggest alternatives in food production, housing, energy production, where the consciousness is centered around sustainability.  I'd like to show that this is happening globally as well as locally - that there is plenty of opportunity for poeple to live their lives in harmony with their world. 
     So that being said, what am I planning on doing in Iceland?  Well there is a program called SEEDS that coordinates a variety of volunteer opportunities not only related to the environment but to other forms of community development. After spending  a night in Reykjavik (and I think I'm finally spelling that right?), we'll go out to the Forest of Por, a few hours outside the city.  We'll be building trail, planting some trees and working on projects outdoors.  They're providing us with huts and mattresses to sleep in and food to eat.  Which is a great thing since apparently food in Iceland is more expensive than anywhere else in the universe!!   Probably be losing some weight this month...  So for two weeks, I'm out of internet range but get to look at glaciers and volcanos and the amazing countryside I've heard about in Iceland.  Never been that close to the joint between two tectonic plates!   SEEDS appears to be an effective prototype for the kinds of organizations that can be built elsewhere.  Looking to get familiar with their vision and how they embody it.   
      That's the basic framework.  I'll be looking forward to contact with you all, and feedback/suggestions as well and any other thoughts you have to share.  Throughout the year, Ill be checking email pretty regularly, as regularly as possible and entering photos here as soon as I can figure it all out.  Please write me at rawhideone@yahoo.com or respond to this blog.  Thanks for reading! 
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