October 22, 2003

Antipodes Expedition Fundraiser

Stoke the Ride Party

Here it is! The party you have all been waiting for!
On Saturday November 29th 9pm at the Brickhouse Bistro We will have a fabulous lineup of excellent local musicians.
First off we have a Folk/Guitar player Brett Heneke
Then Flavio and his Brazilian Bossa Nova Band
Rap Artist: Ndidi Cascade
The excellent DJ Emmanuel
R&B/Soul singer: Tamz
And maybe even Jazz Bass player Michael Owen-Liston will make a apperance.
There will be a silent auction of selected photographs and a 50/50 draw. There will also be a grand prize draw of two nights in Tofino at the beautiful Stormfront B&B

Please come down and support the expedition. The Bistro has an indoor secured bicycle rack. FREE secured parking in a parkade only 1/2 block away is available. It is also walking distance from the Main St. Skytrain Station.

Tickets are $10 in advance

Our goal is to create a documentary and several multimedia resources (videos, cd-roms, interactive website) to tackle physical and social geography subjects in the context of South, Central and North America for K-12 students across Canada. You can buy tickets directly from me or buy them online by credit card through Paypal and you will be put you on the prepaid list. The tickets will be $12 at the door.

Be sure to put you name in the comment! My phone number is 604-727-7696 Or contact Tania at 604-787-9577 We will be happy to give you more information about the event. The Brickhouse Bistro is at 730 Main St. near the corner of Main Street and Union Street. Thank you. Gwendal

Posted by gwendal at 05:22 PM | Comments (1)

October 15, 2003

My Departure Point

I just found a great link! It's a camera zoomed in on the Port of Ushuaia, my departure city. So, here it is, a glimpse of what I'm getting myself into.

For more information on the City of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, follow the link Tierra del Fuego.

Update!...Only three more months until my departure dated. I fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 15th, 2004.

Original Entry written in French: Translation done by Tania Lo

Posted by gwendal at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2003

Following your dreams

At 6:30pm last Saturday my mother called to let me know that she had heard an interview on the radio about a couple that had cruised around the world for the last 35 years. Their names escaped her but she thought the started with "L and L" I immediately guessed Lin and Larry Pardey and I was right. At 7pm that evening they were giving a slide show on their cruising over the last 35 years.

Although I was at the Home Depot picking up potting soil, I did not hesitate and put the soil in my bag and cycled to John Oliver secondary on 41st and Fraser to see what they had to say. Anybody who has talked to me for any period of time knows that I love sailing and the idea of cruising around the world has been a longstanding dream.
Before meeting Lin and Larry I had read their "Storm Tactics" book with great interest and marvelled at the simplicity of their approach to weathering scary and daunting storms.
After the slide show I almost wanted to sell all I owned and go find myself a sailboat.
So I signed up for their all day seminar on Saturday called "Priorities for Confident Cruising"
In this seminar they went over all the features you should look for in a boat for long term cruising that is affordable... They made it clear that to make it out there you don't need a deep pocketbook. You just have to learn to find the boat and the equipment that will allow you to live within your means. They also went through their storm tactics and the value of learning to "heave to" and the use of parachute anchors. I ended up with a scrapbook full of notes about all sorts of things like how to minimize chafing on your sails to what is the best place to put your galley on the boat.
The kicker is that they have never had an engine on either of their boats. Their first boat was a 24' Seraffyn on which they did 45000 miles and the second is 29' Taliasin on which the have done 60000 miles. In a way they are the ultimate sailing purists, sailing around the world as if they were on a dinghy.

I left with a new sense of optimism about the cycling trip I am about to embark on but also with the confidence that when I return it is not impossible for me plan an extended cruising trip. That is certainly another adventure I am really looking forward to.

If you want to learn more about this amazing couple visit their website at http://landlpardey.com/

I really recomend their storm tactics book...you can even get a DVD now.
Their simple approach to all aspects of sailing and cruising really makes you feel confident in your ability to go out and do it yourself.

That said I feel that this cycling trip has also been a longstanding dream. Although the specifics of this trip slowly evolved as I learned more about where I was planning to go. I hope that it will inspire others to go out and take a risk and follow their aspirations. Whether it is an entrepreneurial venture, hiking up a tall peak, or deciding to take a theater class, you certainly feel more alive once you have jumped into something a little scary and daunting.

Posted by gwendal at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2003

A Million People Live in Slums

In a recent publicaiton of UN Habitat, it was noted that we need to quickly mobilize a global movement to find better housing and a better standard of living for thouse who live in the Slums. It is imperative that we become more conscious of the number of people in the world, especially those in developping countries, who live in Slums or who are homeless and living in extremely poor conditions.

Original Entry Composed in French. Translation by: Tania Lo

Souvent les habitants de bidonvilles sont pauvres au point de ne pas pouvoir se soucier d'autre chose que de leur survie. Mais je suis persuadé que ce sont aussi des conditions pareilles qui sont au coeur d'une croissance dans l'instabilité politique et economique dans le monde. La population mondiale n'a pas fini de croitre et comme le dit le rapport mondial sur l'aménagement global "Global Report on Human Settlements ", (j'espère avoir bien tradui). Les populations rurales ont fini de croitre, c'est donc seulement dans les villes que va se passer la croissance de population mondiale.
Ce qui est encourageant, c'est qu'il est possible de trouver des solutions. Si on s'y applique et qu'on mobilise vraiment nos gouvernements à se soucier de l'aménagement mondial, on pourra vite réduire le nombre de personnes qui vivent dans de mauvais logements.
Pendant ce voyage j'espère pouvoir visiter toutes sortes d'habitations dans les campagnes autant que dans les villes. Je vais pouvoir rapporter ce que je vois et ce que les habitants pensent eux-mêmes sont les solutions pour améliorer leur qualité de vie.

A billion live in slums: UN Habitat
October 7, 2003

New York: About a sixth of the world's population , nearly 1 billion people, live in slums, and that number could double by 2030 if developed nations fail to change course and start giving the issue serious attention, a United Nations report says.

The UN Human Settlements Program's report is the first to assess slums and examine how widespread they are. Its main concern is the developing nations in Asia and Africa because the migration from rural areas to cities in Europe and the Americas has largely played out.

The report's main finding is stark - almost half the world's urban population lives in slums. Asia has the largest number of slum dwellers overall, with 554 million, while sub-Saharan Africa has the largest percentage of its urban population living in slums, about 71 per cent.

"In some developing country cities, slums are so pervasive that it is the rich who have to segregate themselves behind small, gated enclaves," the report says.

The report describes slums as poor areas that lack basic services or access to clean water, where housing is poorly built and overcrowded. Developed nations are not immune - 54 million people who live in cities in richer countries do so in slum-like conditions.

The report says the worldwide number of slum dwellers increased by 36 per cent in the 1990s to 923 million people.

The 310-page The Challenge of Slums traces the economic factors that influence the growth of slums, lays out solutions and discusses how they differ.

"We have all known for a long time that all is not as it should be," said the UN under secretary-general Anna Tibaijuka, executive director of the UN Human Settlements Program.

UN officials said the figures reveal that the world is not meeting a goal it set in 2000 to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. It said even that goal was far too narrow in scope. The promise was laid out in a declaration adopted by 189 countries at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.

However, the report notes a few positive sides to slums. They are a stopping-off point for immigrants who cannot afford better housing when they first arrive in a city; they are a cultural mix that often spark new artistic movements; and their crowded environment can sometimes lead to "levels of solidarity unknown in the suburbs of the rich".

Associated Press

This story was found at: Article de Associated Press au SMH
See also: UN Habitat article

Posted by gwendal at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)