Call to Action!

Just slipping in a sneaky blog here for you all to stand up around the Live Below the Line campaign starting in 2 weeks (May 7-11) – sign up take the challenge, sponsor me or have a conversation about it!

Now is the time for my call out around all this propaganda and North American shenanigans! In case you have been following my Live Below the Line 1000 mile trip I am just over half way done with lots of inspiration to come!

There is a great opportunity for you to take action NOW on seeing an end to extreme poverty in May through the Live Below the Line campaign (eating and drinking on less than $2AUD, $1.50USD,  £1GBP per day each day for five days May 7-11)…

  1. Sign up to take on the challenge (a life shifting experience [for the better]). Go through the Global Poverty Project website http://www.globalpovertyproject.com

OR

  1. Sponsor me in my 5-week 1000-mile LBL quest to educate and advocate on behalf of those who live in extreme poverty who I have learnt so much from…

Australian sponsorship – https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/lunnylbtl

US and Canadian sponsorship –  https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/uslunnylbtl

A good guide might be maybe sponsorship for each day I have/will Live/d Below the Line while riding, walking, swimming and advocating for 35 days… (35 x $1.50= $52.50 actually $51 if I take out the beef jerky day…)

If you are happy to just read one blog entry from this wonderful learning experience I am having and the perspectives, conversations and inspirations it brings I would be very happy as well…

See the tangible results and the impact the Global Poverty Project has had in a few short years of education, advocacy, campaigns and presentations – http://youtu.be/tAmfy-C6MB0 including over 100 presentations from me to over 20,000 people.

Lets see everyone have access to their basic needs in life and feel proud we were a part of making it happen!

Big love, d’Arcy.

What I carry on my back is passion, determination, joy, representation and mostly inspiration from all the wonderful people in the world I have met and learnt from, particularly those who deserve the basics in life...

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I love my hosts but they are scared of me…

Day 17

A gorgeous moment in the day with perfect spring sunshine (just before nearly treading on a snake, also enjoying the sun)

  • 22km walk from Semiahmoo Marine to Bellingham, Washington State – classic walk from boats to forest, snake, spring sunshine, beach, mall, rivers, waterfall, clouds and more!

    Not quite the highlight of the walk but good to have variety...

  • Breakfast: plenty-a-oats, dried orange peel, bit of bran, a few flax seeds and boiling water
  • Lunch: left over mac and cheese from night before
  • Dinner: serve of rice with left over ramen beef flavour sachet and two slices of homemade bread.

Not a big day for interesting food but seemed to be fine as I was in love with the day, walking and the variety. Getting a little sick of nearly stepping on snake for the second day in a row…

It has been an absolute privilege to stay with wonderful hosts every night of this trip. I would usually carry my house on my back with tent, sleeping bag and mat but I wanted to go light for this trip which meant relying on the hospitality of others.

It worries me sometimes that I am using the kind human nature and hospitality of people and not abusing it… but there is nothing to guarantee this – please let me know hosts if that IS the case or I will keep on doing it!

Anyway the point of this blog is that everyone I have stayed with on this trip has at some stage or another felt quite threatened or guilty about me staying with them. They tend to think that I am there on judgment to spite them with excess as I eat simply and walk, ride or swim for pleasure to fill my days.

Everyone has said they feel a bit guilty knowing what I am doing and are very self conscious of what their house is like or even if they use heating in their house!!! I have often had to say ‘I’m the idiot choosing to do this tour and Living Below the Line for 5 weeks – not you!’

I know sometimes that my actions speak louder than words but I wish they weren’t taken as judgement as I love the way I live and it is for me, education and advocacy not to critically analyse the kind and wonderful people who are opening their homes and hearts to me!

It is a weird paradox but I am very grateful for the hospitality and know I could not do what I am dong without peoples unlimited kindness. I am truly lucky and forever in gratitude for the ridiculous amount of hospitality and kindness I have received from the world.

I absolutely worship people and humankind as I receive the best of it continually, that is why I am positively convinced we can see NO ONE live in extreme poverty because if people can look after me we can look after the world – me to we!

It is with a very euphoric high that I finish this blog entry with a BIG AND INFINITE THANK YOU TO HOSTS, HUMANITY AND THE WORLD – it is the best place to be and I wish it for everyone in the world forever and will do whatever I can to make it true – one guilty host or 100 presentations at a time!

In some simple words from Michael Franti and a great inspiration to me:

Stay Human and One Love.

Kinda pretty special along with my nightly hosts!

The Global Wealth Project…

Day 16

  • 21km walk from White Rock, Canada to Samiahmoo Marina, USA – or 1 mile if I was allowed to swim or could fly…

    The little bit of green on the other side of the water is a short swim or 20km + walk!

  • Breakfast: BIG bowl of oats, bit of bran, a few flax seeds, cut up dried orange peel, teaspoon of nutritional yeast and boiling water

    Very apt sign for my day and all days of Living Below the Line

  • Lunch: ½ cold potato twice at different times, some bok choy and my last sardine
  • Dinner: Macaroni and cheese as a tribute to leaving Canada. Was loving those preservatives, they taste soooo good…

    Ahhh preservative goodness!

Love walking to cross a border as it makes the experience more thoughtful and exciting!

 

The volunteering and work I do for the Global Poverty Project is great and I am very passionate about seeing every human in the world have access to enough food, clean water, health, education and a fulfilling livelihood.

Still one of my greatest other passions is simplicity and live life more with less (as you will have gathered from this blog…).

My post today isn’t to harp on again about simplicity but to acknowledge the work I am doing with the Global Poverty Project which has taught me a lot about life and creating change. For many years based on the experiences I had in developing countries from around the world I would be judgmental, highly opinionated, critical, dogmatic, guilt charged and ready to criticize anything and everything about the developed world and how ‘rich’ we are… I generally now only reserve this for my family and friends!

I always felt like I was fighting the system and it was usually to people who already thought the same way or would turn off those as I was putting myself on higher moral ground. Since joining the Global Poverty Project in 2009 I have learnt to work within the system and give an inoffensive message and options for those who wish to take it on. Kind of laying out the topics, issues and actions on the table and up to others to try or ignore with no expectations.

It has been a very powerful and significant journey for me and I have really come across a lot of people who now know I am not to guilt them, smash them with a moral bat or ask them to do what I am doing from a moral high-ground!

As much as I would love to be trying to sell the message of ‘the best in the world is with less (when you get to choose)’ it is very difficult to tell people what NOT to do than offer simple small opportunities to change in their lives for the better of all. I have great respect for those people and organisations who are there to point the finger at consumerism, profit over people, materialism, etc and we need them for those who are ready to move along the spectrum into that realm.

I think if we can work from both angles of working inside out and outside in we can meet at a common ground that has everyone living with enough but not too much– that is my Global Wealth Project… not sure if I will have many followers though! This is leading on to something that has been a great part of this Live Below the Line experience – how to advocate without making people feel crap – next episode…

My accommodation for the night!

Life on a boat seems pretty luxurious but it pretty simple when living on one - just beautiful!

Come Dine Below the Line

Day 15

  • Complete wash out… tried to get a swim in but didn’t leave the house till 4.30pm and only managed a walk into Vancouver downtown – 12km
  • Breakfast: couple of crackers, piece of bread and not much as just working from home
  • Snacks: apple and half mandarin
  • Lunch: oats with orange peel and ginger that I didn’t get round to eating till 1.30pm
  • Dinner: rice cooked in a little broth, a sardine, few leaves of bok choy!

Great work day on a rainy day but did manage a good walk into Vancouver in the end and see a good old friend and mentor from the past, a great reward for any walk!

A couple of observations and thoughts from today mainly around mood and eating.

Firstly the way we eat can have a powerful effect on moods and perspectives. I feel sorry for my hosts on a few occasions as I have turned up on their doorstep – hungry, tired, cold and generally grumpy. I have to mask it as best as I can and either put on a brave face or get done what I have to: get in, get cooking and get eating. To be honest I don’t think my hosts have noticed what is my ‘grumpy’ is anyway – probably grumpy peoples’ ‘happy’ actually!

Some of the beautiful bursting sakura on Vancouver streets everywhere!

The other effect on mood I have with this challenge is appreciation. The flowers and trees are a little more beautiful, I’m connected to them more and I take more time to appreciate it all.

 

 

Vancouver Tulips

Everyone also seems to have beautiful tulips... Thanks gardeners!

I do know that people who are constantly hungry for their lives can not have their mood be dictated to by food. Ultimately it does in the sense that they: have enough / don’t have enough for today or maybe tomorrow or maybe for the season but outside of this survival process people just eat to live. I am a little confused how obsessed we are with cooking and eating these days in the west – not totally in a bad way but it is so far beyond the realities of the extreme poor.

While in the Live Below the Line headspace I look at the food culture of the developed world as a bit obsessive and elitist when there are a billion people who go to bed hungry each night, especially when we see foods that travel 1000’s of miles just for our pleasure and we can’t do the same for other survival…? Still the same could be said for sport, which I love, so I am not totally having a crack at people who are food fans.

My action point on this one would be to think about having a simple food day once a week to honour, think about and challenge yourself to see some of the finest things in life like family, nature, community and simplicity. This is where you can try a great idea from Global Poverty Project in Australia and the UK who have launched a really cool initiative for the Live Below the Line campaign – Come Dine Below the Line, inviting people to a dinner party where the food is 1/3 of the daily cost of the Live Below the Line challenge (ie. 50c per head in the US from US$1.50/day). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJrndl6zF_g&feature=colike (US video version)

See this link below for some great ideas around Come Dine Below the Line and I can guarantee the dinner conversation will be reverting! Maybe use some of the recipes I have been adding in my blog… http://www.globalpovertyproject.com/app/webroot/images/file/LBL/DineBelowtheLineResourcePack.pdf (Australian version of 66 Australian cents per head)

Want to experience a developing country from your own home?

Day 15

  • 23km walk from North Vancouver to South Vancouver via downtown and a cool meeting with Free the Children – but cold, wet, tired, hungry and grumpy upon arrival at my hosts!
  • Breakfast: half packet of very watery instant noodles and slice of bread
  • Snacks: apple (yay my first!) and hard boiled egg (was meant to be on Sunday [my egg day] but didn’t have it as was guilty from beef jerky)
  • Lunch: two slices of homemade bread and ¼ banana which I dropped on the ground and had to de-grit before smearing on my bread!
  • Dinner: garlic, onion, broccoli, third of a can of sardines in tomato and chili sauce, oil and pasta – the best meal I’ve had in two weeks!

I got an opportunity to do a shop where I could really cost things out and I think I have been living waaay below the line in guessing what I have been eating as yesterday I bought a large potato, broccoli, two apples, onion, bok-choy and can of sardines for under $2 of which I used about 60c!

If you have always wanted to experience developing country life you can now do it at home!

Not exactly but I believe if you take on the Live Below the Line challenge – eating on less than US$1.50/day each day for five days you will get some great insights into how billions of people live around the world everyday from your own country.

This campaign started with two good friends of mine in Melbourne who had previously spent time in developing countries and said ‘Well we have seen extreme poverty, how would you replicate that in a country like Australia?’ And Live Below the Line was born. 

Another great way to explain this campaign is to get Hugh Jackman to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2qPhwFokkA

Almost every host I have stayed with on this trip (BTW thank you so much hosts!) I have either guilted or inspired to take on the challenge this May 7-11, sorry guys. My big ask for my trip to others is not for your money but for you to give this campaign a shot!

It is a fundraiser but primarily it is about conversation, thought and perspectives. You cannot regret taking on this challenge – it is honestly a life changer…

But instead of me banging my own drum to death for Live Below the Line I want to share with you a couple of links from others.

The best one comes from a guy who writes a great blog known as Make Wealth History (and he writes grammatically properly and everything!). But he will give you lots of very cool insights in Live Below the Line and his thoughts during his week which he is doing now ahead of the official dates (May 7-11) to promote the campaign – http://makewealthhistory.org/2012/04/23/why-were-living-below-the-line-this-week/ there are also posts with a video, some great comments from others and a great look at the price of food in developed countries.

Passed through Granville Island on my walk and visited my friend who is the brewer at Granville Island Brewery - while not wanting a beer it was tough on a social basis!

So only thing left is to sign up eh! Link through from the Global Poverty Porject website: http://www.globalpovertyproject.com

Enjoying simple eating!

Simply Enough or Simply Not Enough?

Day 14

  • 8 km of walking after being too wet for extra riding around Whistler 😦
  • Breakfast: two slices of homemade bread with ¼ banana smooshed on top
  • Lunch: leftover pasta from the night before
  • Snacks: four slices of cut apple at the Tamwood presentation and porridge pancakes
  • Dinner: half packet of instant noodles at 9.30pm after the Squamish presentation

Definitely made up for my downfall the day before with very simple eating! Also had two wonderful presentations – one at Tamwood International ESL school in Whistler and one a community presentation in Squamish with a great turn out and a fantastic vibe!

My blog title for today ‘Simply Enough or Simply Not Enough’ is a great choice of thought and living that came into my head while walking with my Live Below the Line stomach…

We kind of have two ways to look at our lives when thinking about this:

  • Simply enough – with the basics in life we can be happy and fulfilled; or
  • Simply not enough – no matter what we have we can never be satisfied

The simply not enough interpretation can only be made if we are not faced on the extreme end of poverty where you might not have enough food, water, health, education or access to your rights.

It is not by chance that this popped into me head while I am two weeks into Live Below the Line (minus the damn beef jerky from two days ago!). Live Below the Line puts you completely into the headspace of simply enougheven when you go through hunger, tiredness, frustration and the occasional delusion.

Most people would think for Live Below the Line you would be of the mindset of simply not enough BUT Live Below the Line teaches you that you can have more with less and we sometimes don’t need all these foods or things to be ‘happy’.

I have been lucky that simply enough has been my life for many years now. It is something I feel very fortunate to have achieved and not only through hardship but through real and concrete experiences and happiness.

Some of the simple things in life are usually the best. A shared meal with friends is all anyone can want really...

I am sure that more people would be happier with less – I’m not talking about caves, sticks and water to live on. It is about controlling life more, with less to control. For example – I’m bored, I’ll go for a walk; I’m hungry, I’ll have an apple; I’m stressed, I’ll work less tomorrow. I sometimes think we put ourselves into excess far too easily and often with work, time, money and satisfaction. This is starting to sounds a little Buddhist and Nirvana orientated but it isn’t a religion it is just a way of thinking, practicing and acting and receiving the rewards.

I knew Living Below the Line for five weeks and doing a bunch of physical activity around it was only going to be a positive, inspirational and learning experience for me as I continue to love more from less (just have to be careful not to excess). I am as fulfilled as I have ever been eating on less than $1.50 a day for food and factoring in some cleansing healthy activity throughout the day whilst working/volunteering/giving very rewarding Global Poverty Project presentations to schools and communities.

Maybe this is a slight rant here that sounds like it has come from someone deliberately starving themselves but it is with wonderful clarity and appreciation that I believe less is more. I also feel and live this when I am privileged to be in developing countries or perpetuating that lifestyle in developed countries with things like Live Below the Line.

House, transport and nature doesn't get any better than this - maybe a few friends. If my transport is my feet then I'm on a winner also.

Lastly it is that time where I can’t advocate this campaign enough so I really encourage everyone to take on the Live Below the Line challenge for five days May 7-11!

http://www.globalpovertyproject.com and find your way to the Live Below the Line sign up!

This fun little video sketch is also pretty on the mark with this sort of thinking as well: The High Price of Materialism – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGab38pKscw

Live Above the Line (a little cheating)

Day 13

  • 18 km of riding and 1.6km (1 mile / 64 laps of 25m pool) swimming
  • Breakfast: steal cut oats, rolled oats, orange peel, pinch of nutmeg, boiling water and flour to make porridge pancakes (totally recommend!)

Sunday must be pancake day so I turned my porridge into pancakes! Just took a little help from flour...

  • Lunch: left over porridge pancakes
  • Snacks: beef jerky and two slices of white bread
  • Dinner: pasta, half cup of frozen vegetables and watered down pasta sauce

I finally cracked… I have reached the half-way point of my journey – Whistler and two weeks. To now the temptations have been there and I think I have been absolute in my refusal of them and sticking to my Live Below the Line rations. Trust me the temptations have been there like the grilled bagel with bacon and cheese that produced the most incredible smells as I walked into a hosts house having ridden 90km to get there on day 1!

But yesterday as I was feeling very hungry, a bit light in the stomach and passed the festival tents for the third day in a row in the Whistler Village giving out free samples of almost everything imaginable – energy bars, flavoured milk, beef jerky and more. I caved and strangely my body told my brain to take a packet of beef jerky which I put into my guilty pocket.

I managed to stop myself from opening the packet and thought I can just give this away to someone who will enjoy it and rode 6km off to the pool to do my 64-lap mile-long swim. After my swim the jerky still happened to be in my pocket and I had to eat. The protein and salt shot through my body and filled the lacking fuel cells. It’s strange as I never really crave meat and eat very little meat even when I have a choice but it seemed like the best thing my body needed – I hate saying that as meat has some serious environmental issues and feeding an animal to feed yourself seems very wrong having done Live Below the Line for two weeks but I can see why the world’s poor see it as a pure luxury.

So this momentary lapse I have palmed off as a reward for the half way point of this trip and I think it has revitalised my dedication and determination to stay below the line for the remaining two weeks of the trip and then the official week of Live Below the Line where I will be in New York. Its that week I will be joining thousands of others taking part in the campaign from around the world May 7-11 and it can also include you!

I was also very encouraged in the morning as one of my great friends in Ireland, James, has signed on to take the Live Below the Line challenge May 7-11. He then also put it to all of our mates to take it on in a great move of male pride, primordial competition and pure peer pressure – I can only encourage it! I then chimed in with a guilt trip (as I usually only do with my friends) and said if they weren’t ‘man’ enough they should at least be sponsoring me for my extended campaign.

I haven’t made reference to sponsorship for the Live Below the Line campaign because for me it is more about the education and advocacy but if I want that education, advocacy and inspiration to continue we need to continue to support the people, programs and organisations that do the much needed work on our behalves. So if you have learnt something, felt inspired or feel a little more connected to movement that can see an end to extreme poverty you can sponsor me as I continue on my tour Living Below the Line…

Beautiful ride down memory lane for me to be back in Whistler where I spent many good times with good people and good snow!