What, When, Where, How and What (a bit more)

I have updated the order of this post so it is shown at the top for a workshop I will be giving in Melbourne on bicycle touring with or without a cause: http://www.lanewaylearning.com/2013/03/13/bicycle-touring/

Hope to see you at the workshop and here is an earlier post of this blog when I was setting up for the ride and campaign…

This is an attempt at putting together all the aspects, logistics and details of my trip with a small plea for action in HOW…

WHAT: The gist of what I am doing in North America on a bike in April:

  • Riding a bike from Portland, Oregon to Whistler, British Colombia and back in April and the first week of May
  • Presenting for the Global Poverty Project and the wonderful 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation
  • Doing it eating on less than US$1.50/day (extreme poverty line) promoting the Live Below the Line campaign
  • WHY? To see more people engaged with the movement to see an end to extreme poverty and ultimately see those who live in extreme poverty have greater access to basic needs and opportunities
  • By bicycle there is also a strong environmental, health, sustainability and simplicity message

Doing what I love

WHEN & WHERE – Tour Itinerary and Map http://g.co/maps/94qsa

DATE PLACE LOGISTICS
Thurs 5 Apr Portland,OR Arrive Portland 10.55pm
Fri 6 Portland,OR Set up and Presentation opportunity!
Sat 7 Portland,OR Presentation opportunity!
Sun 8 Portland,OR Presentation opportunity!
Mon 9 Portland,OR Presentation opportunity!
Tues 10 Kelso,WA Portland+ 90km →Kelso,WA via Longview City. Pres opportunity!
Wed 11 Grand Mound, WA Kelso,WA+ 90km → Grand Mound, WA. Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 12 Kamilche,WA Grand Mound + 55km →Kamilche,WA via Olympia Pres opportunity!
Fri 13 ??? Kamilche,WA+ …km → ? on way to Port Angeles 170km away
Sat 14 Port Angeles,WA Continue of journey to Port Angeles
Sun 15 Victoria,BC Ferry to Victoria. Presentation opportunity in evening inVictoria!
Mon 16 Victoria,BC Presentation opportunity!
Tues 17 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity! Victoria+ 35km to ferry from Swartz Bay and ferry. Tsawwassen + 55km toVancouver.
Wed 18 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 19 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Fri 20 Squamish,BC Vancouver+ 70km → Squamish. Presentation opportunity!
Sat 21 Whistler, BC Squamish + 60km → Whistler. Presentation opportunity!
Sun 22 Whistler, BC Presentation opportunity!
Mon 23 Whistler, BC Presentation opportunity!
Tues 24 Squamish,BC Whistler + 60km → Squamish. Presentation opportunity!
Wed 25 Vancouver,BC Squamish + 70km →Vancouver. Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 26 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Fri 27 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Sat 28 Vancouver,BC Presentation opportunity!
Sun 29 Bellingham,WA Vancouver+ 90km →Bellingham. Presentation opportunity!
Mon 30 Arlington,WA Bellingham+ 85km →Arlington. Presentation opportunity!
Tues 1 May Seattle,WA Arlington+ 95km →Seattle. Presentation opportunity!
Wed 2 Seattle,WA Presentation opportunity!
Thurs 3 Seattle,WA Presentation opportunity!
Fri 4 Portland,OR Train back to Portland to return bike, trailer and get organised for LBL
Sat/Sun 5/6 Portland & beyond? Make way to Calgary, Chicago or New York?
7-11 May Live Below the Line Where best to be for week of Live Below the Line?
3rd wk May Chicago? Europe Chicago 14 May for G8? Tour End – Depart for Europe

HOW I need some bonus support to make it happen in the best way possible

I do have a backup to all of these and I’m very self-sufficient but all my trips are done as a full-time volunteer. I have been volunteering for the past seven months and will be for the rest of the year in various education and advocacy work so anything will be a bonus!

To help me make this as successful as possible (and not just for my own endurance and fun!) I have a two simple asks:

  • For your support, suggestions and to pass my trip details on to others
  • Any possible in-kind help, support or sponsorship
    • In particular I need (borrowing best) for a month starting and finishing in Portland:
      • Bicycle, trailer (preferred) or panniers (for bicycle touring) and various bike bits
      • Network of hosts for presentations and maybe accommodation

In return I will:

  • Attract media where possible – particularly local media
  • Have room to represent appropriate sponsors on items and in the presentation
  • Be advocating on global, environmental and social justice and can add to the good work of others
  • Promise to return items as needed or replace, as hopefully not needed!
  • Happily present to your community or group of interested people

In particular and in the past the best kind of support usually comes from organisations and business like yourselves and:

  • Aid and development agencies
  • Education and youth sectors, especially global awareness groups
  • Cycling, environmental, transport and sustainability advocacy groups
  • Community groups and associations such as: schools, Rotary, environment groups, faith groups and even something like Scouts, fire-fighters, hospitals, councils and others!

WHAT else do you need to know?

Before Today – My Background and My Hopes for this Tour

My global education journey started as a teacher in a remote Aboriginal school in the desert of South Australia. Since then I’ve spent the past 11 years teaching, volunteering and learning in over 50 countries.

With these amazing rich learning experiences I mix information with inspiration and shared them with audiences in developed countries. Using my own personal stories and the Global Poverty Project’s 1.4 Billion Reasons interactive multimedia presentation we encourage people to go from knowing about the topics and issues on extreme poverty and the environment to taking action on them.

I have been a key member of the Global Poverty Project since the first 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation on 4 July 2009 in Melbourne, have delivered over 100 GPP presentations and initiated and managed the youth and schools program in Australia.

My previous presentation cycling trips include South Australia (2007), New Zealand (2009) and the East Coast of Australia (2009). Each with their unique blend of global and environmental awareness.

I am extremely passionate and excited for my first presentation cycling tour in the US and Canadato give your youth and communities an opportunity to experience a GPP 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation, to promote the Live Below the Line campaign in May and showcase environmental awareness and healthy lifestyles.

The Global Poverty Project

Our aim is not to fundraise or create resources, rather the Global Poverty Project seeks to inspire people to actively engage with the movement to end extreme poverty. The Global Poverty Project connects people with the organisations, initiatives, resources and actions that are already happening.

The 1.4 Billion Reasons Presentation and Engagement with Social Justice Issues

The strength of the presentation is to provide context and catalyse comprehensive learning and engagement with global issues. Through our partnerships and working relationships we can connect audiences, teachers and leaders to organisations working specifically on a range of social justice issues. We connect you with learning guides, campaign actions, and a network of active citizens that can help facilitate a pathway of learning and engagement.

Live Below the Line

My other focus will be to explain and inspire people to take on the Live Below the Line challenge of living on US$1.50 for food each day, for five days. Live Below the Line is a GPP initiative and was first run in North America last year. I will be doing the WHOLE cycle tour Living Below the Line. I hope to engage more people with this incredible campaign which will run again from May 7-11 this year.

For more information please go to:

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Better, Bonus or Burden?

After a week of absence I better make sure I finish this blog off properly having blogged daily for an entire month while Living Below the Line and travelling 1000 miles – as much as possible on foot, cycle or pool!

For me in the aftermath I have been looking at everything with the Live Below the Line lens still firmly attached… The first shop post Live Below the Line was with fellow Global Poverty Project co-worker and also month-long Live Below the Line’er, Albert.

We knew we could buy and eat anything we wanted but out habits, thought processes and humility kept it strangly simple. Once had bout some essentials like a six pack of beer, soda water and corn flakes everything from there seems like an excess so we got some lentils, root vegetables and other typical Live Below the Line cusine for cooking.

In hindsight it was quite bizzar we were so programmed to only grab the bare essentials and didn’t even think about the chocolate, dairy, pizzas etc… In the days since then slowly but surely I have managed to get back onto a high calory diet and relished being able to have fresh fruit and vegetables.

The main post LBL thoughts running through my head have been around is having access to everything better, a bonus or a burden? Here is the categorization of my thoughts…

Better

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • More nutrients, vitamins, nutrition variety

Bonus

  • Choice of some things so they are better choices such as organic, ethical, Fairtrade, locally produced, smaller more local shops not just the cheapest
  • Being able to have enough calories to run! I love running but could not run while doing Live Below the Line as it is too much energy expenditure in a short period while trying to travel x km’s each day

Bonus: water with bubbles – my luxury in life!

Burden

  • Having the expectation to fit back into the excess culture again, people accepted my simplicity when doing the challenge but it is virtually impossible to be accepted if that is your way of life choice…
  • Feeling the consumer pressure of eating bad food and to excess
  • Not appreciating time in the same light when walking, cooking, preparing, etc
  • Less human contact or contact that is very prescribed out at dinner or drinks – Live Below the Line lets you have social / community interaction without having to plan it or pay to do it – it just happens naturally…
  • Needing constant artificial entertainment and pleasure. Under Live Below the Line you create your own fun and don’t rely upon stimulation or rewards, or if you do they are very simple but meaningful like an egg once a week
  • Being oppressed and spoken to by advertising, which 99% of it is for making you feel inadequate – you switch off to this when Living Below the Line

I cannot say how much I feel we are living in an opposite, and for me in particular, less fulfilling world when I am NOT Living Below the Line. I find it incredible that the life outside of Live Below the Line is normal in western society and that someone choosing to do Live Below the Line is the crazy one.

This is a pretty good representation of what I am talking about… how bout the same amount of calories in bananas for that price?

We live in excess that I believe is mostly not for the betterment of our society, culture and environment. I have got a lot things out of the 5 weeks of Living Below the Line such as understanding the topics and issues of the extreme poor, the inspiration a campaign like this provides and how we can learn more and take action to see a more equitable world but overall it is more about the reflection on the society I was in while doing Live Below the Line that was significant for me.

My simplistic ideologies and ways of living have been growing in the past few years but in the 5 weeks of Living Below the Line I have found the practical ways and habits to perpetuate this for the betterment of the way I live, the others around me and the nature I must live with-in. To be sustainable is not enough I strive to be a net contributor to my society and environment and love that Live Below the Line has given me so many practical applications to do this.

So in a second to last blog before I refer you all back to my ‘normal’ slightly frequent (about once a week and a half) blog: http://lunny06.wordpress.com  – I believe in fighting extreme poverty ABSOLUTELY but I also strongly believe and practice learning and living from the way they are forced to live so we can choose equality not only by ‘helping the poor people’ but joining them as best we can for our own, societies and the environments betterment.

I like this!

I have an energy debt…

Day 24

Not a great sight but the reality of how 1.4 billion probably look without scales telling them they need to eat more…

It is currently 5.09am and I have been awake with hunger pains for about an hour as has been happening for the past three mornings or so. The headaches are stronger and I can feel my hip bones wanting to pierce the skin as I lay flat on my back smoothing my hands over them and my concave stomach.

My body feels like it is starting to eat itself – which in reality it probably is…

It is day 24 for me doing Live Below the Line and in my 1000 mile journey that was meant to be by bicycle but because of my knee I wasn’t able to complete the cycling component. However I have managed almost 500km of cycling, 200km of walking and over 6km of swimming.

I believe I am now in an energy debt that is having an effect on my body. I feel like I am starting to loose muscle and my sinew is now my strength. I have been in this energy debt before when I was living in Ethiopia with lack of food variety and decent clean drinking water while training and then completing a marathon for my 30thbirthday. I did it to raise funds for the orphanage in the town I was living in. I am not going to let myself get to that level again (I was healthy but a bit on the skinny side…).

Also the hunger temptations are becoming almost impossible. I am not much lighter than when I started as I am now 62kg (137 pounds) compared with my starting weight of 68kg (148 pounds). But I really wonder what exactly I have lost in those 6kg – it feels significant.

I will complete the time challenge I have set myself for Live Below the Line which was for five weeks and join 1000’s of other next week for the official 5 days of Live Below the Line May 7-11 but the exercise needs to stop and I need to decrease the current energy/calorie debt I have, that is of course after a 55km [32mile] cycle to the train today to return back to Portland!).

The biggest debt I feel though is indebted to the 1.4 billion people who HAVE to struggle like this everyday, most for their whole lives. I am also indebted to the Live Below the Line campaign and challenge for the incredible insights, perspectives, conversations, inspirations and realities it has created for me and those I have come across and hopefully those who have read a blog or two.

I strongly suggest that no one should take on the Live Below the Line challenge in the way that I have for health reasons (and mental!) but even more passionately I suggest that no one in the world should have to face similar challenges without their choice…

It’s a shame it has taken such an energy debt for me to feel this so strongly again as I do when I am in developing countries but I am thankful for these feeling and the learning it has brought. If you feel concerned or angry at me convert it into inspiration (or frustration) to take action…

Join the campaign and Live Below the Line next week May 7-11 to learn like you may never have before or support those generously who are taking on this challenge to encourage them and for the amazing effective programs associated with Live Below the Line like the Global Poverty Project and more so they can lead the movement that can see an end to extreme poverty.

http://www.globalpovertyproject.com

http://www.livebelowtheline.com

Don’t want to Live Below the Line but keen to donate? Sure…

Australia- https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/lunnyLBTL

US – https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/USlunnyLBTL

End note – I have been eating (remaining bagels [in budget]) and resting all day and slept much better!

Happy and Healthy!

A pound of pre-made cake icing for 25c, did I or didn’t I…?

Day 20

  • 30km ride Bellingham, 8km walk Seattle, Washington State
  • Breakfast: beans and rice on two pieces of toast
  • Lunch: two slices of bread with sunflower butter (like peanut paste) and banana
  • Dinner: trying to get through my rice and refried beans and still going… with amazing corn bread – like a spicy corny cake!

Lots of great chats with lots of people. Being hosted is such a privilege to share lives, perspectives and learn so much! A bit of wonderful NW culture too…

This campaign is about Living Below the Line not Shopping Below the Line. I truly had my ethics, commitment and reasoning tested today when the shop I stumbled upon, Deals Only, was a Live Below the Liner’s dream come true…

For me I believe Live Below the Line is about:

‘Recognising how amazing those who live in extreme poverty are AND how determined I am to do whatever I can so no one lives on less than $1.25 / day.’

I have been very good on this campaign to stick not only to the rules but the ethics of what it is genuinely trying to teach us… When I have not paid for an item of food myself and have received it from a friend I have costed that item – e.g. An egg is about 25c but I didn’t buy 12 eggs and carry them around with me since leaving Portland. I would do $7.50 for 5 days but I can’t carry that much food and walk and ride or maybe even have the facilities to cook it while I am travelling for this trip.

But no matter what I have put in my mouth it has had a cost (except that bloody free beef jerky hand out in Whistler). I have been using the pricing system from my first shop in Portland when I took account of all the prices and what fitted into my budget – see earlier blog: https://lunnylbtl.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/first_shop_for_trip/

Everybody I have met has come up with their own unique way of how I can cheat the system and I have to say it is funny how that is the first thought in our heads… ‘How can I do this so I can win’ attitude!

I have been making sure that this challenge, if it is to give me the right perspectives, insights and appreciation have made it not about being a great, resourceful shopper but about how simple my diet must be to replicate as best as possible someone who lives in extreme poverty.

So as I entered the Deals Only shop I had in front of me a smorgasbord of options that I could technically pay for from a shop as is in the Live Below the Line rules but get at a ridiculous prices hence my title to this blog and a pound (500g) squeezy packet of pre-made cake icing for 25c!

Oh boy did I put myself though the mental test in this store though…

  • Well I am buying it from a store and that is the price here…
  • People living in extreme poverty probably sometimes get treats…
  • I have been under budget most days of this trip and I deserve this…

And so on…

In the end I DIDN’T buy and consume a half kilo of icing paste as it was too ridiculous, not to mention unhealthy, for something to cost that little and is not a reflection of the cost of making, transporting, distributing and selling that item – but bugger me did I want it sooo bad… Not to mention the marshmallows that I could have eaten for a days on end!

Two huge packets of marshmallows for $1 - enough calories for days and preservatives for years!

Want to see that even closer…?

Oh yeah baby! Two big bags for $1 you could float on a lake with that many! Writing this hungry now I can’t believe I didn’t (but glad).

In the end I wasn’t as polly-pureheart as all that as I did buy some muffin mix for 25c that will be a bit of a treat and 6 whole-wheat bagels for $1 to last me three days, and they are things I could possibly make myself or around the same price (but never would).

So if you are going to do Live Below the Line – JUST ONE WEEK AWAY then be resourceful with your shopping but remember the objectives of taking on the challenge. For me this is essentially eating very simply within that very low budget, (where you shouldn’t be starving yourself) and not eating whenever or whatever you want.

With ONE WEEK to go sign up to take on the challenge through the Global Poverty Project – http://www.globalpovertyproject.com

‘Saving’ the world needs to be fun…

Day 19

  • 55km ride and mountain biking around beautiful Bellingham, Washington State
  • Breakfast: two pieces of bread dipped in excess liquid of cooked oats
  • Lunch: oats, orange peel, pinch of salt and water – long cooked and heavily expanded
  • Dinner: watery rice cooked in onion soup mix with tablespoon of refried beans and two pieces of bread

A beautiful ride around Bellingham and some great chats in the evening – a perfect Live Below the Line kind of a day!

Pure NW American greenery!

Throughout this trip there is one thing that is very clear to me… I love doing these sorts of things with my life –

  • travelling,
  • taking on a challenge,
  • meeting people,
  • advocating for the people I have learn so much from in developing countries,
  • sharing lives, stories and experiences,
  • exploring new places and getting a slow intimate understanding of them
  • the outdoors, nature, physical exercise
  • time to think and reflect on the world
  • share the wonderful experience of being a guest and others to host

I am not doing this experience for glory, popularity, notoriety or believing it is any more important than what someone else does with their days. Actually I don’t like being thought of as dedicated or inspirational or more important than anyone else.

Honestly I believe I am selfish, very selfish I am doing this trip and the volunteering I do because it is what I love doing. I am not making many personal sacrifices, I have no responsibilities, I am not doing something I don’t want to be doing for the greater good.

I’m an educator, I love that people can use me to gain insights, thoughts, inspirations, learning or perspectives but it only because it is who I am and what I do not because I am doing it all for the greater good.

The reason I bring all of this up, and sorry for the massive self indulgence, is that I love advocating and being a part of a movement that can be a positive force in the world and for me especially seeing less people in extreme poverty in developing countries and more people happier with less or live within the boundaries of our nature in developed countries. But most of all life should be fun!

Doing what I love - people and purpose

If you go out today and want to ‘save’ the world – by this I mean make a positive contribution to social justice, humanity and the environment, do it because you love doing it! There are so many ways to make a positive difference in the world and enjoy it, not just because you have done it but because you like DOING it.

I have told this message to over 20,000 people I have presented to in the past many years and it is always the same

  • Follow your passions and interests
  • Be creative
  • Be realistic
  • Make it fun
  • Don’t try to do everything tomorrow
  • Make sure it will last – start small and ramp up
  • Move yourself along the spectrum gradually of being a part of the solution
  • Believe in what you do or it won’t last long
  • Do it with others when possible
  • Share your plan, journey, results, accomplishments and failures
  • Laugh, cry, suffer, celebrate
  • Don’t take it all too seriously
  • And most of all enjoy it and continue to enjoy it

A fantastic resource that I love sharing is a document of actions taken by young people after the Global Poverty Project presentations I give. I am always inspired by 10-17 year olds and you can be too – http://link.globalpovertyproject.com/youth_actions

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...

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)