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I felt Jinxed.

Before heading to my Office, I somehow don’t quite put a bottle of rose water back on the cupboard shelf. It falls to the ground, and the glass bottom very neatly snaps off. All the rosewater, not so neatly, makes an aromatic puddle on my kitchen floor. But I’m grateful there are no shards of glass, I clean up barefoot.

Since my IBS is back, so I’m in frequent pain or discomfort, I bring my trusty “bean bag” for the first time with me to the Office. We grad students have access to a microwave and fridge (and couch) in the room off from the main computer room, so theoretically we could work in the windowless, airless room 24/7. Note: the windowlessness will be important later.

Before a the bathroom break down the hall, I toss the beloved bean bag into the microwave to re-heat it a bit. I set it for 47 seconds, well under the recommended 2 minute max. Or so I thought.

While washing my hands, I remember my new shell earring is causing some trouble, the earlobe is hot and slightly swollen. Instead of hightailing back to my Office, I pause to check the piercing. Then stroll back.

Even before I reach the first door, into the computer room, I smell smoke. I punch in the code, open the door… and hear the microwave running! Which got me running. I open the microwave door, and thick black smoke billows out, filling the room. Choking, I manage to shut the microwave door, shut the small room’s door, shut the main room, so I’m in the hall. Even with three shut doors between the immolated bean bag and the hall, the smoke smell is strong.

OK, OK. The microwave fire was nowhere near as bad as this, but a Sledgehammer all the same. “Fire Wizard”, Kanata May 2010. Photo Credit: Curtis Chaffey

For someone who strives to step lightly on our Earth and have a positive impact on others, it was not a stellar day.

I had single-handedly caused our building’s staff, security, and the local fire department to have to deal with my mess, and caused part of the building to be evacuated, including disrupting a conference on mental health and social justice. Even the lobby smelled of smoke hours later. And apparently the microwave was unsalvageable. Now we grad students do not have a microwave.

And all because of two little mistakes… punching the wrong time in on the microwave (unless it malfunctioned… guess I’ll never know). And leaving it unattended for longer than planned. Circumstances didn’t help: I brought the beanbag because I was sick. Had there been windows, I could have opened a window, and hoped no one would notice my mistake. But instead, I had no way to clean up my own smoke-mess in a windowless room.

The day before, I watched Bec Robbins’ interview with Gay Hendricks, and he talked about his own life-transformation. If you don’t listen to the Universe tickling you with a Feather, the Universe will get your attention with a Sledgehammer. (Martha Beck calls particularly large and life-changing sledgehammers “Your Rhinoceros”.  They can hit real hard.)

What if all this silly time and energy wasting drama was the Universe’s (smoking-gun) Sledgehammer? What if that combination of little mistakes leading to a big nuisance was symbolic of some little mistakes in my subconscious programming, some limiting beliefs that were fueling a painful time and energy wasting fire in my own body and life? As Martha put it in Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, imagine your mind is like a Word document. And it has a typo. You can keep running around brandishing Liquid Paper, trying to fix the print-outs of that file. But its way better to call up that file on your computer and fix the typo at the source.

I need to find my mind’s typos.

So my task is to identify and release those beliefs once and for all, which will likely take a daily practice. I’m all for sudden insight and transformation, but also more than willing to put in the time it might take to rewire my brain.

Whatever it takes, Universe, I’ll do it.

Have you succeeded in ditching your limiting beliefs? Let me know, dear Guru!

Keep Shining,
Julie
Update – the Universe apparently was not satisfied with the impact of the microwave fire Sledgehammer, so for good measure, I locked myself out of my (smokey-smelling) Office a few hours later, then dealt with some heartbreak, and then got even more violently ill than before. Universe, didn’t you read this Blog post?!?

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I made a video for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. It will be part of “The 6-Minute Speech Project“, a unique speech built by people from all over the world through the power of social media which will be delivered at Rio+20 later in June.

Here’s the text of my video:

Hello my name is Julie Comber. I’m a singer-songwriter, activist, dancer, capoeirista, writer, Dreamer, and PhD candidate in environmental education. But more than anything else, I’m just someone who cares deeply about the world, and I truly hope that I can contribute to making this world a better place. Our World is so beautiful. But there is so much suffering and injustice, and the destruction of our natural world seems relentless.

So I felt compelled to share my thoughts for the 6 minute Speech project for the UN’s Rio+20 about “The Future We Want”. I will just quickly situate myself so you know where I’m coming from. First of all, I wish to acknowledge that I have created this video in Ottawa, Canada which is on unceeded, unconquered and unsurrendered Algonquin Land. I have lived in Canada, Guyana, Australia, and Tanzania, and traveled through Europe and the Caribbean. My background is in zoology, genetics, bioethics, and animal welfare, and my current research is on Wildlife Clubs in Guyana with the Makushi, one of the indigenous tribes there.

There are so many issues we need to work on, but I will focus on an important issue I feel is still neglected: factory farming. Also called intensive livestock farming or intensive animal production. This is an issue that I first found out about when I was 15 years old, right at the time of the first Rio Summit. I was a kid who loved animals, and not just cats and dogs, I had a lot of experience caring for horses, rats, and cockatiels, too. So someone gave me a book about animal welfare and that’s how I found out about factory farming. I was shocked. I couldn’t understand how humans could treat nonhuman animals so horribly. And I knew immediately that there was no morally relevant difference between a horse and a cow, a dog and pig, or a cockatiel and a chicken. So why was our society allowing so many millions of these animals to suffer? And what does that say about us as human beings?

Over the past 20 years, I’ve come to understand this really is a crosscutting and essential issue for us to deal with as a species. Factory farms are not only horrible for the animals that are raised within them, they have a huge impact on our environment and a terrible impact on human health and well-being. The numbers are truly appalling, and I think many of us numb out or tune out. We humans don’t seem to be very good at responding appropriately and compassionately to large numbers of “others” that do not seem close to us, to our daily life and family. As Stalin said, one death is a tragedy, one million deaths is a statistic. When we hear of one animal, one cow escaping from the slaughterhouse, for example, most people cheer.  But the fact that 9 billion chickens are raised and killed for meat each year in the U.S. alone, is not discussed. 112 million pigs are killed in the US each year. And the list goes on and on.  So worldwide, billions of animals are raised in horrendous conditions and then don’t even get a good death. And we don’t do enough about it. So I’ll move on to ideas about how to eliminate factory farms.

Ten years after the Rio Summit I was doing my Master’s in bioethics and my interest was in the HIV AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. It just so happened that Dr. Solomon Benatar, a doctor and AIDS activist from South Africa, came to McGill University, and he gave an incredible talk and was a guest at one of our classes. I’ll never forget one of the things he said, which was directed at those of us in the West, in Developed Countries: “We have to stop living our privileged existence based on the suffering of unseen others.”  He was speaking about the social and economic inequality that fuels the HIV pandemic. But I could see how his comment applied to so many other problems in our world. Especially to factory farming.

But a positive way to look at this is that when we truly see and appreciate “Others”, then we can heal ourselves and the World. When I say “Others” I don’t just mean other humans. I mean other species, too. We are not fully human except in relation to other species. Animals, plants, bacteria, all forms of life have a distinct and unique way of being in this world. Through appreciating them, spending time with them, we expand the realm of possibility for ourselves.

There certainly is scarcity of some natural resources, but one human resource that seems scarce is actually completely renewable, and inexhaustible: empathy.  Empathy and compassion for our fellow humans and for all other species. I had the privilege of meeting Jane Goodall in Tanzania 15 years after the Rio Summit. And what really struck me about her is that she has a warm heart and a sharp mind. She also has a very strong sense of purpose, of what she is trying to achieve with her life. She embodies the characteristics that we are trying to nurture within children through humane education. By humane education I mean the broad definition which emphasizes the interconnectedness of social justice, the environment, and animal welfare.

So I think if we really do want to have a future that is fair, and beautiful and joyful, and where everyone can flourish to his or her full potential, then we need to get very clear as individuals and collectively as communities and societies about what is our purpose. Why are you here? What is the Gift that you want to give the World? And when you know that, then every day it’s a matter of seeing if your actions are aligned with your purpose and your values.

But I also don’t want to get stuck thinking that it’s just an individual’s responsibility. Our societies, especially in the West, are currently structured so it’s very difficult for individuals to make the choices that are better for themselves, other species, and out Planet. For example here in Canada $1.4 billion of our tax payer’s money is used to subsidize already rich oil and gas companies. Imagine what we could do with $1.4 billion! We could invest in children and youth, in green jobs, in honoring our Treaties with our indigenous peoples. There are so many possibilities that would better reflect our values as Canadians. That is just one small example, well, 1.4 Billion is pretty big! But one example of how our collective decision making is so off—base.

So in closing, one thing that those in Developed countries can do is to reduce our consumption of animal products in general, and to categorically refuse to buy factory farmed animal products. Of course we can use our reason to know this is the right thing to do by taking a hard look at the numbers. For example, we know climate change is a huge threat, and livestock account for nearly 20 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions. But I’m also arguing we need to do this because that allows us to be aligned with our life’s purpose and values, to take our sharp, critical mind and link it to our warm heart. We might be able to fool our rational mind that it is Ok to buy factory farmed products, but do you really thing you fool your heart and soul when you consume those product? Do you really think your body doesn’t know, doesn’t feel the suffering and destruction contained within the meat, milk, or eggs that comes from animals that suffered? Would you raise an animal the way they do in a factory farm? If not, why are you willing to pay someone to do it for you?

Every dollar is a vote. When we buy a factory farmed meat, milk or eggs, we are saying with our actions “Yes. I like that. Do it again”. Tell me, do you really like the horrors within factory farms? The pollution and contamination of our drinking water? The terrible soul-crushing working conditions for workers? That our landscape is being turned into a soy and corn monoculture to feed miserable animals hidden away from our view?

Or would you rather more compassion? More kindness? Better health? Soul-enriching jobs? To spend time in intact ecosystems where you can appreciate other species in all their beauty and splendor?

I know the future I want: a future where each of us humans, and all other species, can thrive, shine, and flourish in our own unique, beautiful, and irreplaceable way. I think shifting away from factory farming helps us get to that future.

Thank you, Merci, Obrigada, Asante, Miigwetch for listening.

This song was written in January 2012 in honour of missing & murdered Indigenous women. The song was sung  at the Families of Sisters in Spirit 2nd Annual Day of Justice Rally (14 Feb 2012, noon, Parliament Hill). This is a demo recording. Please show your support of Families of Sisters in Spirit‘s inspiring work!

For Our Sisters in Spirit
By Julie Comber, Jan 2012

she is your mother, she is your daughter,
your sister, wife, cousin, granddaughter,
she is your aunt, niece, partner, your friend
what if she never came home again?

if she disappeared
imagine all your fears

and if she were found
wouldn’t you move the whole damn world,
just to go get her
and if she died,
wouldn’t you be tempted to get revenge,
even if you know better (x2)

if she cried
wouldn’t you notice?
needed help
wouldn’t you care?
wouldn’t you be there?

how to understand
cruelty by our fellow man
Our society is to blame
why do we allow this shame?

how many Indigenous women
will go missing before you listen?
how many Indigenous women
will be lost before you listen?

First Nations, Metis, Innu
Aboriginal, Inuit, me, you,
every human being
is a miracle, has a dream
no one should ever take a life away
and how are we each complicit every day?

we need change right now
stop asking when or how
The change begins when you dare to care
for women here, there, everywhere

she is your mother, she is your daughter,
your sister, wife, cousin, granddaughter,
she is your aunt, niece, partner, your friend
what if she never came home again?

if she disappeared
imagine all your fears

and if she were found
wouldn’t you move the whole damn world,
just to go get her
and if she died,
wouldn’t you be tempted to get revenge,
even if you know better (x2)

the change begins when you dare to care. (x2)

Saving Sister Highlands

I watch the Hiawa resin become a boiling liquid uniting tobacco and sage, nourishing a lovely orange flame. Nestled within the shell given to me on the South March Highlands by Charles. The local and Rupununi Medicines meld into an aromatic honouring of the Full Snow Moon and of the Land. It is now midnight. A year ago at this time, I was hoping to steal a few hours sleep before meeting with over 20 people, pre-dawn, to surround the cutting machine at the Beaver Pond Forest.

I have just attended a meeting about the South March Highlands (SMH). I like that the meeting is on the full moon. Those working to protect SMH noticed good things often happened for the Forest on the full moon. Good seeds were planted at the meeting, seeds that will grow up strong and help to save this beautiful Land.  The loss of the Beaver Pond Forest part of SMH was a heartbreaking defeat.  But there is much to Celebrate, too.

After the meeting, Martin kindly takes Kurtis and I to the work-site where we took Action a year ago.  Over the summer, the Forest was recovering.  But just over a month ago, the site was stumped.  I go deeper onto the Land than my friends, searching for something. All is still, brightly lit by the moon, and strange.  I follow the icy machine path through tall snow-topped piles of shredded wood that had once been stumps.  I realize I’m hoping, irrationally, to find the Five Trunked Tree.  I turn back to rejoin the others.  Such a beautiful, clear, full moon night, and our Sacred ground freshly wounded.  Again.

Kurtis is interested in trying a tree-sit, and I suggest he do it in solidarity with the proposed Occupation of the Land threatened by the Expansion of Highway A5, near Wakefield.  Which reminds me of Albert Dumont‘s Ceremony a few days before, in honour of the Tree “who’s seen 300 Winters”.  I bounced ideas off Albert that the Gatineau Hills and the South March Highlands were two high points, back 10,000 years ago when the Champlain Sea covered the Ottawa Valley. So I feel protecting one benefits both. And that we should build solidarity between these Movements.  My first visit to the 300 and 200 year old trees, I was delighted by the Tree Art – and all the ribbons. Reminded me of going out under the Dec 2010 full moon to tie the first wave of Prayer Ribbons on the Trees at the Beaver Pond Forest.

Resistance is Beautiful.

Each of us has unique gifts to give this world, and in these particular struggles, a unique and important role to play. Together, we form a wondrous web of light, a web of light that shines in defeat and in victory. A web that stretches from the Highlands to the Gatineau Hills to the Hiawa Trees on Surama Mountain, and beyond.  Let’s help each other shine bright!

4 July 2011 (continued from part 1)

The background sound to most of the next morning is the relentless hammering and sawing to make Alianna’s coffin. Like the day before, Mira won’t eat or drink and at times blacks out. Veronica, a Peace Corps volunteer who has lived with Marc’s family for the past year, has been caring for Mira. Mira gets more upset when she’s near Alianna’s body, yet some people let her go there. I find out from Veronica later that some people said things to Mira like “its your fault your baby died.” I cannot understand why now of all times people would choose to attack a grieving mother. There does seem to be a dark side of humans that finds it easier to blame people for their misfortune, maybe to make us feel less likely it could happen to us?  This accident could have happened to anyone in the Village.  No one has a secure well, and most people leave their kids “unattended” (with the eldest child in charge).

I feel quite useless waiting, but then Marc’s wife, Jana, mentions she’d like to make a crown of flowers for Alianna. I leap at the chance to do something useful and volunteer to go pick flowers. A teen girl is sent with me to go to a nearby household with lots of flowers. I take off on my borrowed bike, thrilled to use my muscles for something. We come back loaded with flowers, and I ask what is Mira’s favourite colour. Pink. So I help Jana weave a crown from pink, yellow, & orange flowers. There are lots of flowers left, so I imagine they can be handed to people at the funeral service to hold. A fitting visual for a funeral for a sweet little girl.

Finally just before noon the funeral starts. And a friend of the family is already handing out the flowers, mostly orange and yellow ones that remind me of marigolds. I hold three, for past, present, & future. It looks so sad and lovely to see almost everyone holding the flowers, many already wilting, as fragile and ephemeral as all Life is.

I’m underwhelmed by the Service, the preacher seems to take this as an opportunity to drill in the message that this must have happened because the parents and community did not repent enough. And so better repent now. I wish he would save that for his Sunday sermons. Why not celebrate this little girl’s Life, and try to offer her family words of wisdom and love to help them heal? For example, a good time to talk about stones and glass houses.  Its another jarring moment for me… does anyone else feel this way, too, or is it just that “I’m not from here.”?

The small coffin is carried to the above ground Cement tomb, similar to how it is done in Georgetown. One of the teachers has organized the children, and they start to sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children”. The savannah spins and shifts on me as tears well into my eyes. The song causes my heart and mind ricochet back to 2009, when my Edna died. She was my Guyanese Nanny, a key member of my family, and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” was the lullaby she sang to me and my brother when we were little. My favourite lullaby. I am overwhelmed again by the pain and grief of her loss, for the woman who loved me unconditionally.  It was surreal for me to kiss her goodbye three times, when they opened the casket, the still form inside so unrecognizable as My Edna, but the softness of her skin when I kissed her forehead meant there was no mistake. Then I grieved for a parent. Here, now, the parents grieve for a child. I can barely fathom what it would be like to kiss a child goodbye.

To kiss a beautiful little girl with a crown of flowers goodbye.  A hinge on the casket allows people one last look or kiss before she is put in the tomb.

Mira cannot stand as they seal the tomb with wet cement. So Marc sits with her on the ground, holding his sister. The other two sisters are close by.  He murmurs to her to remember she has three other children who need her, that she cannot follow Alianna but has to stay and care for them. This brotherly love is one of my strongest memories.

We are hurt terribly when we lose the one we Love. But Love is also the key to how we heal from the loss.

A little girl with a crown of pink, yellow, and orange flowers haunts my unguarded moments.  She looks like she is sleeping, but there is water seeping from her nose.   Three years old, her beautiful light brown face framed by long black hair loose in the white sheet wrapped around her small body.

*** (names changed to protect identities) ***

It’s sunny on Sunday July 3, a welcome respite from the frequent rain of the Rainy Season in the North Rupununi of Guyana, S.A.  The puddles on every red-mud path glint in the noon sun, the intense light washes out the tawny greens of the savannah and deeper green of the forested hills.

My community collaborator, Dana, and I are getting ready for the men’s focus group on the Village’s environmental Club.  The consent forms are waiting, we’ve discussed the women’s focus group from the previous week, and the pots are bubbling away in the Community Centre’s makeshift kitchen.

A motorbike passes by, horn blaring, but I don’t think much of it.  Later Dana tells me it was my friend and host, Marc.  Eventually, the news filters to us, as we wait for the focus group at 2pm.  At first it sounds like one of Marc’s sisters has fallen into a water hole, then a niece…. I’m worried, but don’t know what to think.  Then we get the full story from Daniel, who has come for the focus group: Marc’s 3 year old niece, Alianna, fell into a well. Sitting on the steps of the Community Center, we get more news from people passing by.  I feel I should be doing something to help, but I’m so crippled with my burnt feet I’m not even sure how to get over to Marc’s sister’s place since my bike has been borrowed. I ask what is going on, is she being rescued?  Can we help?

Dana looks at me quizzically. “She’s dead, Julie,” she says, gently.

I’m shocked.  All this time I thought she was being rescued.  I come to understand that the parents went to church (an hour walk away) and left the children, the eldest is 13 years old. This is quite common here. It’s not clear what happened but it sounds like Alliana tried to get some water and there was a rotten plank over the well and so she fell in. It wasn’t deep but she couldn’t swim and so she drowned. Now that I know what happened I just want to get over there.  It sounds like most of the people from the village are gathering at the parents’ home.  Of course I cancel the focus group. The issues of unsecured wells and unattended children are discussed by a few people on the steps of the Community Center as I wait for the bike to come back so I can go over.  Finally Dana decides to tow me on the back of her bike. We meet Auntie Elfina on the way, with the Salara and the Malaca fruits ordered for the focus group.  I carry them over to the family’s house.  I find Marc sitting on the ground outside the house, red eyed. “I’m so sorry Marc…” I feel I have no words in the face of such a tragedy.  The family is in one room in the house together all crying. Alianna’s small body is wrapped in a white sheet, lying in the other room.  People are milling around inside and outside of the house. I tell Marc about the food for the focus group and that I would like the family have it.  A motorbike is sent to fetch it. Medex and a police officer come to take statements and investigate Alianna’s death.

There have been many times here when I’m not sure what I should do, but I know I don’t have the luxury to do nothing.  So I try to help others with their tasks.  While waiting for the other food, I suggest sharing around the Malaca fruit, I figure it offers nutrition and some hydration in this heat.  I wander around, despite the pain of my feet, to offer pieces of Malaca.  I ask if I should go to the parents, anxious not to disturb them.  I’m told to go, but am still hesitant on the threshold of that door into the room of grief.  But there are many children inside who light up, and the father accepts some, but Alianna’s mother will not take food or water, and is starting to black out sometimes.  She is too deep in her grief for the small kindness of fruit.  I wish I could somehow help.  Dana starts helping with her, and with serving the food from the cancelled focus group.  Auntie Charlotte, Marc’s mother, the child’s grandmother, talks with me a bit says her husband is vexed with the parents for leaving the children unattended.

I watch as the food is slowly distributed, since there aren’t enough plates and spoons to go around.  I’m trying to guess the “rules” for distribution, it seemed like those considered to be working get the food first, then Elders, and then the order is less clear to me.

Here, people are usually buried on their family’s land.  Alianna’s family decides to bury her at Marc’s place because it would be too difficult for her mother to see her grave every day.  They will already have enough to deal with seeing their well every day.  The Village’s tractor takes Alianna’s body and many people over to Marc’s.  Dana’s daughter Cantina wants to come with me, while the rest of her family will come the next morning for the funeral.  There is no embalming here, so people are buried within a day, with a Wake the night before.

We bike to Marc’s, and I’m not sure what to do.  There are people in groups chatting outside Marc’s house, and in the common room where family and friends gather to talk and eat.  Since only a few weeks ago, there is a giant flat screen TV powered by a generator, and many more people now come to watch DVDs.   At the other end of the room is the kitchen.  Alianna’s small body lies on a pillow to the right of the TV.  The sheet is wrapped so that anyone can open it to see Alianna’s face.

As with the Wake for a colleague’s 5 week old baby son the week before, I don’t know how to feel about the Wake.   I can feel the collective sadness and pain of everyone there.  The contrast of that with what is playing on the TV is jarring.   At the baby’s wake, there was a Christmas comedy playing, the plot: a rich family has to deal with the father not getting his Christmas bonus.  The frivolousness of this “difficulty” compared to day-to-day life in the Rupununi!

I cannot escape into busyness, there is nothing I need to Do.  I could read or write, but would still hear the TV that is now on.  So I don’t resist.  I fiddle with mosquito coils that I light off the gas stove.  There are no matches, no one can find the family’s lighter, but I have mastered the art of lighting the gas stove with the sparks off my empty lighter.  I sit on the floor with many of the other mourners, my legs outstretched, the most comfortable position for my burnt feet.  Marc puts on Wild Guyana, which seems geared towards potential ecotourists to Guyana, and then Barney.  I haven’t been subjected to Barney before, it is as saccharine as I’d feared, but does seem to promote decent values.

It feels surreal to watch TV while Alliana lies there.  Does anyone else feel this way? I wonder what Wakes were like before TVs came here.  Would people talk more?  Everyone, myself included, seems so mesmerized by the TV.  It may numb the pain and grief at the moment, but I wonder if it slows the healing process.  Gathering like this is a chance to find comfort in other people, and also to try to process what happened by talking with each other.  With the TV on, there is barely any interaction, though there’s a constellation of smaller groups far enough away to talk amongst themselves.  Many of them are drinking, too. When football is put on, I escape to the room I’ll be sleeping in. I tell Marc’s family I’m going to bed, I have a headache, very rare for me, and am tired and sick and hurting from burnt feet and abscesses.  I don’t find out until morning that you are really supposed to stay up all night for a Wake.  It’s a long time before I find sleep.  I try to write a bit on the laptop, but its hard to concentrate with the loud TV.

Then its 9:34pm and I am listening to Alliana’s heartbroken mother, Mira, cry for her dead child in the room next to me.  “Mommy, Mommy I want Alianna back, I want my Anna… don’t leave me Anna, I’ll follow behind you…” It’s horrible to be right next to such agony and not be able to do anything.  I send healing energy to her.   Eventually I fall asleep.

continued: part 2

(Une version française suit le texte anglais)

Kurtis Benedetti set out from Cape Breton on 4 July, determined to bike the 2100km back home to the South March Highlands (SMH) to raise awareness about the Forest. He’s on track to reach Ottawa on Thursday. Please join us to welcome him home!!! Thurs 28 July 12:oo (noon) at the Human Rights Monument (City Hall). There will be:
– Updates on the current status of Ottawa’s Great Forest
– Kurtis will tell us about his journey
– Songs
– Information on Next Steps
– After the rally, approx 1pm: Option to bike with Kurtis for the last leg of his journey, to SMH! Approx. 20km ride.

What a great way to spend your lunch hour! And…maybe knock off work early for a bike ride to Ottawa’s Great Forest!

Detailed schedule to follow here. Please bring a sign if you can, about why this Green Gem should be protected.

See you there!

Invite your friends on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=231055003601876
More about Kurtis’ journey: http://www.emckanata.ca/20​110714/news/Kanata+man+emb​arks+on+2,100-kilometre+cy​cling+journey,+Hopes+to+ra​ise+awareness+about+concer​n+for+South+March+Highland​s

**********************

Kurtis Benedetti est parti de Cap Breton le 4 juillet, fermement décidé à pédaler les 2100km qui le séparent de chez lui, dans les Hautes terres de South March (South March Highlands), afin de sensibiliser la population au sujet de la forêt. Il arrivera à Ottawa jeudi. SVP joignez-vous à nous pour l’accueillir!!

Jeudi 28 juillet à midi au Monument des droits de la personne (Hôtel de ville, coin Elgin et Lisgar). Il y aura :

-Des mises à jour sur le statut de la Grande Forêt d’Ottawa
-Kurtis nous racontera son voyage
-Des chansons
-Des informations sur les prochaines étapes
-Après le rassemblement, vers 13h (1pm) environ : il sera possible d’accompagner Kurtis, à vélo, jusqu’aux Hautes terres de South March (environ 20km)

C’est une super manière de passer votre heure de lunch! Et peut-être de quitter le travail tôt pour faire un tour en vélo aux Hautes terres de South March!

SVP, apporter une pancarte si vous pouvez, afin de souligner l’importance de protéger ce joyau vert.

Partagez cet évènement avec un grand nombre de personnes! À jeudi!

Personne contact pour les média (bilingue) : Daniel “Amikwabe” Bernard 416-876-3051, dan_bernard@rogers.com

Informations supplémentaires sur les Hautes terres de South March:

www.union-algonquin-union.com/south-march-highlands/
http://southmarch.wordpress.com/
www.ottawasgreatforest.com