Yo, dearest readers.
About three weeks ago, I was sitting on my floor in the dark, worrying about life, and the pandemic, and life, and food, and life choices, and life. Great things, you know. Vagranting is not the most lucrative, especially when a pandemic comes in and closes all your borders, like an angry chicken beak.
Ever heard of Ramon Larramendi?
I hadn’t either, until I was researching cool ways to traverse Greenland (this is what I do when I have internet service on the trail) and googled sail-sledding. Apparently, there’s this epic Spanish kite-sled team that’s been doing scientific excursions across the Arctic and Antarctic regions for 18 years or so: https://explorersweb.com/2019/03/20/now-this-is-kiting/.
So a year ago, I emailed them. “Eyyyyyy friends epic explorer folks, I don’t suppose you hire vagrants?” No. The answer is no. Because they are not a company with money; they are explorers who come together and fundraise, and make expeditions. Also, the pandemic hit. But…
Three weeks ago, I was sitting on my floor in the dark, when Ramon Larramendi (who is only possibly one of Spain’s most famous modern polar explorers, and the dude who built this kite-sled) emailed me and was all, “Oi we got your email. I and four other epic international scientists/explorers are going on a six-person expedition across Greenland. It is for a month, this May. Do you want to come?”
UHHHHHHH….. Ok. So he didn’t call himself epic, that was just me.
Also, since it’s an expedition where we’re mostly just installing a weather station, I wouldn’t get to be paid. I’d have to convince the world that what I’m doing is worthwhile, and get the world to pay me so we can pay for things like the equipment, and flights there, and eating. Sooo… Intimidating. I’m working on it. It’s distracting, because I also this week just started recertifying as an emergency responder (EMT-B) with this wilderness school, and it’s a really short/intense course, but at the end of it I will have
- used up all my Americorps education awards
- mad skillz
- a wilderness EMT certification, which lets me work on ambulances (ayyy pandemic) but has an additional wilderness medicine component.
So I came up with a low-maintenance plot for the expedition. It involves me teaching again, kind of.
Mostly, zooming into classrooms, probably starting in late March if we can convince 280 (or so) people to give me $20 to go to the Arctic by then. Then it would be a couple months of awesome stuff, like talking up STEM to classes, and secretly taking mad notes so that I can send really personal (and good) follow-up emails/videos to the students I talk to, preferably sent from/written/filmed from a great sled in the Arctic, telling students things like how awesome they are, I really enjoyed our talk about the co-efficient of friction, yeahbuddy math homework is a drain but also one of the tools we use to analyze the stars, also isn’t the world cool? You’re doing great. This pandemic is hard. Keep studying and exploring the epicness that is our universe!
I am not expecting much.
But, I also don’t need to give Ramon a solid answer for another while.
Y’all let me know what you think.
Edit (21 Feb 2021): Also, I’m sorry that’s a fundraising page. I’m still figuring out how to do this life/walk in a way that’s consistent with my values… and I’m not quite happy with gofundme as a way to fund things, especially when it’s literally just gonna be going to do random things somewhere. Except this involves schools?
To those of you who’ve supported me all through my crazy decision to leave my job and turn my life to walking around the N. Atlantic…..
I really don’t know what you were thinking. But thank you all for all yall’ve already done.