Saving the whales...in the Czech Republic??

Trip Start Oct 15, 2007
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Trip End Dec 20, 2007


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Flag of Czech Republic  ,
Thursday, November 29, 2007

And now I'm on my own again...saw Corey off on the plane this morning...after a bit more wandering the city of Prague and eating kielbasa-sized hot dogs on the streets it is time for her to head home...our time flew by but was so full...I wish she could spend a longer time here but she has a broomball game at the ice rink at 1:30AM after she gets back.  She's looking forward to seeing her friends and resuming her life at Geneseo.  I'm sitting in a café, between couchsurfing homes, waiting, writing, and eating some great food. 
 
Lisa arrives in Prague this evening, we reconnect, and when we finally find our new host's home, I'm back in the environmental groove again.  Three people live here...one works for Greenpeace, one is an activist around car-free communities, and the third works for an NGO that keeps track of whether or not funds are spent in environmentally sound ways.  My focus in traveling this year is to look at global envt'l sustainability and to interview activists who are contributing to envt'l welfare.  I never realized it would be this simple to find so many networks of people who direct their energies towards this end.  I'm looking forward to talking with each of these people, one Bulgarian, one Czech and one Hungarian(?),  and learning more about what they do.
 
Well this household is impressively full of people taking action to reshape the world in an environmentally sound direction.  I learn a bunch about the car-free cities movement...which I never knew existed...Justin fills me in on the global network of organizations  whose actions are directed towards alternate transportation, towards reducing our dependence on cars and thereby reducing noise and air pollution as well as some of the stress in our lives caused by both.   Desi tells me about working with the watchdog NGO that monitors the spending of various organizations including, for one, the World Bank.  But she is on her way to a conference and so we move into her room in her absence. 
 
I spend some time with Lenka, a Greenpeace activist-she is an action coordinator...and incredibly passionate about her work.  I'm invited to visit the Greenpeace office and to help work on the banner they are constructing.  On Monday, Dec 4, the international conference addressing Global Climate Change begins in Bali.  It's a very big deal and all over the world activists are making statements in various forms.  By the time you read this, the conference will be well underway and the actions will have already taken place.  The plan here is enormous and I'm pretty much awed by it.  It involves 10 people climbing a chimney (at a coal fired power plant) that's 300m high -that's about 1000 feet!!! - and hanging a banner that's 30m by 10m from it.  And staying there for 4 days!!!!--  with food, tents, media equipment including computers and all that people need for 4 days.   And then there's the ground crew that'll provide support and protection.  The extremism of the act just blows my mind....the thought of climbing 300m up, in the dark, in the winter, carrying weighty stuff...I'm really awed by the passion and intensity of the people involved.   And thrilled to be interacting with them, interviewing them, working by their side doing some small part to contribute to the banner.

A group of us head out in a van to this space outside of town which is large enough to paint a big banner in...right now the floor is completely occupied with the term CO2...that's how large the banner is....today we're painting STOP...and this group is really fun but very motivated to stay on task since Dec 4 is right around the corner.   I've now met Greenpeace activists in Hungary and in the Czech Republic and I think they're doing some really good and important work....makes me want to see what we're up to in the states...
 
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Comments

renmoon
renmoon on

Those peroghies sounded good!!
Karen, Sounds like you're doing good work gathering info around Eastern Europe. What will you do with all this info upon your return??? Given your fear of heights, is it safe to assume that you didn't participate in shimmying up the chimney to place the banner?

How heartwarming to read of your connection with family, and that Corey could share that with you. Isn't it a small world, afterall?

Be safe & thanks for the photos & commentary. Very enjoyable to read. Renee

dolphindiva
dolphindiva on

Dissemination of info across the waters
Thank you for sharing the info. Inspiring. The power of the World Wide Web. Wonder how traditional print media will report upon the activism? Dolphin Diva

David on

Good think to do right....keep it real. Good luck
http://www.trip2prague.blogspot.com/

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