Changes, changes, changes. After the last 20 days I thought that the world is constantly changing. I've realised we will never be able to repeat what has happened during the expedition: we won't have another opportunity to go back to Nunavut all together, and even if, the landscape will already be different, and even if that difference will not be that large, we are not the same people, changed by the experience. We have lived a dream, created a new world of memories, where we can always find a shelter.
It is not possible to describe all that we have done during the expedition, so I have decided to pick two memories, which are the most meaningful to me.
The happiest moment of the whole trip would be for me the evening we have all spent in Clyde River, the day before our fantastic mountain guides and climbers leaved for France. Everyone was sitting in the conference room, still tired after the intense week of glacier crossing, big wall climbing, reaching the unnamed peak, tired but happy and fulfilled. I myself was thinking about what happiness is when Luke came into the room and announced 'Luke's evening fun activities' which meant baking marshmallows over a fire from outdoor burners. Gathered around these few burners, we all laughed, smiled and lived the moment together. I knew I was a part of this family.
In turn, the moment of sorrow came just before our last hike, and it was when we started the coastal clean up. We've been walking through the Arctic for the last three weeks, experiencing its most diverse faces and haven't met a single person on our way (aside from the communities we have visited). We have learnt a lot about links in the environment of Nunavut, got to know how to understand the place we were in and yet saw a remote shoreline, transformed into a garbage dump. Trash is floating in the oceans for years, damaging the marine wildlife, to be eventually thrown on the shore by waves. We found tangles of fishing nets, plastic packages, bottles that covered all the way from Vietnam to the Baffin Island. We are influencing the shape of the world every day, no matter where we are.
This was when I realised, that the world didn't change during the last 20 days. I have spent them with people who think in the same way that I do, but there are millions of those, who don't see the need of making a step backwards and conserving the planet for future generations. And this is something we should never accept. The time has came for us, Young Explorers, to change our role in the Program, to stop taking and start giving.
The coldest summer of my life has come to an end. But… what is the end if it is not the beginning of something new?