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YEP 7 Exp Kamchatka Day 14

“This is not the end, it’s just the beginning” Mike told us as it was time to say goodbye. The beginning of a journey of diverse involvement in our environment and communities together for each other and for our planet. I said goodbye to all members of this awesome team that all did their part in making this expedition the great experience it was. We Young Explorers stood in a circle, group hug and heads together, and reflected on the fact that we actually all had quite different personalities but every one of us was needed to make us succeed as a team. We learnt from each other and had very intense days that nobody can take from us. Lots of “D and M’s” standing for deep and meaningful conversations and many good laughs. We agreed that we had a bond for a lifetime. You try to find the right words to say goodbye, tell the people that they have won a part in your heart, say thank you for all the work they have done for you, that you appreciate them for who they are but sometimes it’s really difficult to put in words what you really feel.

As the whole team left to Moscow at noon Dmitry and I went to Yelizovo’s school. We were in an empty classroom waiting for the kids to arrive and I was trying to think of a sentence to start with. But I couldn’t. “Well if I can’t think of something now how will I know what to say once they all sit down and look at me?” I stood in front of about forty Russian kids from 13 to 16 and started. I caught their attention by asking a little boy if he could point with his finger on a big world map where Greece was. The country of each Young Explorer followed and they knew them all. I was surprised. I told them that I had no idea where Kamchatka was before I heard about it thought The Young Explorer’s Program. After showing them a Moose Cut they were really excited, laughing and one after the other raised their hand and had a question. Which one was the hardest expedition, mabe there been any Russian YEPS, what did you like about Kamchatka, what animals did you see, must I know English, does that mean I don’t have to go to school, and so on. They wanted to see more Moose Cuts and came up with more and more questions. When I asked who would like to go on an expedition with Mike Horn you could see the whole classroom filled with hands up in the air. The principal said that there was no more time. At the end of our talk a little girl came up to me and asked me for an autograph. More kids followed and I gave the first autograph of my life. I was quite amazed but it made me realize once more that I am in a very fortunate position and probably would have done the same thing at that age.

I told them about the dog sledding and about the project we are getting started to support the native people of the north and push eco tourism. Right away a girl wanted to know how we were doing it, another one where these dogs were because she wanted to go there and try it out herself.

Today made me realize how easy it is to spread the Pangaea message and that this definitely is the beginning of my journey of the acting part. I am already looking forward to the next time I will get to see one the team members!

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