We have arrived in South America! We just spent a week in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. The views are surreal… painted with jagged snow-capped mountain ranges and rugged windswept seas. It brings up thoughts of how the early explorer must have feasted their eyes.
We met up with Osvaldo Estevez who is the owner of Ushuaia Extremo, a great shop for all things Extreme Sports… bicycles, skis, snowboards, trekking equipment. But more importantly, he is doing great humanitarian work in the south of Argentina. He has a program for recycling older bicycles and distributing them to the less fortunate kids in Ushuaia.
Though the city is a tourist destination, Osvaldo gave us a tour of the struggling neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. These people live far below the poverty level in houses with no plumbing or heating. And even in the summer, it’s a cold place. Osvaldo is committed to making a difference in his community and I have great admiration for the man. Twelve in Twelve is partnering with him, to help bring relief efforts to this community.
We stayed at Antarctica Hostel, which was a total blast. For those of you that have traveled on the cheap, you know hostel living. Shared rooms and bathrooms and usually a communal area where everyone hangs out.
We met the coolest people. Was really like a family. Big shout out to Ellie, Charlotte, Biscuit (Oriol), Elvis, Gabriel and all the others. We will miss you guys. It was great to get to know people from Spain, Belgium, South Africa, Holland, Canada, Australia, Germany and even New Jersey! Buck and Jack had the time of their lives. If you get to Antarctica, stay at Antarctica Hostel… it’s the best.
Also I want to thank Alicia Petiet from Antarctica Travel (http://www.antarcticatravels.com) who took us under her wing and did everything for us while we were there. Such an incredible woman. She has a daughter that lives in Charlotte, so we get to see her again in the states in August. She sorted out our Antarctica travel where we will be speaking about our trip on a ship starting March 25th. We were originally going to go to the South Georgia Islands, but that was a tough one to work out. We thought that we would have to miss doing all seven continents until our guardian angel Alicia arrived on the scene. It’s the last ship of the season and we managed to get on it. Amazing, eh? We will be traveling for 10 days to Antarctica working with the ship captain (a friend of Alicia’s) and hopefully with some of the scientists onboard.
But we have a lot to do before that happens. We are on a plane right now to Buenos Aires where we will be working with the organization, L.I.F.E. We will be volunteering there for two weeks before we return south to Ushuaia to work with UE (Ushuaia Extremo) giving out recycled bicycles in the community, which we feel honored to be a part of, and to catch the boat to the ends of the earth… Stay tuned.
One last note… thanks to so many people that continue to support our efforts. Just want to name a few (in no particular order)…. Murphy (God Love You!), Robert Shapiro, Kristina Haddad, Bo Henderson, Ed Springs, Ed Smith, the incredible Bert Woodard!, Wheelock Whitney, R.A. Buck (Uncle Buck), Tony Lydgate, my mentor Sue Sanford!, LuAnne Bernier, The Klug-Price Family, Andrea Cooper, Peter Cipkowski, my agent Steve Ross, The Branca Family, The Grey Family, the always patient Rachel Woodhouse, Robert Kanter, Larry Toppman, Lisa McLeish, Kathy Abernathy, Scott Pacitti, Jennifer Taylor (happy birthing!!), Dolores Scozzesi, Meredith Jones, Patrick Elliot, Barry Alpert, Les Satinover, Jackie Burch, Michael Lightweaver, Steve Bearden, John Kurc, Nick Corley, Cher Ferreyra, The Dyer Family, Linda Britt, The Aceti Family, Jodi B. Wise, Linda Guth, Kenneth Wyse, Andrew Beachum, Meera Gandhi, Heather Gilliland, Renee Moore, Nina Giovannitti, Sara Giovanitti, Gary Peters, Heidi Dove, Mary and Mike Gutowski, Laura Diaz, Lindsey Moser, Juan Carlos Piedrhitas, Anna Shaw, Paige Hauff, Patty Strader, Kent Smith, Elise Duquette, Barnet Sherman, Roberto Elinan, Chris Totty, Ben Kubie, Allison Flanagan, Valerie Bobo, Scott Galliher, Norbert Weisser, Francine Popkin, Andrew Martin, Susan McMullen, Theoden Janes, Ray Cline, Todd Plocharczyk, Jessica Milligan, Jon Davis, Monk Duke (Losang Tenpa), NoDa Yoga!!!, Doug Nydick, The Roush Family, Jay Everett and The Wachovia-Wells Fargo Foundation, Marcella Detroit, Lance Aston, Kellin Watson, Xan Spencer, Esther Benjamin, John Kennedy, Rickie Lee Jones, Yoko Ono, TedXCharlotte, the late Dr. Barry Bowe (who we miss terribly), and of course, my sisters, Laurie Wilson and Linda Frazure. And all the others who I will thank in the next email… I’m on a plane and it’s late… so forgive me if I’ve forgotten.
Everyone’s support has meant the world to us. You have no idea. My kids and I have been changed for life from this opportunity. I feel confident that our efforts will continue to make a difference as the organization, Twelve In Twelve, builds momentum. We are committed to continue our efforts back in the states to support the organizations we have had the good fortune of working with on this journey. We are also committed to support others in their efforts to do humanitarian work abroad. There’s so much more to do!
More adventures to follow. Love you all!