After the Arctic: Girl Scout from Peru shares experience of Greenpeace voyage
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16 Juillet 2012
Q: Why did you wish to volunteer for this expedition?
Miryam: “To have the chance of being part of something big that could have a real positive impact in the lives of others while visiting one of the most impressive places on earth, the arctic!.”
“To get to know Greenpeace from the inside and to represent WAGGGS in a really cool initiative.”
Q. What did you expect before coming here?
Miryam: “I expected to enhance my knowledge of the area, to see wildlife, (Polar Bears, foxes, walruses, etc.) To learn more about Greenpeace and to be the voice of WAGGGS and to keep up my motivation and passion for nature, cultures of the world, social change, education, etc.”
Q. What were the best and worst moments from your time on the ship?
Miryam: “Best Moments - Ice edge, Glacier, Polar bears, 24hrs [of] light, ocean, fresh air, sailing, It is the Arctic Sunrise! Helping out the crew on simple "households", one on one conversations with other guests, Greenpeace staff and Volunteers and crew members, of course the fact of being in the arctic!.”
Worst Moments: “Rubbish and trash ashore, realizing that the ice is disappearing and that this unique and amazing place is changing for the worse.”
Miryam and Yvette Sena visit the abandoned Russian settlement / coalmine of Pyramiden, on Svalbard.
Q. Did the midnight sun affect you?
Miryam: “It was so weird during the first days! I couldn't slept the first night, my brain got a little bit confused. I kinda like it now... days are longer to get advantage of the light.”
Q. Now that you've been to the Arctic and experienced it first-hand, how do you feel about the scientific prediction that the North Pole could be ice free in 10 to 20 years?
Miryam: “I feel truly sad; I think we need to stop damaging the environment.”
Q. Why should the Arctic region matter for young people?
Miryam: “The arctic matters to all! It matters for young people in particular because about one third of the world population is young and especially girls are more likely to be most affected by climate change and the arctic degradation. It is known that girls around the world, especially in poor countries have many inequalities and the degradation of the arctic region and its consequences in social and economic systems increases the gap.”
Q. Which Arctic Collective (polar bear, walrus, narwhale, polar fox or arctic owl) will you sign up to and why?
Miryam: “All of them because I love wildlife and charismatic mega fauna like polar bears have always been of my personal interest and curiosity. When you are a kid you usually only get the chance to see polar bears at zoo's you know?”
Q. Did the trip affect your decision?
Miryam: “It reinforced my desire to contribute to positive change!”
Q. Did you get cold?
Miryam: “Actually it was warmer than expected, a chilly summer has it's touch.. .and of course I had few layers!”
Q. If you could go on the ship again, and take it where ever you wanted, where would you go?
Miryam: “Antartica, Arctic, Indian ocean, Pacific Ocean, Baltic sea... EVERYWHERE!”
Q. What’s it like to walk around on an ice floe?
Q. How will you use this experience when you return home?
Miryam: “I'll definitely spread the word on the Save the Arctic Campaign and promote awareness amongst my family, friends, colleagues, etc. I'll write a report that will be distributed by WAGGGS and I am still thinking on the best way to take action.”
Q. What would you like to say to people reading this?
Miryam: “Dream big! Anyone can do [their] part in protecting the environment.”
Photographs © Bas Beentjes / Greenpeace
Save the Arctic
The melting Arctic is under threat from oil drilling, industrial fishing and conflict.
Support the Greenpeace campaign to Save the Arctic: www.savethearctic.org