In March there is a race in Morocco which uses small 50cc motor bikes, known as Monkey Bikes. Fifty riders, who register on a first come first serve basis, are given the task of driving this small hunk of metal 1000 Km through the Sahara and over the Atlas Mountains in 7 days. Generally, riders pair up and take similar routes, bumping into each other during the week and moving together at various points or going the whole way as a team. As for the route, we are provided an end location and that is it. How we get there and how fast we get there is up to the participants. The lack of a route is meant to be part of the fun and challenge. I won’t be entirely without outside support though. I have contacts who are currently working Morocco and once the start and end points are revealed I will be using their in-country expertise to chart a way through to the coast. To enter there is a registration requirement for each rider to raise $1,000 for an organization known as Cool Earth. This organization deals with environmental protection and deforestation. This issue is rampant in Malawi and Sub-Saharan Africa which heavily influences food insecurity that my own community here in Malawi knows so well. Though seemingly a pervasive issue it is a reversible process that Peace Corps and many other governments and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) work hard to address through grass root initiatives. After seeing and working with dozens of NGOs since my first outreaches in Uganda and South East Asia I have too often seen donated funds mismanaged. Cool Earth is a true capacity building NGO, focused on facilitating change through building the knowledge and skills of those living in affected area. The organization only works with the communities who approach them for assistance and take a supporting role in developing strong partnerships with those communities to allow for positive change to continue through independent community action long after the Cool Earth Organization leaves an area. This is the very same philosophy to development that I used through my time working in Malawi. All money raised will be donated directly to Cool Earth and their many initiatives.
Rainforests are some of the last great places of the unknown. The types of places that we think of when we imagine adventure stories and the kind of beautiful and unpredictable chaos that only nature can produce. I don't think I would count myself as a particularly granola crunchy fellow but climate change is no joke. Over the last two years I have had the unfortunate experience of seeing my friends and neighbors struggle, starve and suffer as a result of unpredictable weather and shifts in climate. Any progress that we might make towards a solution starts on the ground, in those ecosystems that give back on a global scale.
Monkey see a problem; Monkey do something about it.
Empowering the Asháninka to shield millions of acres of Amazon rainforest.