Most of the time, we do not know how to begin a speech, an audio recording or a even a journal. It is hard to take the first step, always.
In my case, participating with the Students On Ice Delegation in the Arctic Futures 2050 Conference was the beginning of a long journey.
This Students On Ice Delegation has been unique because literally, there will be no other Arctic Futures 2050 Conference and this opportunity to connect with those that constantly work in the Arctic is priceless. It was a wonderful opportunity to not only reconnect with the SOI organization but also with new friends, new SOI Family. I truly felt like time between the expedition and the conference never stoped. After this week I felt like I knew them all my entire life, we spent a lot of time together talking about what we do, where we are from, what we are studying and more, while we learned from the conference exchanging ideas and experiences we live, see or even work. It was so incredible that 10 members of the SOI Delegation were so united and active in all the activities in and outside the conference. My only wish, perhaps, would have been to spend more time with them to not only talk about the conference but also about us, like for example those meetings at 10 pm in the office (Rachel’s room) to feedback everything we learnt during the day and the next day’s action plan.
Once again, Students On Ice has turned my life upside down and remind me how to get passionate with things I do and the importance that I should give to my goals but not just that, but also in being a better person. I am still processing the experience very much like I am still processing the Arctic Expedition. Right now, in this precise moment, I am filled with huge gratitude with SOI and everything they have given me. You have not just changed my life but also many others that live in México because of your support.
This leads me to my next point, which was to talk about my country and the projects I do. Apart from talking about the Arctic, people wanted to know who that person was in the photo that was holding a monkey in the power point presentation. Now, curiosity was in my favour because people wanted to know about that guy that was participating in an Arctic Conference and with the Students on Ice Delegation and has nothing related to the Arctic research. I was a rare specimen among all and that was not all, I teach various people that no matter where we live, we are all connected somehow and if I have then opportunity to be here, in this Conference, was because I want to learn, hear, apply and express my knowledge and skills in my country; make people conscious about the real problem and that we can all do something to improve.
During the Conference, I heard different opinions about the changes in the Arctic not just in a environmental point of view but also political, technological, scientific and indigenous knowledge. This background helped me understand that talking about any subject related to the Arctic is complicated not because of the politics or laws related to, but of the amount of people acting in the same place. It was amazing to see that people, despite studying different areas, had the same purpose and this make me wonder, if scientists, politicians and Indigenous people were agreeing to improve various aspects of the Arctic, imagine that we would not do all to improve the world we live in.
I hope that this SOI Delegetion along with the Arctic/Antarctic Expeditions continues because I have noticed that the voice of the youth is heard more and more. By continuing this program, we could strengthen the new ideas and solutions that youth has and that are more conscious of what is happening in their surroundings.