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She spent two months in the American capital. "I did anything I could to help the anti-war movement there," she says. And she lived some unique moments. "I went on a three-day march to Baltimore; stood beside a Nobel Laureate during a silent protest at the White House and confronted Donald Rumsfeld face-to-face as he was trying to escape our demonstration." She laughs. "Not bad for contrast, eh?"
If it wasn't clear before, it certainly was now. Sara Jennings had found her place.
"I returned to Canada so uplifted by the experience that I was ready to walk across the country solo and tell people about what I'd learned," she says. Fortunately she heard about Otesha first. "It took all the things I wanted to do and catapulted them forward," she explains. "I remember thinking: 'Oh my god — this is designed for me! Here I am ready to walk across the country to preach the environmental gospel and this group is preparing to do the same thing — only on bikes." Not only that, "They were the first group I'd heard of that linked environmental and social justice." That was enough for Sara. She wanted to be part of their trip.
Which is how she ended up spending the summer of 2005 on a six-month cross-Canada journey with a gaggle of like-minded cyclists. Their mission: produce thought-provoking plays on the environment to school-age audiences along the way. "It was a hands-on program geared to high school students," she explains. "And the theme, pretty much, was that youth can make a difference in their own lives. For those of us on the trip, it was also about learning how to live and work in a tight group. Although I was further along that path — given my three years of travelling and hostel-living — I still learned a lot."
And she didn't wait long to put those new skills to work. A post-Otesha trip down the East Coast brought her in touch with another anti-war group, this time in Columbia, South Carolina. "They told me they'd invited a troupe of political puppeteers to come in and teach them puppet skills so I decided to join the session," remembers Sara. The troupe was called The Puppetistas and they were on their way to an annual peace vigil at a military base in Georgia. And they must have quickly sensed a soul mate in the young traveller. For no sooner was the session over than Sara was offered a once-in-a-lifetime gig. "If I agreed to help them build the puppets," she says, "I was welcome to travel to Georgia and perform with them."
June 17, 2013, 5:00 PM
Social services, church and housing being built by Sea to Sky Community Service and United Church More...
June 17, 2013, 11:15 AM
Market opens with vendor numbers at maximum More...
June 16, 2013, 12:30 AM
67-kilometre mountain bike race sees 871 racers at the start More...