I made it safe and sound from Toronto to Nairobi yesterday. It was a strange trip. I imagined the flight in to Kenya being small and full of Africans, actually, it was a jumbo jet filled with tourists. "Don't safarai by balloon, all we saw were jackrabbits last year." the British couple behind me was informing the tough looking American. This guy was a Hemmingway lookalike, already in his safari gear.
Today we had a conference of youth to plan how to lobby the delegates, how to set up an African youth climate coalition and how we might make youth participation hardwired into the COP process. Kenya is hot, and in our cramped conference room people boiled over and clashed on different issues. I think this just shows how real the danger of global warming is felt in people's hearts here. My new friend from Togo, a smal coastal state, tells me how seaside hotels have already been flooded in her counrty as the ocean rises.
The delegates from the global South are adament that resources be made available to help their communities adapt to the harsh impacts of climate change. From Uganda's delegates I hear stories of droughts and floods, a professor from the University of Nairobi warns of increasing desertification and a new kind of refugee, migrating because of ecological crisis.
Twelve hours of meetings later I'm feeling hopeful. Honestly, I think we can make a difference. We can push the delegates as far as possible towards action and we can make a splash big enough to be picked up by media around the world. We plan on
getting creative with our demonstrations...wait and see!
At dinner tonight cheezy\awsome funk and hop hop was blasting. Nice way to end a busy day. Nairobi at night is beautiful. I can't wait to see more of the city. Goodnight all, welcome to my blog, stay tuned.