Frederic Aballea is Deckhand Rainbow Warrior currently on the Ocean Defenders Tour of Easy Asia. Fred has been providing some guidance to a couple of new members on the Rainbow Warrior's deck crew. He hails from France. Here's few questions for Fred...
Q: In your youth what did you do and what did you want to become?
Fred: I was in Brest, which is on the west coast of France, studying for a Masters degree in Mathematics. The plan was to become a professor someday. But I realised I wasn't ready for that, facing 30 people in a room, for example, I thought was a bit scary. But I really enjoyed teaching small tutorials.
Q: How did you get involved in Greenpeace?
Fred: Well after working in the industry doing supply chain management, I didn't really want to carry on [that path]. I went to Nepal on my holidays and it changed the way I looked at things. I was just walking and walking; it was the first time really that I went outside of Europe. I remember meeting this one guy, he was living a spartan life but he had a big smile. And children playing in the snow all with big smiles. It put things in perspective. In Europe, we have many more material things, but we're often stressed and sad because of complicated situations in our work and life.
Just before going to Nepal during Christmas, I actually met an old friend who was part of a local Greenpeace group in Toulouse. I told him I'd like to volunteer for environmental work, and he told me to me to join the local group in Toulouse. So when I got back from Nepal in 2002 - I did! And very quickly I got more involved as I really wanted to be part of a non-violent direct action.
In 2006 I joined the Esperanza in Barcelona for the "Defending our Oceans" tour for three weeks. I really loved this adventure and didn't want to leave the ship so quickly, so I asked the captain to stay longer... I stayed three months, and left the ship in Manila!
The year after, I joined the Rainbow Warrior, still as a volunteer deckhand for three months, campaigning in the Mediterranean sea for marine reserves. I was really excited, proud to help for the protection of our oceans on this ship that was a legend for me.
This current trip on the Rainbow Warrior is my sixth trip on a Greenpeace ship. I enjoy a lot working on deck, trying to provide a safe, nice, functional tool for the campaigns we are running. And I'm very glad to be here in Taiwan, working for this new campaign, with people that really want to do something to protect our oceans.
Q: So now that you're on the Rainbow Warrior, how do you feel?
Fred: I'm very glad to be working here. I'm not a very expressive person but inside I'm deeply happy. It's a luxury that I meet and get to work with so many people from different cultures, from different countries. It's a luxury for any person on this planet to open your mind and be exposed to things that you're not used to. If a person just stayed in one corner of the planet you get used to that corner. But if you go to another corner, then you can take back new learnings and balance things, use them to navigate your decisions in life. The more you see the more open you are, and the more you have an understanding that this is a complicated world.
I enjoy being outside and being part of Greenpeace ships has made me more at peace with myself because what I do now meets my philosophies in life. In my youth I did a lot of enjoyable things with the sea on Brittany's coast, which I seem to lose when I worked in Toulouse. But now I'ver rediscovered them.
If you think you've got what it takes to work on a Greenpeace ship you can fill out an application form here.
>> Find out more about the Ocean Defenders Tour of East Asia.