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Day 5 - Don't Forget Your Goggles !

This morning we awoke to a breeze traveling throughout camp. Connor, Jill, and I thought that perhaps we would need our goggles, and we were so glad we decided to bring them along (unlike Andy who was having sand-in-eye issues).

We started off through the dunes for a couple of hours with the sand continuously blowing against us - into our ears, our noses, our mouths, and just about everything else. The sand of the Sahara is so finely ground that it can find its way into any opening; be it pores, cameras, shoes, tents, etc. We noticed that none of us drank as much water today as we have in the past week because there was a constant cloud cover until about two o'clock. As soon as the sun came out from over the clouds, we were drinking like camels. The blaring rays have an enormous effect on your body; sweat increases, muscles become more aggravated, more water is necessary (but it is less satisfying), and it is much harder to carry on.

We completed 30 km today through the dunes and the wind with various muscles pains, headaches, ligament strains, and stomach problems. It has not been in the least bit easy, but we are all staying positive, helping each other along, and hoping for bigger days ahead.

- Kajsa Heyes

  • Day 5 - Kajsa and Jill

  • Day 5

  • Day 5 - Team Break

  • Day 5 - Team Meeting

Thursday April 22 2010 :: posted by Kajsa Heyes

Day 4 - Another 40km !

The team ran 40km on Day 4 in the desert heat. They saw tracks of a deadly snake, experienced breathtaking sand dunes and a well in the middle of the desert. Check it out in the video below !

Thursday April 22 2010 :: posted by Nick Gravel

Day 3 Video Footage

On day 3 of Running Tunisia, the i2P team runs a marathon, discovers an oasis and hears traditional songs.

Check out the amazing video recorded by the Youth Ambassadors!

Thursday April 22 2010 :: posted by Nick Gravel

Today we ran a marathon!

Although this morning, we all woke up feeling exhausted, stiff, sore and needing an ice bath. We Left camp around 7:30 am and made our way towards the town of Douz. As we continued forward, our legs began to loosen up and our pace increased. Everyone was starting to feel a little bit better and we were all very excited to reach our goal of completing a full marathon!

Today we made it into the dunes, which were incredible! The sand was lose and textured like flour, but absolutely beautiful! It felt like we stopped for photos every few steps. Our guide, Arida, decided to come with us on our run, in his long pants, sweater and cheche (pronounced sheesh). While running, he taught us traditional Arabic songs and games, and showed us a variety of different animal tracks including scorpion, scarab, camel and warthog. It was amazing to hear all his stories and learn more about the nomads of the Sahara!

We had another incredible lunch and after a brief nap, after a recommendation from Mohammed Ixa, who told us it was going to be too hot to run in for the next hour, we continued forward. And sure enough, the next hour was extremely warm and when we woke up, and began running, the temperature had cooled down dramatically and the heat was manageable. Over the next 17km, we came across two beautiful oasis' filled with palm trees, lush green shrubs and even a well! The scenery here is absolutely incredible! As we got closer and closer to the 42.2km mark, we began feeling better and better. We pushed for the finish and successfully completed a marathon in the desert! We were all very happy and even happier when our support team had oranges waiting for us - Tunisian oranges are by far the best oranges in the world!!

We just finished setting up camp in the sand dunes and will likely sleep very well tonight. Talk around camp is that we might be getting an Arabic flute show later on!

Another amazing day in the Sahara Desert!!

- The Youth Ambassadors

  • Day 3 - i2P Team Running

  • Day 3 - Sand Dunes

  • Running Tunisia 2010 !

More pictures here!

Wednesday April 21 2010 :: posted by Nick Gravel

i2P Education - Student Exercise #8

Over the course of the H2O Tour, i2P Education will be posting Student Exercises. These are water related exercises that students and teachers can engage in, and relate back to a fundamental principle or point of interest about water.

Exercise 8:

Make Ice Cubes that Sink in Water!

Obtain some heavy water - talk to the chemistry teacher - see is it is available in your community.
Freeze the heavy water in an ice cube tray. Note that heavy water freezes at a higher temperature than regular water.
Place the heavy water ice cubes in a glass of water and see what happens! (see: heavy ice)

Take a photo of your sinking ice cubes and send it in to us at i2P and we will post it on the website.

See: Module 13

If you have suggestions for interesting Water based Student Exercises please send them to us.

Wednesday April 21 2010 :: posted by Ewan Affleck

Doing Awesome!

Hey Everyone! Messaging from Sahara! Team is doing awesome-Youth Ambass's already covered 130 kms in heat! I am so proud of them!!!

From: http://twitter.com/RayZahab

Tuesday April 20 2010 :: posted by Ray Zahab

'Nous Sommes Fatigues'

The day started out with a 1.5 hour drive with rockin' Arabic/French music in Nardeen's car to start where we finished yesterday. After a tough day yesterday, we made a collective decision to run 20 minutes, then do a fast walk for 2 minutes. Our goal was to make it back to camp, about 36 km, and everyone was feeling pretty good around lunch time, however, the heat of the day was beginning and we still had about 16 km to go.

After lunch, we came across a herd of dromedaries (one-humped camels) and watched as Andy chased them around the desert in his attempt to ride one! As the heat pressed down on us, we tried to focus on hydrating properly and keeping a consistent pace while out on our own. Throughout the first two days, Kathy (Ray's wife) had been running alongside with us and helping with pacing, but today, she deemed us ready to go out on our own and make our own decisions on proper speed for running a multi-day expedition. The heat was very hard to take the last 10 km, but we worked together to keep everyone motivated and could not have been happier when we crested the hill to overlook the camp in front of us.

Back at camp, we had an interesting educational discussion with Doc Affleck about a variety of water issues as well as facts and interesting history about the theories of the origins of water. Ray had us do an experiment where we carried 12 liters of water around camp to get a feel for what it is like for children to carry water for miles on end that is necessary for their everyday life.

- The i2P Youth Ambassadors

  • Day 2 - i2P Team

  • Ray with his Video Camera

  • Day 2 - Lunch Break

  • Day 2 - Sunset 1

  • Day 2 - Sunset 2

  • Day 2 - Sunset 3

  • Tents!

Monday April 19 2010 :: posted by Nick Gravel

Team Tunisia answers your questions !

Thanks to all who have submitted their questions to Team Tunisia so far! We work hard and enjoy answering all your questions.

Below are a few answers, you can find the full answer list here.

Question Answer
What will you do for training in Tunisia?

Pia Vasquez,
Pioneer Elementary School

Kajsa Heyes:
I have been training by going for regular long runs, and running on the beach to replicate the sandy conditions of the desert

Answered on: Monday April 19 2010
About how long will it take to run through tunisia?

Sophia Li,
Pioneer Elementary Room 18

Connor Clerke:
We are running the width of the country from the Algerian border to the ocean � a distance of about 300 km. We are hoping to do it in about 8 days

Answered on: Monday April 19 2010
What's the relation between your running and the scarcity of water? How much money are you expecting to raise? What's on your mind when you feel extremely exhausted during the running? What do you want to say to young people nowadays who are lack of courage to take on an advanture?

Joy,

Jill Gilday:
Ironically this has not been an issue thus far as our first evening we had a huge and rare thunderstorm with a major downpour. The desert is looking green this morning. Normally the desert is very dry and we pack all our water in our support vehicle.

Answered on: Monday April 19 2010
How don't any of your Macbook's break?

Jason Fefer,
Millikan Middle School

Ewan Affleck:
Thanks Jason - we pack our Macs very carefully. Fortunately they are very solid. We haven't lost one yet on an expedition. They are quite indestructible.

Answered on: Monday April 19 2010
What do you eat out there?

Jordyn ,
Millikan Middle School

Andy Dilla:
Well Jordyn, we have Tunisian cooks who prepare authentic Tunisian cuisine. Last night we had barley soup, French bread and lamb pasta, and dates for desert. It is my birthday today and last night they gave me a date with a candle in it - 'a birth-date'

Answered on: Monday April 19 2010
Monday April 19 2010 :: posted by Nick Gravel

Day 1 !

Today was our first full day running in the Sahara. After a long drive of about 2.5 hours, we began running in the hopes of reaching our goal of 42.2 km by the end of the day - a distance that neither Jill, Kysha, nor Connor had ever ran in a single day before. The first 20 km was... muddy. The unbelievable lightning/rain storm the previous night had altered the land to such a degree that Jill was skating across the desert.

We continued to move forward in the search of lunch - something that the youth ambassadors had been fixated on from km 15 - 20. When we finally crested the hill, we looked down upon the land cruisers and an outstretched blanket covered with sandwiches, oranges, dates, tea... and Mohammed. After our lunch break, we began on the second part of our day; however, during the hottest, most uncomfortable part of the day, we almost immediately experienced problems. Jill was experiencing dehydration as well as nutrition issues. She created a masterpiece on the side of the trail consisting of everything consumed in the past 12 hours as well as sound effects we had never heard before. We made a collective decision to take an easier pace, as it was stiflingly hot at about 33 degrees Celsius. Things were looking up, but at about 33 km, Jill decided to not only hit the wall, but take it out and allow it to fall on top of her.

The day finished with a positive attitude, as we were treated to authentic Arabic music complete with sing-a-long in the land cruiser as we jostled down the road back to camp. Jill's experience today with dehydration really helped us to appreciate the importance of drinking enough water, which has implications not only for completing the trek but makes us realize that people who do not have access to clean drinking water are at a severe disadvantage.

Photos from 1st day of running:

  • Camel

  • Sunset

  • Star Wars House

  • Star Wars House 2

  • Team

  • Team Tunisia - Youth Ambassadors

Sunday April 18 2010 :: posted by Bob Cox

Arrival and Warm-Up

The first day of the expedition, including arrival in Tunisia, the first steps and a visit from Luke Skywalker! Check it out in the video below.

Sunday April 18 2010 :: posted by Kat Belendiuk