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World March Blog
4 October 2009

Vamos a la playa (oh oh oh oh oh)

Vamos a la playa (oh oh oh oh oh) was the chant as we left the hotel this morning for our rendez-vous on Bondi Beach.

It is incredible the difference in everyone’s energy today.  A good night’s sleep and not having to get up when it’s still dark outside really made a big difference.  When lots of little things don’t go as you’d like them to the energy quickly subsides, as it did yesterday.  We had started at 3:30am to get ready to go the airport, so, little sleep in shared accommodation was problem 1.  Then problem 2 was when we got through Sydney airport we had to drag the bags “miles” because the bus driver wanted to avoid an airport parking fee.  Then, 3, when we arrived at the hostel at 11:00am it was not possible to go to the rooms until 1pm, and the energy of the team rapidly disappeared.  Finally, it was horrible weather; wet and cold ALLLL day.

Still, that was yesterday and even then there were some highlights as I wrote in the blog.  Today was a brand new day!  Marco and Francesca rejoined the team after spending the night in Melbourne at a World March event there.  As soon as the photos are up on the internet I’ll put a link to them.

At this point, I must acknowledge the efforts of Decler Mendez in Australia.  For those of you who don’t know Decler, he’s been organising World without Wars and the World March, but before that he’s been developing other humanist projects in Sydney for nearly 20 years after he fled Chile in the late 80s, and most of that time totally alone and isolated from humanist friends in other continents.  Despite that, he’s kept strong and determined even though he has a family with 3 small kids.  Him and his wife Jo have worked fantastically hard to pull the Australian leg of the WM together and their efforts have resulted in events in Melbourne, and 5 other towns and cities of Australia.  Not bad given that there was nothing planned a year ago.

Anyway, still chanting “Vamos a la Playa”, we headed to the beach.  It was cold, but not raining, which was nice, but when we arrived no one else was there apart from us and the organisers.  Apart from the weather being unconducive to thousands of people going to the beach, we were also suffering from the fact that the time in Australia changed, so many people were confused by one hour.

Little by little people started to come to the meeting point.  Our friends from yesterday all came, and the base team trawled the beach looking for people to join the peace sign.  Finally, the former Miss Australia 2007, Caroline Pemberton, who is the WM ambassador in Australia even got involved, trying to charm people with her good looks and lovely smile.  Eventually we had enough to form a peace sign.  Everyone got into place.  We put the WM theme, written by Mark Lesseraux, on the loud speakers, and started to perform the actions choreographed by the organisers.  Then the helicopter came and the result of all of this you’ll see in the day 3 video which Alvaro is working on as I type these words.  It was brilliant!

More thanks are due, to Alex Gasko, the sceptical yet lovely Russian Sydney organiser, and Gary Ryan, who’s ability to organise crowds on a beach is unmatched by anyone else I ever met!  The cameraman in the helicopter, Ben, also deserves a round of applause.

After this we had lunch and took the team to see the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Habour Bridge, which you can see in the day 3 photos entry below this one.  All in all, Australia has been a great sucess, the team are happy, local organisers are happy (special thanks also to Carol Campbell in Melbourne), and the people we met along the way are happy.  What more can we ask for?

So, I will finish the blog by saying goodbye to the Base Team for now.  I never planned to be in the Base Team.  My original idea was to come to the start in Australia and New Zealand, go back to Europe and wait there, and join in some European events and then go from New York to Punta de Vacas.  The problem is now that I don’t want to leave.  In such a short time I have grown fond of all of the team members, each with their own characteristics and sense of humour.  It’s been a wonderful experience so far, and I’ve enjoyed writing to all of you on the blog and I’m very happy with the comments that have been sent back.  Please send more because the World March is not just a group of people going around the world, it is what you are all doing in your places between October 2nd and January 2nd.  The team are delighted to receive feedback from other parts of the world, as much as you are all delighted to hear what we are doing.

Anyway, I have no idea when I’ll be back with the team now.  When I get back to London I’ll look at the calendar and see what I can do to come back as soon as possible and then I can tell you more stories about what we get up to.

With a very big hug to all until I’m back with the team,

Tony

12 comments to Vamos a la playa (oh oh oh oh oh)

  • Sebi G.

    ¡Tony quedate!

  • Danny Zuckerbrot

    Thanks for the daily updates and the pix. It’s great to get a glimpse into what goes on “behind the scenes” as well as the highlights.
    warmest greetings to all of you.

  • Tony, gracias! pero te vamos a extrañar mucho, tus comentarios nos hicieron sentir muy cerca del E.B, Abrazo

  • Elena

    What a pity! So far you’we been the most organized one to maintain us informed about what is happening there, I enjoined your posts so much! Give our hugs to the base team and thank you!

  • Thank you Tony! And thanks to the rest of the base team. It is wonderful to be able to follow yor steps in this journey, even if it is only virtually ;o) See you in Punta de Vacas! Big hug!

  • Gustavo Joaquin

    Muchas gracias por tu valioso aporte, Tony!
    Ha sido sumamente interesante ir siguiendo el recorrido del equipo base “por dentro” de la marcha. Muy descriptivos y bien matizados tus informes.
    Mis mejores deseos para que tu “sucesor” en esta función esté a tu altura!
    Aprovecho la ocasión para hacerle llegar mis saludos a todos los miembros del equipo base.
    Gutavo

  • Un fuerte abrazo para todos los miembros del equipo. Os vamos leyendo con mucho interés, día a día. Gracias, Tony, por tus escritos, y gracias a todos por vuestro esfuerzo. Espero que las siguientes etapas estén llenas de buenas experiencias y que la gente se sume a la Marcha más y más.

  • claudie

    Hi Tony
    We will miss you !!! And we hope that somebody will write like you (not only in italiano)every day because it makes possible that this March could be shared by everybody….

    Thanks to all the members of the Base Team. We are waiting for us…
    and a lot of ours actions, Base Team’s and all the other points, are on the internacional website.

    Big hug, saludos personales a Decler

    claudie

  • good flight back home, tony! hope to read you soon.. who’s next? :)

  • Congratulations and thank you for the updates. We are holding many many events here in Long Island until the marchers arrive in New York City on Nov. 30th. Anyone else in the team keeping a blog? Peace

  • Carlos del Pozo

    Queridos amigos, cuánto me gustaría estar con vosotros y compartir tantas emociones. Aún así estoy emocionado de hacer mi aporte desde mi pueblo, en Guadalajara, España. Esta es la epopeya de los nuevos tiempos, esta es nuestra marcha, la de los valientes, los soñadores, los utópicos, los grandes hombres, los titanes, las buenas almas…

    Toni, para tí y Rafa y todos los demás mi más profundo agradecimiento y cariño. Gracias, gracias, gracias…
    Carlos.

  • I certainly enjoyed your updates. The World March needs someone to give the world daily progress reports in English—just as you have done. I have not found any second-best reports.