by Sarah Pearson, Marketing & Media Relations, Canadian Mountain Holidays.
Never stop learning – this was the message conveyed over and over by Dr. Roberta Bondar, our guest speaker at the Bugaboo Lodge on the August 17 – 20th CMH Summer Adventure. And that is exactly what we did for three superb days out in the mountains. We learned and absorbed information about geology, wild flowers, glaciations, plate tectonics, animal behaviour and countless other fascinating facts, ideas and theories. Under the leadership of our CMH Guides, we didn’t just hear about it…..we walked through it, touched it, smelled it, tasted it, and truly experienced the full vastness of our mountain landscape.
Following these days of fresh air and exercise we returned to the lodge to the excited chatter about our daily adventures, laughter, and individual stories from guests from around the world. One of our guests at the lodge was Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman in space, the world’s first neurologist in space, and head of space medicine research at NASA for eleven years. Dr. Bondar (or Roberta as we came to know her) regaled us with stories from vast life experience; about the physical and emotional challenges leaving this earth presents; experiencing and seeing earth from above; the value of space research; what it takes to become an astronaut; and how returning to earth has changed her perspective on the world. She has said, “To fly in space is to see the reality of earth alone. To touch it after is to see beauty for the first time.”
Captured by both her words and images during her evening presentation, I went to bed that night inspired and optimistic about the future. Her message was - yes, the world is changing, but if we continue to ask questions and seek out answers to scientific mysteries; to listen to each other and embrace life-long learning; and to challenge ourselves both mentally and physically, then we will be able to actively and positively participate as our future unfolds in ways that we can’t even imagine today.
What struck me most poignantly was her message that when people are passionate about our world and the environment around them – then we will work to protect it. When it’s personal - when it makes a difference to us as individuals - then we have the drive and ability to protect and make change. Seeing our world in new ways makes it personal – whether this is through photography, reading, education, or experiencing places first hand. For me, after spending those glorious days amongst those magnificent Bugaboo Spires - it is now and forever, personal.
The Roberta Bondar Foundation http://www.therobertabondarfoundation.org/