Sunday, August 26, 2012

We're So Excited We Could Disco!

Well Well Well.  The gear is packed, the food is sorted, and your leaders were trained all in time for us to tear up the Lewiston/ Auburn Rollerdrome.  After getting back from their leadership trips and taking some quick afternoon naps we decided to show the Rollerdrome what Batesies are made of.  Maybe we showed a little too much?  With wild costumes, sick nasty dance moves, lots and lots of skin, and a dog named Ralph we skated the night away.  Things got wild.
~Rollerdrome cant handle us~

Wild cat leader killin it on the roller floor
Flagstaff Leader Jeremy & Asst. Coor. Josh reppin the blades

While the Leaders were out on their trips we've been here tripple checking gear and making last minute runs to LL Bean to pick up some extra backpacks, sleeping bags, and pads for your trips.  FINALLY we are able to safely say that we are ready for you all to show up tomorrow.  We had our annual end of Leadership Week BBQ at Range Pond (local lake/beach that is a definite Bates scene during short term slash best month of your upcoming years) where we handed out the leader AESOP shirts and got some good ol' grillin' & chillin' done.   

~Good ol' Bean~

         
~5000 Granola bars anyone? We promise you'll be well fed on AESOP~

~Gimmee some of those burgers~

As a reminder, AESOP registration/ check in is from 8am-4pm in the PGill Atrium.  This is where you'll check in for your trip, pick up gear, and get your shirts.  All of your leaders will be helping you move in to your dorms and doing shuttle runs from Portland to Bates (If you have contacted us about being picked up).

Till tomorrow, enjoy your last night not being a Batesie.  It only gets better from here.


~Sleep well and travel safely~ 
Will
Mackie 
Ellie

~I don't think there could be a sexier bunch of AESOP Coordinators~

~Couples song on the roller floor~

~A lil Coordinator encouragement for the disco dance off~

~Superwoman?~
~Shake it ~
~Who likes normal photos anyway? AESOP Coordinator & Leader group shot~
~Josh & Allie sextuple checking the trip gear boxes~
~FINALLY DONE~




Friday, August 24, 2012

Counting Down The Days


Are you excited yet?  All packed?  Got your boots broken in?  Ready to start the best 4 years of your life with the best 4 days of your life?  Well if not, you still have a couple of days.  We're about half way through Leadership Training Week and gearing up for your arrival.  With our student leaders currently out on leadership trips where they spend 3 days practicing all of the wilderness, medical, leadership, and training skills learned in the past week, we Coordinators are on campus organizing for the AESOP trips.  For the past week our leaders have been completing 16 hour wilderness first aid classes, canoe rescue & safety, fire building, risk management, ice breaking, bear wrestling, trip itinerary perfecting,  spider taming, scavenger hunt winning, orienteering, puddle swimming, ridge running, general awesomeness classes, and microeconomics.  Although the pictures might make it seem like it's all fun and games during leadership week our student leaders are working from 8 am till 7 pm every day making sure they can handle anything that may come up during AESOP trips.  Bear wrestling included.   

  ~ The beloved Lake Andrews on an incredible Maine summer day!~

We really cant believe that you all are going to be arriving in just three days after beginning the planning for AESOP over 7 months ago skyping across the globe.  Our leaders arrive back on campus tomorrow to organize the last of the gear and get ready for your arrival.  Remember that if you need to be picked up in Portland on Monday contact us with your travel itineraries so we know when to pick you up!

 ~Gettin' low for the egg toss~

~Mackie and Ellie, passing the time during the leader scavenger hunt~


   ~ Some of your fearless leaders gettin' all sorts of crazy for the Leadership scavenger hunt~

 ~A quick game of Ninja, anyone?~

 ~Final point deliberations underneath a fabulous sunset~

 ~AESOP Coordinators trying to spell AESOP... can you tell?~

 ~7 am breakfast at 280 before leadership trips went out!~



~Much Love~
Will 'This Isn't Real Coffee, Iced Mocha Coffee Coolatta' (no sugar needed)
Mackie Mocha Latte (no sugar please)
Extra Iced, Extra Tall, Extra Ellie Iced Coffee (one sugar please)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Late Nights, Early Mornings, and Some Big @$$ Balloons


Good afternoon!  We've been working into the late hours of the nights and waking in the early morn getting ready for you all to arrive.  With your fearless leaders arriving today to start the Leadership Training Week AESOP is finally starting to feel real! At 4pm we'll be having a big ole BBQ at 280 while sharing big hugs and stories with all the leaders. To prepare for the beginning of Leadership Week we rose at 5:30 am to see the EPIC hot air balloons lift off at the 20th Annual Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston! With tiny eyes and lots of yawns, we arrived downtown just in time to see the balloons  inflating... and it was incredible! 

Check out some of our pictures from the last few days!




                                                 ~ There's NO way we can sit in our office all day...~


                                                           ~ But at night we kinda have to...~


                                                         ~Sortin', Sortin' and more Sortin'!~


~ A terrifying ride on the Zipper after a big meal at Pat's Pizza in Auburn... Good decision? It was awesome!!


                                          ~Looks like a whole bunch of marshmallows, no?~


   ~Just a gentle blow torch flame... ~



                              ~Baller pic by Will... you can see all the way through!~


                                                                      ~Pepe Le Pew, anyone?~


 ~Dear Pop Shoppe, Thanks for being open at 6:30 this morning.~


~ The best place to grab breakfast after an early morning wake up~


~Frye Street, all nice and quiet before the masses arrive!~



Keep it real y'all. We're so pumped!!

~Billiam, Mac Attack, Elster~

Thursday, August 16, 2012

THE BIG SHOP!!


 Hi All!

What's one of the most fun parts about being an AESOP coordinator? Spending over 2 hours and $3000 shopping for food for you all! Yesterday we spent the morning buying pasta, granola bars, beans and some special surprises for all the AESOP trips. We got some pretty strange looks as we cleared out whole SHELVES of food as normal customers would grab only a few boxes. In total? 6 full carts worth of food that we transported from BJ's Wholesale to the  15- passenger van (in assembly line, of course) and all the tasty treats are now safely in the basement of Pettingill Hall. Was it raining? Yes. Did people think we were crazy? Yes. But we loved it! The leaders are arriving on Sunday (um, what?!) and you all are coming the Monday after (get stoked!) Stay hungry and see you soon!


                                                              Peace and Pasta Sauce!  

                                                                      Mackie
                                                                       Will
                                                                       Ellie
                                                                       Josh
                                                                       Allie
                                                          

                                               ~"Life is like a box of oatmeal...."~


                                ~ 45 boxes wasn't enough so we had our friend help us out...~



                                                               ~ Last minute calculations!~




                                           ~ Just all in a days work, ya know?~


                                   ~ Don't worry, we made sure the Ragu was strapped in.~






Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Calm Before it Begins...


Time flies when you are working hard, huh? The head coordinators took a brief business trip to Ellie's lake house in North Conoway, NH for some AESOP planning and R&R.  We water-skied, made epic grilled cheeses, and watched a beautiful lightning storm. It was so great to  relax and enjoy ourselves while brainstorming new ways to make AESOP that much better this year! Below, a video is posted 

video

Finally the assistants have arrived and AESOP has officially begun, which marks the first time that all 5 of us have been together in the same location to coordinate AESOP! So watch out! We have come finally come back together from our adventures in Iceland, Chile,  India, and good ol' Lewiston Maine and have proclaimed ourselves the Fearless-Five. Tomorrow we are preparing ourselves for the huge BJ's shopping trip! This hefty list includes  62 packages of jelly, 170 boxes of pasta, 61 cases of oatmeal and over 2000 tortillas  to purchase (don't worry, we'll post some pics for proof!) We all can feel the buzz of AESOP and we are STOKED to have our leaders show up, to meet all the fabulous first-years and to show you all what the great outdoors of New England has to offer! 




~All of us feeling a little crazy after a long day!~

All five of us have been crashing in an off-campus apartment, cooking dinner nightly after spending  toasty (re: super sweaty) days in the AESOP office.   We all splurged last night, however, and had dinner in Commons with our  AESOP adviser/First-Year Dean Holly Gurney. We felt a little ill after the slight food binge due to the thrill of all the free ice cream and Vegan Bar offerings... Ever heard of food babies?  If not you'll understand after unlimited access to commons under the Bates' meal plan.  We've also been kitten-sittin' our friend's new cat Misty. She's one part adorable, two parts psychopath but we love her :)


Check back for more updates on all things AESOP... Get pumped!!


Watching the storm on Ellie's porch




  Our darling, Misty


  ~Mackie, Ellie, & Will~

Friday, August 3, 2012

Unpeeling the Banana Coast: A Journey through the Sub-Arctic

     After a brief hiatus, I have returned from scouting out new AESOP trips for next year- in Greenland! Well... not exactly. But I was in Greenland backpacking, packrafting, and eating lots of cool things (think: large mammalian sea creatures) and meeting some even cooler folks this summer for my Otis Fellowship with my classmate, Brian Kennedy. For seven weeks we hiked and paddled between the idyllic farms and small settlements along the coast, following sheep trails, thousand year old Norse ruins, and skinny, ice-packed fjords, stopping along the way to chat folks up about some of the environmental, social, and economic issues in the area. While we never mastered the Greenlandic language (check it out: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Index:Greenlandic/a), we did explore resource exploitation and a proposed uranium/rare earth element mine, the progress of sheep farms and near-arctic agriculture in a changing climate, the transition from a traditional hunting and fishing culture towards a modern welfare state, the struggles of a post-colonial nation of 60,000 people on the world's largest island, and our own limits on a self-propelled, two-man journey. It was an absolutely wild, beautiful place that really is one of the last frontiers- a place barely inhabited and so totally accessible, yet at times frighteningly hostile.

      Now, I'm slowly making the transition back to a land of tall trees and evening darkness, and have begun to gear up for life on campus. I am so pumped to hear that we have the biggest AESOP ever this year, and can't wait to get back to it with Mackie, Will, Ellie, Allie, and the rest of team AESOP. Awww yeahhhh class of 2016!

      If you want to learn more about me and Brian's trip, you can read about it on our trip page and blog, or geology is more your thing, you can check out our issue article about the Kvanefjeld mine:

http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Journeys/unpeeling-the-banana-coast-greenland.html
http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/blog/
http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Issues/MetalsMining/Kvanefjeld-Mine-Prospect-Greenland.html

Packrafting! Perhaps a new AESOP trip for next year?!
  
A Greenlandic sheep farm with Illerfissalik, the Viking signal mountain, in the background.
   
Drill core from the exploration phase of the Kvanefjeld mine in Narsaq. 
  

Qaqortoq (pop. 3,000) is the biggest, and most colorful, town in the region.
   
I think this is the only guy who has Will beat when it comes to making faces.
  
Campsite at the toe of the inland ice. July marked the greatest rate of melt on the icecap ever recorded.
 

See you in a few weeks!

-Josh