Tuesday, May 13, 2014

impossible2Possible Youth Expedition Across Atacama Desert Set To Get Underway

The team at impossible2Possible are getting ready to do it again. Their latest youth expedition is preparing to get underway in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile. This time, a team of five i2P Youth Ambassadors will attempt to run a marathon a day, for six days, across the driest desert on the planet. As is usually the case with this organization, there will also be a strong educational aspect, as the young men and women making the run, look to inspire others through adventure.

The team is already in the Atacama, and en route to their starting point. They should start running in the next day or two, working their way through one of the most arid environments imaginable. But it isn't just the dry conditions that they'll have to endure. The Atacama also happens to sit at altitude, which means they'll need to acclimatize some along the way as well. The thin air can make running a challenge, even for the very fit.

The Atacama Youth Ambassadors have come from all over the globe to take part in this adventure. They include Jesus Perez from the U.S.; Alessandro Aime from Italy; Valerie Gagne and Stephen Lambert, both from Canada; and Florence Reyonolds of New Zealand.

The team will be following a route that i2P founder Ray Zahab ran back in 2011, when he covered 1200 km (745 miles) of the Atacama. They'll have a support team assisting them along the way, carrying some the gear for their camps and providing them with food and water while they are out on the trail.

One of the key goals for i2P is to inspire and educate young people through the use of adventure. When ever the organization sends an expedition into the field, it always coordinates with students and teachers in classrooms to provide interesting lesson plans that connect to the expedition that is underway. This time out, the focus of those lesson plans are astronomy and the origins of the Universe. The Atacama has some of the clearest skies on the planet, which is why there are several high tech observatories there. Over the next few days, the i2P Youth Ambassadors will provide lessons on a host of topics, including basic Newtonian physics, the planets, stars, galaxies and black holes, and a host of other subjects. Having witnessed the night skies in the Atacama first hand, I can tell you that they are awe inspiring, and very humbling.

I'll post updates of the Atacama Expedition as it unfolds, but if you want to follow along with the team, you'll find daily updates by clicking here.

Good luck to the i2P squad as they set out on this latest adventure.

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