Over the next few months I did my first online crowdfunding appeal (after reading blogs and advice, of course) and applied to Lush for funding. Lush are a toiletries company that campaigns on environmental and social justice. They also happen to specialise in funding grassroots environmental projects that other organisations wont.
I put together a website for the now named Buzz Tour and started to tell people about it and that they were very welcome to get involved. I didn’t have to wait long for more bees to join in.
At an anti-fracking gathering in Oxford, Miranda and I were volunteering to make the (vegan) food. It’s not entirely altruistic on my part, I do like to be near the food. The best place to be at a party? The buffet table. Well, by it. The pig in the sausage rolls probably doesn’t think it’s ended up in the best place.
In between sorting out curries and soup we were in the meetings. Discussions were being had about a climate caravan, to travel around the country. I raised my hand.
“I’m already planning something quite similar for this summer. Anyone’s welcome to come along. It’s going to be a walk, called The Buzz Tour.” Five people came to chat about the tour at lunchtime, all with fantastic ideas.
A very energised Sama suggested visiting some of the anti-fracking protection camps, she’d recently spent time living at one.
Kara came and told me she would love to walk the majority of the walk.
“But I’m trying to be realistic about what I can do, so let’s see how it goes.”
The following month there was another gathering, this time in Lewes, and Sama was doing the food. In massive contrast to my own stressy food organising she was utterly relaxed. Wearing a purple bowler hat with a big fabric flower, she leaned on the counter munching something. She could have been in her own kitchen baking a cake, rather than cooking a meal for 50 in an unheated art center. She came confidently into the meeting to let people know lunch would be twenty minutes late. Utterly calm and unapologetic, she seemed to be enjoying herself. The food? Delicious of course.
“Wow.” I thought, “I’ve got a lot I could learn from her.”
She told me the story of one time she’d been interviewed.
”It’s so great to see young people getting involved.” said the interviewer. “Most under 18’s are just so disengaged, it’s so sad. How old are you?”
Sama had had to confess that she was actually 23. Looking at her face again I suddenly saw how someone could think her 18, but the wisdom in her words and behaviour were of someone much older. She regularly fasted and meditated. When she talked of time of dearth it was as wonderful learning opportunities. It was humbling, and very healthy for me.