Imagine traveling all the way to Churchill, Canada — a tiny little town on the banks of the Hudson Bay, and finding connections almost every time you turn around. That’s exactly what happened on my trip there last November. In Winnipeg the first night, I was having dinner and started talking with the two women seated next to me — only to find out they were on the same Tundra Buggy Adventure I was. As we talked a bit more, I discovered one of them, Val D’Elia is a videographer for the NY1 News and the other, Alison Wright, is a National Geographic photographer. It gets better. Alison is also working on a project with one of our featured 2011 Loweprofessional photographers, Ami Vitale, documenting the impact of climate change on women in under- developed countries. This project is sponsored by Ripple Effect Images. Watch for upcoming articles about the work they are doing.
As we were chatting, along came one of the Project Polar Bear teams, There for Tomorrow — Emily Goldstein, Sam Leist and Kaitlin O’Bryan — from Louisville, Kentucky. The co-winners of the 2009 contest were here for their grand prize trip — a project sponsored by Polar Bears International and co-sponsored by Lowepro.
At lunch the next day, we found ourselves running into the rest of the Project Polar Bear team — The Vickery sisters: Rebekah, Miranda, Rachael and Madison — from Winnipeg. The last time I had seen any of the kids was at the awards ceremonies last April at the San Dego Zoo. It was great to see everyone — and to also find out that their projects are ongoing and the impact to their communities continues to grow.
To top it off, at dinner that night I noticed a women at the next table wearing a jacket with our Lowepro 40th Anniversary logo. I stopped by to say hello, and it turns out she had come all the way from the UK where she had found her jacket in a local camera shop. Not sure of it was Lowepro or the polar bear that prompted her to buy it — but it was great to see!
It was fascinating to experience the global reach this small, remote community had — and all because of the polar bears.
Sam is the PR and Photographer Relations Manager for Lowepro’s Worldwide Marketing team.