Around the World… Off to Finish College

Hello World!

It’s been far too long since I last wrote a blog. Despite running around the planet all year, I have neglected this site. I suppose I felt like some of what I was doing was not very blog worthy, because it was more logistical work. But I think I forgot how special writing here is for me. Setting up my new home, in my college town, and getting ready to finish my undergraduate work has made me think a lot about how I got here and how I started this crazy journey into Media Activism.

This blog. Sitting down and sharing my thoughts about the world with you all. Sharing photos of Taiji and my candid feelings about what was happening. Being our main source of media for the first few months of Infinite Patience, without even realizing it at the time, launched me into this life. I have chosen a hard and exhausting journey for myself… but I love this work so much. We have a beautiful home and I want to fight to protect it, from ourselves.

Burlington College

Some of what I have been up to this last year:

I worked as Paul’s assistant for many months, we traveled a bit and I experienced my first East Coast winter since I was a little kid.

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In March of this year I was assigned Volunteer Coordinator for the current Sea Shepherd Global campaign Operation GrindStop 2014. So, I traveled all over Europe having meetings and preparing for that job. I saw some amazing parts of the world out of taxi and hotel windows. I want to go back some day and actually see Europe. Several of us also went on a scouting trip to the Faroe Islands in March, for a week. This was to get a lay of the land, plan the campaign, meet with the police, and so I could prepare information for our volunteers.

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When I flew back to the States I needed to move back across country to my home in Seattle. However; I was neck deep in work for the Faroe Island’s campaign and my dad was kind enough to drive 95% of the way- while I turned the passenger seat of my car into a home office. Haha!

I pretty much lived and breathed the Faroes campaign for weeks while things were kicking off and everyone was getting settled. With the help of my office cats. Because I’m really 100 years old, you see. I sit at home most days working with my cat.

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Sarah came to visit me in Seattle! I missed her so much. We had the fortunate task, with two other awesome girls, of driving the Sea Shepherd RV across the country to the first ever Sea Shepherd Summit, in Vermont. I didn’t do any of the driving. Mostly because I was working full time and dealing with my major changes to the campaign… but also because I don’t think they trusted my driving 😉 Not the world’s best driver here. We were lucky enough to see the Yellowstone River, Niagara Falls, and a beautiful sunset at Lake Erie as we camped along the way.

The summit was amazing. It was so great to see everyone I’ve been missing for years, to hear new ideas, and to learn so much about what other Sea Shepherd entities are out there doing. We are a movement! You can’t stop a movement.

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I am also happy to announce that starting this Wednesday I will be the Youth Correspondent and Media Activist for the radio show “State of the Oceans,” on LA talk radio. With Paul Watson, Sia and Shane Barbi, Jani Shultz, and weekly guests. I have been on Jani’s show many times in the past, but I am so excited to have worked out a weekly schedule with them that works with my classes. So be on the look out for that! Link here

Speaking of classes, I have moved once again. My dad helped me move all my stuff across country. We camped along the way and had some great adventures. It was nice having one last trip together before I start school again.

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This time I am officially moved out of my family house. Despite my leaving some stuff there, I won’t be living at home for the next two years- and who knows where I will be going after school is finished. It should feel strange and scary, but my parents have been so supportive of my work and travel over the last few years- that I feel like this is just another adventure. They know I’m only truly happy when I’m on an adventure. You can always go home 🙂

So I am studying Media Activism at Burlington College, for my undergraduate degree. Media Activism recognizes that mainstream media shapes the dominant consciousness. This degree is about learning how to use media to lead new ways of thinking and develop a more educated and well informed electorate. I want to expose corruption, create news, and make people think.

Please think about helping me pay for school. I would really appreciate any help you can give. I hate asking for money. This is completely out of my comfort zone. But maybe some of you out there, who have followed my work since the beginning, would like to help me out! If I can enter the world with a little less debt than I am currently looking at collecting, I will be in a much better position to start my life.

Go Fund Me – Click Here

So that was my year, so far! It’s been good.

I hope everyone has had an equally exceptional year full of adventure, laughter, love, and the kind of work that excites you.

For the Oceans,
Elora M.

Portland VegFest 2013

Portland Veg Fest 2013

I want to thank everyone at Portland Vegfest for hosting Sea Shepherd at their event! It was a really great experience and I talked to so many interesting and wonderful people.

I had the opportunity to give a presentation both days. My first speech was on what is happening in Taiji and how the captive industry is connected to the slaughter of marine cetaceans and drive fisheries around the world. Remember: DON’T BUY A TICKET!

The second speech was actually supposed to be given by my father, Scott West, about the Faeroe Islands pilot whale slaughter. Unfortunately Scott had to go out of town last minute and I stepped in to speak about what happens in Denmark-Faeroe Islands. Thankfully I am friends with several of the previous campaign’s crew members and have access to information through Sea Shepherd.

I spoke about the dangerous levels of mercury and other toxins in the meat they are consuming. How cetaceans are non-human persons and should be valued as such. I played videos of Paul speaking about the legal/illegal ramifications of the slaughter, and footage of a recent slaughter itself. I spoke about how unsustainable it is to mass slaughter species, especially apex predators who do not reach sexually maturity for up to 15-20 years. And of course about the cultural argument verses what these people said to our undercover crew members: “The blood makes us feel very powerful and confident”.

No one would go hungry in the Faeroe Islands, much less starve to death, if they never killed another whale. Sea Shepherd discovered in 2011 that there are even underwater grave yards where the killers have dumped the bodies because no one wanted to consume the meat.

Today was day 6 without a slaughter or capture in Taiji 🙂
However 100 cetaceans lost their lives in Faeroe Islands THIS last Sunday.

On a more positive note I spoke to many kids and teens about how to get involved in their communities, schools, and of course even in the Taiji campaign with a parent or guardian. However, I want to make it clear that even if ocean conservation isn’t your cause, you can go out and work on whatever it is that is important to you. If you are educated about your topic, you work hard, and you make enough noise… people are interested to hear what young people have to say. You just have to be creative and articulate.

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– Elora Malama

Sarvey 911

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are still here. I know since my return home from Taiji 3 years ago my blog hasn’t been as active. The life of a teenage activist is a busy one!

In my last post I asked you all to send in comments advocating the protection of Puget Sound’s Great Pacific octopus. I want to thank everyone who participated. We won’t know what the boards decision is for a few more weeks.

Since then I have finished spring quarter at my community college and I am currently entering my 3rd week of summer quarter. I will be finished with my associates degree this December and I am looking forward to applying for colleges and eventually transferring as a junior.

In addition to school, I am still active with Sea Shepherd, and I also have a summer job working for a local wildlife rehabilitation organization. Sarvey Wildlife Care Center.

Sarvey Raccoons

Sarvey’s mission is: “to save the lives of sick, orphaned, injured, displaced, and debilitated wild animals entrusted to our care so that they may be successfully returned to their native habitat.
To offer educational opportunities that encourage a greater appreciation of the uniqueness and perfection of each species and the ecologic challenges facing them.”

I do not work in the clinic as I have no vet training or experience in that area. My job is the rescue and release side of Sarvey’s slogan: Rescue, Rehabilitate, Release. I drive the ambulance and pick up injured animals in need of help. Our clinic staff is amazing and I really enjoying watching them work and care for our patients.

Sarvey is the only wildlife rehabilitation organization in Washington State that has an ambulance service. I drive to various drop off clinics and pick up animals that were rescued by members of the public. I also go out on rescues whenever possible. Recently, I helped rescue some ducks and released a Great Blue Heron. (Click this link to see the video release, you will need to be logged into facebook)

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I absolutely love my job and I am really enjoying my summer.

I hope everyone is having a lovely summer too and remember you don’t have to travel the world to be a part of the solution, sometimes you need to stay home and solve the problems in your own back yard. If school, work, or your personal life is keeping you from working on issues that really get under your skin… spend the time bettering your own community and getting involved in other projects close to home that need your help.

-Elora

P.S Like any non-profit organization Sarvey could always use that extra $5 you might spend on Starbucks one morning. Please consider making a donation or a monthly pledge to help animals in need. Consider donating and helping out wildlife in Washington State. We care for everything from Pigeons to Eagles and Opossums to Bob Cats.

Freedom