Making Friends in Santa Barbara

Over winter break me and my mom went to Santa Barbara, California. We stayed with friends Lynn and John Seigel Boettner, and for dinner they invited over friends that are also activists. 4 generations of activists ate pizza and shared stories, one of the women was 82 year old Eva Haller. There is a new movie coming out about her life, Eva Haller: A Work in Progress, because she is still evolving and being an activist in new ways. Jeanne Meyers is behind the film, and the My Hero project – she was also at dinner. Eva is also a close friend with Jane Goodall, someone I really want to meet, and she told me the story of how she first started to work in Africa. She also told me about her youth program, Roots and Shoots sothat I could look into that when I got home.

The next day, we went sea kayaking with some new friends, one of the girls Ella is in a group called, Teen Press. Teen press is a journalism program at the Santa Barbra Middle School started by John when he was a teacher there. This group goes to different places and interviews famous people, for example they have interviewed: Jennifer Lawrence, Yvon Choinard, and National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths. There is a documentary about Teen Press at the film festivals right now.

We went sea kayaking near the harbor then paddled out a bit to a bouey covered in sleeping sea lions! Sea lions are not endangered but are protected as all marine mammals are under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. It was super cool to be able paddle so close to these animals, so close yet so stinky! I was a bit scared (as I bet most kids that don’t live by the ocean are) of the ocean because the water was very dark in the harbour, but I faced my fears and climbed into the double kayak. By the end of the day, I was ready for my own kayak, and was even swimming in the ocean. Now I am a lot more comfortable in the water.

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It is really sad because it is estimated that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic then fish in our oceans! This is so sad because there are more then 1 million discovered species of plants and animals in our oceans and scientists think there there are over 9 million species in our oceans we have not discovered yet!

Photo Credit: Shannon Galpin