Into the Wild: Outdoor Survival in the Blue Ridge

first_imgIt can happen to anyone out on the trail: one false step, one wrong turn and you may find yourself out in the middle of the woods with only the clothes on your back and your wits to get you through. The chances of spending an unexpected night or two in the backcountry are not as slim as you think and the consequences can be dire. Try to stay calm, this is your guide to survival in the Blue Ridge.Sandi Bird was beginning to worry. What was supposed to be a short day hike was turning into a nightmare she was not prepared for. It was a pleasant spring day when she set out hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail outside Roanoke, Virginia. Sandi was on a trail leading down from McAfee Knob, one she had never hiked before and fellow hikers were few and far between. The trail was still covered with heavy leaf fall from the past autumn, the spring foliage yet to take hold. As she lifted her eyes from the path in an effort to spot her destination, the Tinker Cliffs in the near distance, something under the leaves caught her foot and sent her reeling down the pitch. It was a bad fall, her ankle twisted enough that it was difficult to put weight on it. She tried to hike out, but as the skies darkened and day turned into night she ran through two sets of flashlight batteries and the slow, limping hike down the mountain became more and more dangerous. She realized she would not be able to make it back to the trailhead; Sandi would have to spend the night in the woods.Overwhelmed with fatigue and underequipped, Sandi did the only thing she could think to do on an unfamiliar trail: she sat down. With her back against a rock, her butt on the trail, and her legs dangling over the edge of a steep hill, she slept the night in the open, exposed to the elements, injured and alone.The next morning she awoke cold and stiff, but alive. In the daylight, she was able to slowly and carefully navigate back to the trailhead and get to the emergency room, where she was treated for a severely sprained ankle. A hike that should have only taken an afternoon had turned into a 24-hour affair that could have turned out much worse. Had it been a month earlier or the weather changed dramatically, as is common in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we may be telling a different story about Sandi Bird.Sandi’s story is a typical one when it comes to survival situations in the Appalachians. She was an experienced hiker, taking a day hike on a well-used trail, relatively close to civilization. Yet, she found herself in a dangerous predicament due to unforeseen circumstances outside of her control.“You say, ‘OK, well you’re close to home,’ but still it was in a season when there were not that many people around and it was still a long hike back out, several miles out,” she said of the ordeal. “You don’t have to be that far from home, you don’t have to be in the middle of the wilderness to be in a survival situation.”Following her night on the trail, Sandi sought out training that would enable her to better handle an unexpected night in the backcountry. She eventually landed at Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School in Catawba, Virginia. Former United States Air Force Survival Instructor Reggie Bennett started Mountain Shepherd nine years ago to continue his passion for teaching. At Mountain Shepherd, Bennett takes the basic outline of what he taught Air Force pilots and translates it to the general public – minus the “classified stuff,” – instructing classes around the country and in various environments. His courses are developed around the Air Force’s SERE school lessons – SERE stands for Survive Evade Resist Escape, so the more advanced courses can get fairly intense. He also consults on survival and backcountry gear and equipment for manufacturers trying to cut weight while upping efficiency. Needless to say, Bennett knows his stuff. He says a common misconception about wilderness survival often gets in the way of learning: survival does not have to be difficult.“I think sometimes the mentality is, ‘Look what I suffered through, and I made it and that makes me great,’” says Dina Bennett, Reggie’s wife.. “It doesn’t need to be hard, it doesn’t need to be difficult to make it through if you know how to do things easily.”Virtually all survival situations involve either lost or injured day hikers so the chances of being rescued or found in Southern Appalachia are dramatically higher than say, if you were lost in the vast woods of Montana.“Most survival situations are just three days,” says Bennett. “The majority of them are just 24 hours. The likelihood that any one of us is going to be in a survival situation for more than three days is very rare.”To handle any crisis as short as a couple hours to as long as three days, Bennett teaches his students seven priorities of survival. This is not only an outline of what to do and how to do it, it is a tool unto itself; a way to cope with escalating catastrophe beyond the standard ‘Rule of Threes’—a person can go three hours without shelter, three days without water, and three weeks without food.1. POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE“There is no average emergency.”Priority number one in any wilderness survival or emergency situation is maintaining a positive mental attitude. This principle is echoed by every survival expert and applies to every predicament you could find yourself in no matter the setting.“People that do very well in a survival situation are people that realize that there is going to be physical and mental stress applied to them,” said Bennett. “But if you can recognize that stress, that’s the key.”Positive mental attitude is number one because everything else affects it. For example, having a positive mental attitude will help you stay cool and collected when trying to start a fire in the wind; in turn, having that fire gives you a positive mental boost. Carrying a basic emergency kit is the easiest way to elevate your morale. Just having some equipment goes a long way, but having some knowledge can make the difference between getting out alive and not.“The more you know, the more that you feel like, “It’s all right, I got this,’” says Jeff Gottlieb, who manages the survival school at SOLO Southeast. “A lot of wilderness survival is feeling like it’s OK to be there. A little bit of comfort in a trying situation can make the difference in a successful attitude and whether you are going to make it.”2. WILDERNESS FIRST AID“You are help.”Every emergency pack should include some version of a first aid kit with the bare essentials: bandaids, bandages, Advil, and disinfectant to treat scrapes, blisters, and bee stings. Other common injuries like twisted ankles and knees, or deep flesh wounds will require professional medical attention that only a Wilderness EMT or First Responder can provide. More important than running for help in a situation like this is assessing the situation so you can inform rescue personnel of the number of people injured, severity, environment, etc.“You’re help; there isn’t help immediately available,” says SOLO Southeast Director and paramedic Jono Bryant. “Even if you get them on the cell phone, it’s going to take ages for anyone to come and get you. The care is essentially the same [as front country medicine] other than the improvisation, but the environment can change everything. Suddenly that broken ankle has turned into a hypothermia victim.”The biggest dangers to anyone in the backcountry are the double threats of heat and cold. Either can be deadly if not taken seriously, but the warning signs or hypothermia and heat stroke are easily spotted, if you know what to look for.Hypothermia There are two main components of hypothermia: the first is getting cold and wet. This can be easily prevented with the proper clothing. The relatively warm state of Texas has one of the highest rates of hypothermia because people don’t realize you get cold 25 times faster when you’re wet. Never wear cotton in cold weather, opt for polypropylenes or wools, which stay warm even when soaked. The second is fuel or food: you burn twice as many calories in cold weather, so eating food rich in calories and fats will help stave off hypothermia.“The trouble with hypothermia is that the first thing that is affected is your judgment and you start making poor decisions,” says Bryant. “There are many documented cases of people who were found frozen to death on the side of a mountain and they go into their backpack and they had food, fuel, a stove, a sleeping bag, but they just started making poor decisions. You just have to recognize when someone is entering this stage.”Recognizing the onset of hypothermia is as easy as keeping an eye out for the “umbles,” says Bryant. It begins with a general discomfort (the grumbles); then the mumbles where speech is slurred; then motor function lapses (the fumbles—if you have difficulty touching your pinky to your thumb); then the stumbles and tumbles; and culminates with the crumbles which is the beginning of the end.If you see any of these signs, it is time to act. Get the person under jackets or a sleeping bag, and off the cold ground onto a tarp or more jackets. Start a fire immediately. Providing the victim warm liquids and food will help keep the core temperature up.Heat StrokeAs dangerous as cold is, heat can be equally threatening but not as noticeable in the field. Heat injury begins with dehydration: if you feel thirsty you are already significantly dehydrated and may begin to feel dizzy or nauseated. A hydrated person should be urinating every two hours. Heat exhaustion is the next stage and you will begin to feel lethargic, weak and may be pale and clammy. Heat stroke is characterized by the body being red and flushed or having seizures and can be fatal if not treated. Getting out of the sun and getting some food and water in the victim is essential if any of these symptoms arise. Pour water over their body to cool it, but not to the point of shivering, as this will only generate more heat.3. SHELTER CRAFT“You never know what’s coming.”In the Blue Ridge Mountains the weather can turn at any moment; it may be sunny and 65 one moment and raining and 40 the next. The changes in weather and temperature are especially apparent when day turns to night, when the temperature plummets and wetness seeps in everywhere. Improvised insulation is your only friend when you have nothing, helping to retain the heat you already have. The clothes on your back are the first line of shelter: stuffing dry leaves or other insulation into your jacket and pants provides extra protection against cold. Dry leaves or grasses are great filler. You can get away with damp leaves some of the time, but having a grasp of the physics of insulation is vital if you are out in the winter months.“Your margin for sloppiness is smaller,” says Gottlieb. “If it’s June and you don’t understand shelter insulation very well, you will probably be fine, but if it’s January and you don’t understand insulation very well, it could be life threatening.”Having a heavy duty, 55-gallon trash bag in your emergency kit gives you the most bang for your buck of any other piece of equipment. They are large, waterproof, windproof, tough, and can be used as a tent, poncho, and rain collector. String a trash bag between two trees and you have instant protection from the wind and rain that compound the effects of cold—especially wind.“People don’t understand how insidious that wind is,” says Bennett. He tells a tale of soldiers sitting in a 35-degree cold chamber in their underwear and making it two hours before they couldn’t take it anymore. When they added a mere three-mile per hour wind, the soldiers only lasted 20 minutes.If you don’t have a trash bag, a suitable shelter can be made by propping up a long log with one end on the ground and one in the crux of a tree, bracing it with stick ribs along its length, and piling dead leaves on top of the shelter and inside it for insulation. It may not sound like much, but this style of shelter is surprisingly adept at keeping rain and wind out. Always build your shelter away from hanging branches or boulders, on a rise so water does not seep under and point the door of the shelter to the east or southeast so the prevailing wind does not blow rain in.Survival – How to Build a Shelter from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.4. FIRE CRAFT“Fire is life out there.”When used incorrectly, fire has the power to injure and destroy. When used correctly fire has the ability to warm, light, dry, cook, boil, defend, signal, and otherwise keep you safe in the backcountry.“Fire is a priority, but fire helps out all the other priorities,” says Bennett. “Fire is life out there.”A lighter, waterproof matches, or some type of flint and steel should be part of any emergency kit, as should a ‘fire bug’—tinder that can take a spark and light almost instantly. These include products like WetFire, a lightweight cube developed for the military that takes a spark and burns at 1,300 degrees, even when wet. A DIY alternative is to soak cotton balls in Vaseline and store them in a pill bottle. In the wild, tulip poplar fibers or birch bark make the best tinder.Building a pit will help protect the fire from the elements. Pile rocks around the fire to reflect the heat toward you and then use the heated rocks in your shelter to help you stay warm through the night. Do not put wet stones directly into the fire, however, as they have the potential to explode due to the expanding steam inside the rock.Building a fire becomes more difficult without a spark, but not impossible if you know what you are doing. A fire by friction using the bow drill technique will produce a flame, but without practice your chances of pulling it off are greatly diminished in a stressful situation. Knowledge and practice are the only things to fall back on when out in the wilderness, so get plenty of both in regards to fire making.“If you do it right and you have equipment that is up to your standards, it shouldn’t take you more than 30 seconds to have a glowing ember ready to feed into the tinder, and maybe have a flame in one minute,” said Gottlieb. “When your hands are freezing and you have no backup is not the time to learn how to make a fire by friction.”Survival – How to Start a Fire from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.5. SIGNALING“Your best chance of survival is getting rescued.”Signaling for rescue is one of the most important, but often overlooked, priorities for anyone lost in the woods, says Bennett.“Signaling is being proactive, helping rescuers rescue you,” he said. “Most people are not ready; they are so focused on surviving that they forget that they should be prepared to signal any rescue that comes by.”Signals can be as easy as tying a bandana to a tree branch or banging a stick against a hollow log. Save your voice by whooping or yipping instead of yelling “help,” and keep in mind the international signal for distress is a series of three – the Morse Code for “S.O.S.” is three dots, three dashes, three dots. Have a stash of flammable debris near the fire so if you hear a helicopter or plane, you can dump the debris on the flame to create a smoke pillar that can be visible for miles.6. WATER CRAFT“Walk downhill.”After protection from the elements, finding potable water is the most vital factor in any survival situation. Humans can only go a few days without water, and you are losing it constantly through your sweat, breath, urine, and other basic functions. Fortunately, this is the Blue Ridge so locating a water source is not usually a problem.“The East Coast is a water-rich part of the world,” says Earth Connection School founder Tim MacWelch. “Walk downhill for a couple hundred yards and you are either going to see some kind of sign of water or actually see water.”Water is all around us in the Appalachians, but water in the wild suitable for human consumption is hard, if not impossible, to come by. Rain water and snow are as clean as the air they fall through and surfaces they touch. Drinking untreated water from even the most seemingly pristine mountain stream is still an invitation to an army of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and protozoa, any of which can do you harm. Boiling water for 10 minutes will make it suitable to drink, but lucky for us there is a great water treatment arms race going on currently in the outdoor industry. Fueled by the ultra light hiking movement, companies are bending over backwards to come up with the latest, greatest, lightest water purification treatment system on the market. This means tossing a filter or some chlorine tablets in your pack is much easier than even a couple of years ago.7. FOOD CRAFT“Everything is edible once.”Food is fairly low on the totem pole when it comes to survival since the body can manage without it for weeks if necessary. That being said, a full or even partially full belly will go a long way to maintaining a positive mental attitude. Edible plants and animals are abundant in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, but so are poisonous ones, and it can take a lifetime of study to know them all. Hub Knott is the founder and director of the Living Earth School, and says a great way to begin building a knowledge bank of edible wild plants is to start with a fatal flora process of elimination.“Once you know what harms you in your environment, then you’re pretty safe,” said Knott. “If you try something else, some things aren’t super edible but you know it’s not going to kill you.”Knowing what to avoid will help you locate the nuts and flowers that won’t make you sick like walnuts, hickories, pawpaws, dandelions, and wood nettles. Wild greens are more nutrient packed and filling than store bought greens so you don’t need as much in one sitting. Opt for water creatures over land creatures; crayfish, frogs, and snails are easier to locate and catch which will cut down on calories burned versus earned. When it comes to the glamorous world of eating insects, there are a few guidelines to follow, although it is not an exact science: six legs and under and only natural colors like blacks, browns, or greens. Use nature against itself by only eating insects that are hidden or want to hide – the evolutionary defense mechanism to hide means they seldom have other defenses like poison or foul taste.Stay or Go?When lost or injured in the wilderness, conventional wisdom says it is better to stay where you are and hunker down to await rescue. More often than not, trying to self-rescue only makes the situation worse, says Bennett.“Once you start moving you are subjecting yourself to injury, fatigue, and dehydration,” he said. “So in most cases, if you can, it’s better to stay put.”Going mobile also elevates your chance of missing a rescue team that comes through your area; if they clear the area and don’t find you, they probably will not be back. There are some circumstances in which your only option is to try to get out yourself. Bennett advises you to travel if:Nobody knows where you are. They don’t know where to look for you. Always tell someone or leave a prominent note whenever hiking or camping.The environment is dangerous enough that it would be more hazardous to stay where you are.You are running out of supplies.You see the lights of a house, road, or town during the night and can navigate safely toward them.Otherwise, it is almost always safer and more successful to stay where you are and hope rescuers pick up your signals.Be Prepared GearBeing prepared does not mean you have to overstuff your daypack with enough gear to make it through the apocalypse every time you take a two-mile hike. It does mean you should have some bare essentials to make sure you get out of the woods in one piece. Here is a list of common items to pack in an emergency survival kit, all of which can be packed into a small sack weighing less than a pound:Knife (fixed blade is best, but a high quality folding knife will suffice)Trash bag (55 gallon, heavy duty)Fire starter (waterproof matches, flint and steel, or lighter)Fire tinder (WetFire, Vaseline-soaked cotton balls)First Aid (Band Aids, ibuprofen, antiseptic, moleskin, QuikClot, gauze, antidiarrheal, adhesive tape)Water transporter: You can use the sealable bag that carries the rest of the kitMini flashlightSignal MirrorWhistleWater purification tabletsParacordSnack (energy bar)Wilderness Survival SchoolsThe only way to be truly prepared for a survival situation is to take a wilderness survival course. Here are some options in the region:SOLO Southeast Bryson City, N.C. solosoutheast.comSoutheast School of Survival Cartersville, Ga. southeastschoolofsurvival.comMountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School Catawba, Va. mountainshepherd.comLiving Earth School Charlottesville, Va. livingearthva.comEarth Connection School of Wilderness Survival Fredericksburg, Va. earth-connection.comLandmark Learning Semester Cullowhee, N.C. landmarklearning.orgMedicine Bow Wilderness School Dahlonega, Ga. medicinebow.azurewebsites.netlast_img read more

What you need to know about the BINDI

first_imgThe Petzl BINDI headlamp was designed with running in mind, but its versatility makes it a convenient lamp for camping, fishing, biking, DIY projects, and more. Built to be small, light, and bright, the BINDI provides multiple mounting options that go beyond the traditional placement on the forehead. Discover more about the BINDI and how it can be your nightlife companion.1. Weighs 1.23 oz (35 grams) and can fit in the palm of your hand.2. Offers a white-light mode with three settings and a red-light mode with two settings.3. High setting in white-light mode provides up to 200 lumens of brightness, projects light up to 118 ft (36 meters), and offers a two-hour burn time.4. Medium setting in white-light mode provides up to 100 lumens of brightness, projects light up to 75.5 ft (23 meters), and offers a three-hour burn time.5. Low setting in white light mode provides up to 5 lumens of brightness, projects light up to 19.5 ft (6 meters), and offers a 50 burn time.6. Red light mode offers two settings–continuous and strobe–to preserve night vision and help be seen at night.7. Single button functionality: One long press to switch between red and white lighting. Single click to switch between different settings. After 3 sec of not pressing any buttons, a single click will turn the headlamp off.8. Turns on in the color mode that was last used when it was turned off.9. Locks electronically and physically by pressing the button for four seconds when the lamp is turned off and by rotating the head until it secures itself into a position where the button can not be pressed.10. 680 mAh Li-Ion rechargeable battery is easily charged via a micro USB cable with a 4 hour recharge time.11. Indicator light shows the remaining battery life when in use: Green for 66-100%, Orange for 33-66%, Red for 0-33%12. Indicator light displays red when charging and green when fully charged.13. Thin elastic headband is low-bulk, adjustable, and provides countless mountain options: wear it around your neck, stand it up on a flat surface, bungee it around a pole, etc.14. Pivots 360 degrees to position the light in many different angles.15. IPX4 rating ensures protection against water spray.With the BINDI in your pocket or bag, there is no reason why you should ever be left in the dark again. Available at your favorite Petzl dealer and on Petzl.com.last_img read more

Long Island Blizzard Warning Issued, Heavy Snow & Flooding Possible

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island has been placed under a blizzard warning as a powerful mid-Atlantic Nor’easter churns toward the region this weekend.The blizzard warning will go into effect early Saturday morning and last until noon Sunday, according to the National Weather Service’s Upton office. Blowing snow could start after 3 p.m. Saturday and continue through the evening.It’s not only periods of heavy snowfall that Long Islanders will have to contend with. Sustained winds of 35 mph combined with gusts of 55 mph could spawn whiteout conditions that will make traveling extremely dangerous. As a result of drifting snow, forecasters said, visibility may be reduced to ¼ of a mile—or, in some cases, “near zero” visibility.Snow accumulation predictions currently range from 7 to 12 inches, forecasters said.Parts of the Island will also be under a coastal flood warning. A combination of powerful wind gusts and a full moon could mean tides 3 to 4 feet above normal, forecasters said.The South Shore could see the most flooding, the weather service said.“Elevated water levels and large breaking waves on the shore of Long Island may result in erosion of dunes,” the weather service said on its website.The massive storm could impact as many as 15 states. Washington D.C. is preparing for more than two feet of snow, prompting officials there to shut down its entire mass transit system.Foreboding weather predictions appeared to have some local residents preparing for the worst, with residents filling up gas cans to fuel generators in the event of power outages.The biggest threat to power lines is icing brought on by the blistering cold and heavy snow expected to blanket the region, PSEG Long Island said.During the week, the utility has conducted logistics and system checks ahead of the storm.Local officials urged residents to use caution over the weekend. They implored people to stay off the roads and only get behind the wheel if travel is absolutely necessary.Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said there’s more than 100 pieces of snow-fighting equipment and 28,000 tons of salt available to treat roads.“Nassau County is monitoring the storm track and prepared to begin bringing main county roadways, bridges and overpasses to prevent black ice from forming,” Mangano said.Suffolk County Deputy Commissioner Tim Sini said the department has equipment and people in place throughout the county to ensure road safety.Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is prepared to assist local municipalities impacted by the storm.The Island is also in store for frigid temperatures near freezing this weekend.last_img read more

Focus on ‘mobile moments’: Four steps

first_imgFifty years from now, society will look back at how we use mobile phones today “and they will think we were crazy,” Uwe Hook told attendees at CO-OP Financial Services’ THINK 16 conference Wednesday in San Diego.That’s because peoples’ attachment to these devices is reaching unhealthy levels. Hook, founder/principal of Gretchenfrage, cited a Google survey that revealed U.S. consumers check their phones an average of 180 times a day, and many sleep within arm’s reach of them.“Mobile phones are the cigarettes of this century,” Hook said. “They’re very addictive” and they’re becoming a social liability.“They’re hampering our ability to socialize,” he added. “People want to get away from mobile interactions and have real interactions.”This has led to the rise of “mindfulness meeting places” where no phones are allowed or where there’s no Wi-Fi. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Suffolk Pols OK Ban on Microbeads

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County lawmakers this week passed a bill that phases out the sale of personal care products containing microbeads—tiny plastic balls designed to exfoliate the skin but also negatively impact the environment.County legislators Tuesday unanimously passed the measure, which phases out the sale of products containing microbeads over the next four years, giving manufacturers enough time to develop alternatives.“Today’s vote puts Suffolk County on the right side of history and nature on this issue,” said Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), who introduced the bill with Legis. Steve Stern (D-Huntington).New York State lawmakers have proposed similar legislation and two other counties statewide have passed likeminded laws. Another bill like it is being debated in Congress. And in June, Illinois became the first state to ban the sale of cosmetics containing microbeads by 2019.Suffolk’s bill follows a similar timeline. If Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signs the bill into law, the phase-out would begin in January 2018 for personal care products not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and allow an additional year for ones that are.The bill was proposed amid growing concern that microbeads, which are often less than 1 millimeter in size, have been found to soak up toxic chemicals on their way through sewage treatment plants. And because of their tiny size, they aren’t filtered by sewage plants—instead washing into waterways locally and nationwide, including the Long Island Sound.“A clean face should not mean dirty water,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, who backed the bill and described microbeads as “tiny toxic sponges.”Microbeads, made of polyethylene and plastic, are found in everyday personal care products such as facial scrubs. Once they absorb toxic chemicals and wash into waterways, they’re eaten by fish, resulting in contamination up the food chain. Esposito said the toxic chemicals that attach to the microbeads have been linked to ailments ranging from birth defects to cancer.Consumers can avoid purchasing products containing microbeads by downloading an app that scans product barcodes, such as Beat the Microbead.last_img read more

Local family celebrates the birth of leap year baby

first_img“Five o’clock in the morning it was pain. I was like ‘we need to start timing some contractions,’ and a few minutes later I woke Greg up and I said, ‘we need to start heading out to the hospital because I’m pretty sure that today’s the day,'” said Stephanie. “We were hoping to have her either on her due date or Greg’s birthday was the 27th, but everybody wanted her on leap year,” said Stephanie. But come 2024, it will be quite the party. “She’s pretty special,” said the couple. “She’s very special. So it makes us think it was meant to be that way.” Sophia will always be a ‘February baby,’ celebrating her birthday that month each year. The new parents say destiny may have played a little part. “Everybody called it. My cousin Sam, who was actually at the delivery, was beyond excited because she had called leap year day at three in the morning I would start, and that’s technically when it started, so she is claiming it,” said Stephanie. “She is definitely one of the biggest blessings ever,” said the couple.center_img “Whether it’s the 28th or the 29th, it will always be the last day of February. So then we can keep at least February and not confuse her growing up,” said Stephanie and Greg. “I think we’ll go more all-out for the actual birthdays. For her actual leap year birthday, maybe do something extra special, something bigger, go a little bit more with more money into it probably,” said Stephanie. But come Saturday morning, Stephanie had a feeling it was time. She was right. On February 29, Sophia was born at 10:16 in the morning, a day that comes once every four years. (WBNG) — Stephanie and Greg from Greene were expecting their baby girl to come into the world on Wednesday, February 26. A day that’s not on the calendar every year, but one that won’t be forgotten in the hearts of this little family.last_img read more

In indigenous Colombia, Venezuelan migration sparks conflict

first_imgWayuu people – who generally speak both their own Wayuunaiki tongue and Spanish – have citizenship rights in both countries.Some migrated to Venezuela over the past two decades to take advantage of free education and other benefits. But hyperinflation and a six-year recession under President Nicolas Maduro have driven thousands back, part of a wave of some 1.7 million people who have fled Venezuela for Colombia in recent years.For already-struggling communities – which often scrape by on subsistence ranching and gasoline smuggling – the needs of returning Wayuu are hard to meet. Malnourishment has long plagued Wayuu children and many communities can ill afford more mouths to feed.A Colombian girl from the indigenous Wayuu tribe herds goats in the desert, in Castilletes, Colombia February 20, 2020. (REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez)With dozens of disputes now raging, Wayuu leaders say they hope mediation will head off escalations in violence, as brawls break out between neighbors and within families.Yohedys Palmar, a Wayuu police inspector in Castilletes – which overlooks an aquamarine bay in the eastern reaches of Upper Guajira – said there are about 10 active disputes in his area alone, the majority involving returning Wayuu.”There has been violence,” said Palmar. “Up to now it hasn’t come to deaths, but that could happen if conflicts are not resolved.”Palmar said he had heard of killings related to returnee disputes in the inland settlement of Jarara. Reuters was not able to independently confirm this.Scant mobile phone service makes communication difficult in the impoverished and isolated region, where the Colombian state is virtually non-existent.The hyper-localized system of pütchipü’üs also makes data collection on the conflicts difficult, said Alberto Henriquez, the secretary of indigenous affairs for the Uribia municipality, which includes Upper Guajira.Palmar’s father, Rafael Sapuana, is the pütchipü’ü in charge of the Ipuana dispute involving the Venezuelan returnees.”They come with so many needs, with hunger, without work,” said Sapuana, a father of 50 children, from a nearby grouping of houses where he lives with some of his family. “We want to avoid blood-letting … War doesn’t bring anything good.””We hope the government, President Duque, will give us a hand with the crisis.”Men from the indigenous Wayuu tribe tank a car with smuggled gasoline, in Castilletes, Colombia February 18, 2020. (REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez)MENDING FENCESMaria Elena Ipuana is the matriarch of the Ipuana Montiers. She has returned to settle on this patch of family property with her husband Angel Jose Montier and more than 40 of her children and grandchildren, after years of sporadic travel back and forth to Maracaibo, a center of the oil industry in Venezuela.”Food used to be really cheap in Venezuela, now it’s so expensive,” Ipuana said. “We have to survive however we can.”The family is squeezed into five small makeshift houses. Two of the grandchildren, ages 1 and 4, have frail limbs indicative of malnutrition.And the family is about to grow – Ipuana’s sister, brother-in-law and 22 of their children and grandchildren will arrive soon from Venezuela, she said.A Venezuelan family from the indigenous Wayuu tribe tries to start a motorcycle, in Castilletes, Colombia February 19, 2020. (REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez)A resolution to the goat disagreement would take at least one problem off the family’s long list, Ipuana said.”We need this problem to be mediated, to be resolved, to avoid conflict with the other family,” she said.The following day both families descended on the Sapuanas’ homestead to shake on a deal: any further dispute between them would result in the aggressor owing the other family 50 goats or sheep. They sealed the agreement with shots of burning chirrinche liquor.A reconciliation is a best-case scenario, but there is no shortage of disputes.Uribia, where the population of 205,000 is 95% Wayuu, has had at least 38 cases of land conflicts to date involving people returning from Venezuela, said Henriquez.Because the local government has limited power in Wayuu territory, that may not be an accurate representation of the frequency of disputes, he added.”There are lots of cases where the family uses a pütchipü’ü and it’s solved based on custom.”  Topics : In the sun-baked scrubland of northern Colombia’s remote La Guajira province, a bitter quarrel rages between two neighboring Wayuu indigenous families, one of them seeking refuge from a humanitarian crisis across the border in Venezuela.Their feud was sparked by goats. Without fences to stop them, their herds mingle amid the low bushes between the two homesteads, whipped by a hot and dusty desert wind here in ancestral Wayuu territory.One family, the Ipuana Montiers – who recently arrived from Venezuela, fleeing shortages of food and medicine – say they have lost 50 goats to the herd belonging to their more established neighbors, the Ipuana, who count local leaders among their ranks.center_img Such conflicts over land, water, and animals are increasingly common as Venezuela spirals into disaster and thousands of indigenous Wayuu who once left their Colombian homes for Venezuela return. The influx is testing the limits of tribal unity, according to Wayuu police and tribal mediators, known as pütchipü’üs.A pair of goats from a flock belonging to a Venezuelan indigenous family from the Wayuu tribe, fight in the middle of the desert, in Castilletes, Colombia February 20, 2020. (REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez)In a dark greenhouse with plastic siding at the end of a long, rutted dirt track, Rangel Ipuana – a pütchipü’ü who is the patriarch of the Ipuana clan – says he wants to avoid conflict, but many of the returnees from Venezuela have forgotten the Wayuu way of life.”Families are returning to where their grandparents lived and there’s been so much conflict and theft because they don’t know how to manage the land,” said the 72-year-old.last_img read more

Giving a Push to Energy Transition at Offshore Energy 2019

first_imgIs the energy transition moving fast enough? Not yet. We can gain pace and we need to. Creating the opportunity to discuss collaboration, showcasing the necessary innovations, and learning from each other is what Offshore Energy set out to do this year.Combining oil, gas, marine energy, and offshore wind at one event, Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) owned the theme: Home of Energy Transition.After three days of doing business, networking, celebrating innovation, and making new collaborations, Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference has closed its doors for this year. The event brought together over 550 exhibitors and partners and over 10,000 visitors in the Amsterdam RAI.Trade missions visited from Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They shopped around and were introduced to various companies.The conference and side events attracted many (international) delegates.“During the conference I got to learn about the energy transition developments in the North Sea and in the world. I also listened to different scenarios and found out where opportunities lie for my company. It was very beneficial,” said a visitor of the conference.Energy Plaza was buzzingEnergy Plaza was a new feature to the Offshore Energy Concept and housed the Conference Dome, The Stage, Experience Zone, The Studio, Startup Zone and the exclusive Premium Lounge.“This edition of OEEC proved again the importance of bringing people from the industry together to collaborate. Especially when it comes to the energy transition we need to learn from each other,” says Coert van Zijll Langhout, director Navingo BV, organizer of OEEC.The next Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference takes place on 26, 27 and 28 October 2020.last_img read more

Fernandes poses with Man Utd contract after sealing £68m move from Sporting

first_img The 25-year-old midfielder could be available to make his debut against Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday before United take a 16-day winter break that includes a warm-weather training camp in Marbella. Loading… Bruno Fernandes has been pictured in Manchester United kit for the first time as he prepared to sign a four-and-a-half year contract to complete his £68m transfer. The Portugal international has been at United’s AON Training Complex on Thursday to undergo a medical and complete formalities. Bruno Fernandes has been pictured in Manchester United kit for the first time as he prepares to put pen to paper and complete his £68million move from Sporting Lisbon The picture, which sees Fernandes wearing a red United tracksuit top, was posted on the Instagram account of his agent Miguel Pinho. It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for the midfielder who was in Portugal on Wednesday trying to finalise an exit from Sporting Lisbon. Fernandes jumped on a flight to Manchester as soon as United and Sporting Lisbon had put the final touches to the transfer that will cost the Premier League club an initial £46.6m plus up to £21.2m in add-ons. He spent Wednesday night at The Lowry Hotel after landing in England. It’s understood that the add-ons include a £4.2m payment to Sporting if United qualify for the Champions League, another £4.2m based on Fernandes’ appearances for the club and a separate £12.6m if individual targets are met. Read Also: Bruno Fernandes arrives Carrington for Man Utd medical The club officially confirmed on Wednesday that terms had been agreed with Sporting, who once sold Cristiano Ronaldo to United for £12.24m, and manager Ole Gunnar welcomed news that the protracted transfer was close to completion. ‘I’m delighted we’ve agreed,’ said Solskjaer. ‘There have been good negotiations with Sporting and we know, through history, these two clubs have been good with each other. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread ArtA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?10 Actors Who Are Happy With The Type Of Roles They Got Hired ForThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show YouA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayTop 10 TV Friends Who Used To Be Enemieslast_img read more

Duterte to visit Russia next month

first_imgThe President also extended his gratitude forRussia for its timely delivery of weapons and other equipment which helpeddefeat the Islamic State-linked militants in Marawi./PN “Ang sabiniya ay inimbitahan siya ni Russian President at tinanggap na niya. Ia-announce niya na lang kung ano ang mangyayari doon,”Panelo added. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo saidDuterte accepted Putin’s invitation to visit Moscow on the first week ofOctober. President Rodrigo Duterte first visited Russia on May 2017 but he was forced to return home due to the deadly clashes between government troops and Islamic State-linked militants in Marawi City. MALACAÑANG PHOTO MANILA – After his first state visit was cutshort two years ago, President Rodrigo Duterte is set to return to Russia earlynext month after President Vladimir Putin invited him.    center_img “When you visit a country other than yours, itmeans you are trying to improve the relations. It could mean further improvedrelations between the two countries,” he said. Duterte first visited Russia on May 2017 buthe was forced to return home due to the deadly clashes between governmenttroops and Islamic State-linked militants in Marawi City.  Duterte revitalized the country’s economic anddefense relations with Russia as he deplored the interference from otherwestern powers on local affairs.last_img read more