Surfing is Changing the World

Fellow citizens of planet earth, it is with the greatest pleasure and the purest joy that I share the latest news and updates from Unravel Travel Surf Outreach with you!

To those that do not speak this English Dialect, my sincerest apologies, I honestly wish I could write in all languages simultaneously. To those species that have no need to speak, I trust that you will understand none the less. And, before I forget, a very special “Thank You” to the group of dolphins that surfed with us the other morning. You really made my day! I just wish we could communicate better so that I can call you next time we go surfing. I would love to surf with you all the time! You are all brilliant wave riders and I would love to watch and learn from you in every surf!

So here is a silent wish from me to you: May we meet again soon!

Without any further delay here are the latest headlines from Team Unravel Travel:

Team Unravel Travel (left to right: Reinder, Hermann & Jenya)

Outreach Surfing Lessons on the 16th of December 2010 CANCELLED

The Unravel Travel Team was eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Surfer Kids on a cloudy morning in Still Bay. We spent several hours over the course of the previous few days repairing old wetsuits riddled with holes. We were very excited to see the kids surf in these!

It was Day 6 of the Unravel Travel December Surf Camp and with us were our second group of the week. One of our guests had just flown in from England a few days prior and was having a great time surfing with us!

At 11.00am we received a very disappointing call. The Outreach Surfing Lessons are cancelled. To make a long story short this was why it happened: We knew beforehand that we could not afford the petrol costs involved in picking up The Surfer Kids. Therefore we agreed with the School Principal, who eagerly volunteered himself, that he would bring them through to Still Bay for the day. However, as fate would have it, he had to cancel because he later realised that he had other serious commitments on that day. He gathered the parents and together they agreed to drive the kids themselves.

On the 16th it rained. One can surf quite comfortably in the rain, and it would have suited us just fine as the shallows would have been empty of holiday bathers and we would have had all the space in the world to work with the kids.

But, as a parent, one cannot enjoy a fun family day at the beach in the rain. And it is entirely understandable that, as a parent, you would not sacrifice valuable resources if it is not to the benefit of the whole family. Especially if you cannot really afford it anyway.

Simply put, that particular outreach day was cancelled because of a lack of resources.

New Date confirmed for the 8th of January 2011 – A HUGE SUCCESS!

Upon our return we went to see the Principal to re-schedule for another date. We were afraid that the gap between surf lessons would become to big, as the last successful lessons were on the 20th November 2010 (Can you Remember the 20th of November?)

Maybe the gap was already too big? Would they remember how to surf? Will they make any progress at all?

We agreed on a date: 8th of January 2011. Unfortunately one of the kids were sick that week, but, seeing as we have a waiting list of 36 names and we can only take four at a time, we had no trouble finding a replacement!

We were also very blessed to receive the eager help of a new friend of ours. When I called Werner and explained the situation he was very keen to help. Werner has been involved with similar surf lessons before and his experience really showed. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for helping us and also for giving me the opportunity to learn from him.

I also want to thank him for letting us use his water camera! Jenya had a lot of fun exploring this new photographic angle! (See below for some awesome pics!)

The 8th off January was another huge success and the photos really do speak for themselves. Now we have two Outreach Surfing Lessons under our belt. The parents also trust us a lot more now and some of them also want to surf!

Our fears regarding the gap between Outreach Surf Lesson were completely unfounded. Not only did The Surfer Kids remember how to surf, they showed remarkable improvement! It can only be because they had spent a month and a half dreaming about surfing!

Local Surfer Showcase with PHOTO & VIDEO

We organised a Surfer Showcase at the local primary school. All the parents (especially those who were unable to join us at the beach) were shown the best photo and video footage from both Outreach Days. Off course The Surfer Kids and their friends also joined us and there was one or two grandparents there too!

After the Showcase we had a little surprise for the Principal and our one of the parents who has volunteered to be our Local Outreach Surf Lesson Coordinator. I wont say anything about it here either until after the event, as I am very reluctant to talk about things that may not actually happen the way I want them to. But suffice it to say that the surprise involved a web cam and Skype, something they have never used.


We have selected a date for our next Outreach Surfing Lessons somewhere around the end of January and we are waiting for confirmation from everyone involved. This will be the last preparation before the kids join us during Our Russian Surf Camp in February. But more than that I cannot divulge, because, like I said, things do not always happen the way we want them to.

The BIGGER Picture

Someone recently asked me, with regard to these Outreach Surfing Lessons: “What is the bigger picture?”

First of all let me say that the bigger picture is out there on this website but I do not expect anyone, except for our die-hard fans, to find it there. The reason being that our website, like all Great Works, go through certain phases of complexity:

First there is always the beginning. From there onwards everything about The Work becomes increasingly complex as the artist searches for meaning and truth. Finding little pieces of it hidden here and there. At some point The Work will look chaotic as the little scattered pieces of truth and meaning are thrown about like confetti at a wedding. But hidden within the confusion, like a butterfly within a cocoon, lies a simple and yet very profound truth. If the artist can persist in their quest to find the road to truth, love, beauty, peace and ultimately happiness, they will emerge as the butterfly eventually does. At that point The Work will be reduced. It will go from being chaotic to being the artist’s own expression of a simple and profound truth. A truth that we all ultimately share.

A truth that is born from something that the mind will want to call chaos.

We are now in the process of reduction. Soon our website will be a lot simpler and the bigger picture will be a lot more obvious.

But until that happens here is a ‘heads up’ for those that follow the blog:

Surfing is great fun! This is one of the reasons I still go back into the water again and again after 20 years of surfing. But there is a bigger picture behind the fun we are having with The Surfer Kids. The idea behind these lessons is continuous development, and not just meaningless entertainment.

That is why you will notice that, on the 8th of January, we took the same kids from last time. We do not want to take four different kids every time. (Although we would take all 36 kids at the same time if we had the means to do so!)

The bigger picture here is to give these kids the opportunity to become surfers, if they want to. The idea is that one day they can take over from us and do the organisation of future Unravel Travel Adventure Surf Camps & Trips. Whether it is as surf coaches, organisers or whatever else, we want to give them (and ultimately many others) the option of being able to do what we now enjoy doing: Organising and participating in Adventure Surf Camps & Trips

Some people take their own life very seriously. They are like grown up kids on a ride in an amusement park. To them the ride, their seat and the safety belt that keeps them falling to the ground, all seems real. They grew up on the ride and have been convinced of its absolute existence. They have grown into adults who have forgotten that this ride, what they may refer to as “my life”, is actually just a ride in an amusement park. One of many. It goes up and down and up and down. And one day it will come to an end.

But LIFE, all of life, is not just a ride in an amusement park. There is a bigger picture. There is a world outside the gates of the amusement park. A world that is in serious need of ALL our help. A world that will perish unless we start taking notice of its needs.

There are many issues in the world today. We all know that. Our Outreach Surfing Lessons alone will not save the world.

Mankind’s collective and undivided attention to the needs of ALL other life will save the world.

That is the bigger picture. Believe you me, it is bigger than all of us.


All photographs by Jenya Zhivaleva

Unravel Travel Surf Adventures

Surf Lessons

Surf Camps & Surf Trips

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