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Winter project on Olkhon Island

Second GBT winter project – «Ice-bound Island» took place on Olkhon island from 1st till 10th of March 2017. A team was consisted of 11 participants from Irkutsk, Angarsk, Usolje-Sibirskoje, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Germany, USA, China and France.

Goal of the project was to help with:

- organization of music festival «Blue ice»,
- reorganization of space inside a music school in Khuzhir village,
- designing an entrance sign for Pribaikalsky National Park, that would be placed on Olkhon island.

The festival had a great success, volunteers enjoyed excellent piano playing, appreciated talents of Khuzhir schoolers, got to know with a remarkable group «Ethnobit» and the most astonishing instrument – thereminvox, performed by Olesya Rostovskaya.

Results of work in the music school: two internal walls were demolished to create a new space for an art class and a kitchen; all gears were removed from an old barn, that would be destroyed in future; a stove was cleared from a lay of stucco for its future modification; about 1,5 cubic meters of firewood were chopped; glass and plastic garbage was collected and put into separate waste collection bins.

At the beginning of the project, before arrival on Olkhon island, volunteers visited the office of «Western Baikal Protected Areas» (Zapovednoye Pribaykalye), where they listen to the information about history and peculiarities of the territory, and received a task to create a design of an entrance sign. After four brainstorms volunteers created a dozen design options that was sent to representatives of «Western Baikal Protected Areas».

In the end, volunteers attended a local school in Khuzhir, and hold an eco-education lesson about sustainable development for 17 children of the 7th grade.

Besides work the group, of course, had a rest! On the first day of the project participants visited Listvyanka settlement, had excursion in the Baikal limnological museum and climbed to an observation point – «Cherskiy Stone».

The highlight of the program on Olkhon was an excursion to Khoboy cape. Because of high level of precipitation in the winter crystal transparent ice was under snow, but volunteers enjoyed spectacular and endless ice hummocks. They went ice-skating close to famous Shamanka rock, ridden bicycles on the ice, walked along Saraisky beach, enjoyed concerts at Nikita Bencharov guests house, where the group lived, they went to a Russian sauna (banya), played in a plenty of board games. To sum it up, there was a pleasant time!

We thank volunteers for their hard work and excellent team and atmosphere!