The Central American Sea Kayak Expedition 2000 - Ultimate Adventure


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CASKE 2000
Expedition leader: Jean-Philippe Soulé

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Self Introduction:  

Born in France, I spent 2 years in the elite French Mountain Commando unit. In addition to commando training, I operated in mountain rescue under extreme conditions and received the medal of the national defense for excellence in leadership. After leaving the army and France, I landed in the States with a backpack and $200. I settled in Seattle and worked at Microsoft as a team manager. I used my 5 years there constructively. I trained as a rafting guide, and I am currently a PADI scuba instructor, Medic first aid and CPR instructor, a licensed pilot and a certified massage therapist. However, the wilderness kept calling me back so I quit Microsoft, and left for Asia. I spent a month in Thailand with Aka and Lissu tribes, and two months learning Thai and Chinese massage techniques and medicinal plants. I moved on to Indonesia, spent a few months acclimating and learning the language. In Irian Jaya, I discovered a world I had only dreamt about since I was a child. The jungle, with its insects, parasites, humidity and malarial fevers can be a living hell. Yet the combination of life, energy and spirits is unrivaled. After hearing that the Mentawai tribes mastered the secrets of poison and black magic I went to Siberut without a guide as Mentawais do not like other Indonesians. Most people didn't speak the national language, but outside of the cities, words become secondary. Communication is done with instinct, gesture, and energy. During my months in the jungle, I had time to reflect on the way we live in the modern world and about the people we call primitive. They live happy in harmony with the nature they preserve. They know by instinct what takes us a life time to learn. I'm also an experienced photographer and have recently written the cover story in Wilderness Way magazine regarding my travels in Irian Jaya. After three years planning my next expedition while teaching English in Japan, I'm finally ready for the ultimate challenge of kayaking the shores and rivers of Central America and returning to the jungle to once again share the lifestyles of indigenous people.

A summary of the experience and skills that I have to successfully lead this expedition are as follow:

Travel: Europe, North America, North Africa, South and South East Asia. One year of experience living in the jungle with Mentawai medicine men and other tribes in Indonesia and Thailand.

Languages: French, English, Japanese, Indonesian, Spanish (currently learning).

Sports: Scuba diving (PADI MSDT instructor), Mountain climbing (numerous expeditions: Europe, North America, Nepal), Kayaking, Sailing, Power Kiting (use on land, snow and water), Cross-country skiing (ultra marathon races), Cycling (96 stage winner in Tour de Hokkaido, Japan), Spelunking, Canyoning, Orienteering, etc.

Rescue, First Aid and Survival: 2 years in mountain rescue, Medic first Aid and CPR instructor, Licensed Massage Therapist (WA State and Thailand), Mountain (Solo and team) and jungle (Solo) expeditions as well as experience and great interest in "primitive" (natural living) skills.

Use of Media: Experienced photographer. Enjoy writing and sharing travel stories (recently published the cover story in Wilderness Way magazine). Good computer experience (4+ years at Microsoft managing a publishing and localization team). Interest in video and other new media (Internet, DVD, CD-ROM, etc.).

Read Jean-Philippe's journal          View Expeditions Photos of Jean-Philippe

Read Genesis of a Friendship (how J-Philippe and Luke met), a story by Luke.

Our book is currently being edited and is pending publication.
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