Miho Aida, who calls herself an environmental educator but is more of an environmental ambassador, was our featured speaker at GirlsInnovate’s annual fall brunch this past Sunday at the Redwood City library. Those of us who attended were truly inspired.
Miho showcased photos, film and storytelling about women all over the world who are profoundly connected to the beauty of our land and oceans, and experience the pure joy such connection brings. Her mission is to empower girls to think ‘If She Can Do It, I Can Too.’ In her very authentic and genuine voice, Miho spoke of herself and others who make their living in the service of their passion for the outdoors or who work tirelessly to preserve the sacredness of the land where they live, as do the indigenous Gwich’in women living in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge who are featured in Miho’s documentary.
Miho digs deep for ancient wisdom that imbues the outdoorsy women and girls she actively seeks during her travels. She listens so thoroughly that the stories she tells have clearly become her own. She has traveled to Nepal, Patagonia, Chile, Japan, Tanzania, Kenya and Alaska with enormous faith in both serendipity as well as the kindness of strangers to listen deeply to, and become one of, the abalone divers in Japan and the women sherpas who climb Mount Everest, and the Gwich’in girls who beautifully declare themselves to be the future. Miho conveys a passion that equals that of the women stewards of the lands she has visited. She circles back to communities throughout the U.S. to share these remarkable stories.
In answering questions from the GirlsInnovate audience about how she is able to trust people when she sets off with little money and not much advanced planning beyond a destination, we were all interested to hear Miho say that she feels safe because she trusts her own instincts and her instincts are good because of the time she spends in nature. We hope to hear more from Miho about this in the future. In the meantime, check out more of her message and mission of “If She Can Do It, You Can Too: Empowering Women Through Outdoor Role Models,” on her website at www.mihoaida.com.