Thursday, February 19, 2015

School in session

Update #3

Some of you have been waiting for the new blog and It's not for a lack of things to talk about that I've been waiting, I simply haven't felt like writing. We lost the use of our camera (phone) we brought with us and until it's replaced we will have to rely on the borrowing of friends cameras (thank you to Tom for loaning us his iPhone for the time being).

Things are up and down for me out here...

I came here on intuition which means that I have no clue what the next day will bring or how any of it fits together. It's within me to give my life meaning and it is within me to find joy or sorrow in that meaning. I must admit that on the days where I perceive little has been accomplished, I worry that maybe my intuition is broken and I must "do something" to correct it...

My senses are bombarded when I look at the huge sky and multicolored flowers everywhere, my ears strain to translate this beautiful language and I feel exhausted after only a couple hours of interacting with my supremely positive housemates. If another person were to share these insights with me I would shout "What a high-quality problem you have!", in the experiencing of it I must admit I struggle to take it all in.

The school house

A few days ago Christina and I said yes to helping out at a school house being prepared and the word "painting" was used in an unexpected way. We arrived early in the morning with Rebecca and were handed two bags and a shovel. Confused but eager, we followed our host down a path to a hole behind a barbed-wire fence. There was nothing but rocks and red clay on the other side and we were instructed to dig up the clay and put it in the bag... Fresh with morning energy I attacked the clay only to find it had rained the day before and it was hard to get a foothold. Whenever I took a step, I sunk my shoes deeper and deeper into the muck. I would not be undone- I filled my bag about half way before I checked for weight... OMG! This half-full bag must have weighed about 100lbs and I could only move it a couple steps before I had to drop it.

 I finally got it through the barbed-wire fence, I he-manned it the rest of the way over my head and with only 20 minutes into our adventure I was covered head to toe in muck and leaking sweat like I had just gone for a jog in saran wrap! The "painting" part came soon after- the red clay was mixed with sand and water to form some kind of plaster and we applied it with our hands to the outside of the school walls. I learned a few things about natural clay that day and a little something about mental preparation :)

I think this is a good time to temper the ass whooping I received at the school with what brings me joy every single day and that's the animals around the house. Two of the housemates, Tom and Danielle, came with animals- two puppies and a kitten to be exact (Inti, Qechu and Scree)! The puppies spend most of their time sleeping but wake up just long enough to eat and fight each other like two drunk babies. The kitten on the other hand is mostly a blur but stops long enough to headbutt your leg if you have any food.

We received a visitor a few days ago when a tall, skinny Frenchman showed up at our door and asked to stay. He had just come out of the jungle where he spent 6 weeks following a strict dieta and he was dizzy and confused. Nobody was quite sure how he found his way to us but strange occurrences are the norm here. This interesting tri-lingual (French, English, Spanish) fellow peaked my curiosity so I inquired as to what he was doing in the jungle and how he arrived in this place (there seems to be a common thread when you listen to how we all found each other).

 Alexandre explained that he felt compelled to leave France to explore different parts of the world learning about permaculture. He has a passion for inner knowing that was cultivated through Vipassanā meditation techniques. When he first came to Peru, a close friend took him to an Ayahuasca ceremony and he's been following the instructions of a Shaman since then. He isn't allowed to shower in cold water or walk in the rain right now and he arrived with cockroaches falling out of his bags. This "jungle hobo" has showed us how to improve our Aquaponics system and he makes the most interesting food stuffs out of foraged plants from the  neighborhood.

San Roque

Future Aquaponics station in San Roque
This week, there was a trip to the jungle town of San Roque, where Dave is in talks with the mayor and believes this is the perfect spot to implement his master plan. Utilizing the water surrounding the town to bring hydro-electric power to the town for free while creating a giant aquaponics system (this is already partially completed). Implementing a better recycling program that entices the locals to exchange their waste for "credits" that can be used to buy things locally, he then takes the bio-waste to create a rich, fertile soil called Bokashi and non bio-waste gets packed into plastic bottles that are then used as bricks for building... FULL recycling.

 The reason he picked this town is because the fresh water that runs down the mountain side is the head water supply not just for this town but continues all the way to where we are in Tarapoto. Dave would like San Roque to be a shining example of what is possible in the new paradigm and this is just the beginning!

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