Saturday, February 26, 2011

our own seperate ways...

Today i was informed that there would be a portion of our trip that we would  all be having an adventure of our own. We would each spend around six week away from each other, on a little trip of self searching. i would, obviously, be going to school and living with someone else, like an exchange student program. michael will travel up to around Rio de Janeiro and permaculture the shit out of himself.  and my mom will probably find some midwifey thing to go do, or work on someone's farm. i was kinda scared at the thought of this - and then i was like "wait- i'm gonna be so sick of pilar and michael, that i'll happily spend six weeks away!' i mean, six weeks away sounds nice even now! i just hope that while i'm living in someone's home that teenage rebellion doesn't get the best of me :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

112 days and counting!!!

When we first started this idea of WWOOFing there was a response of mixed reactions. Quite a few people we know have done it, most of their stories were positive and some not-so-much. Michael and I were aware that our situation might be a bit different since we are traveling with Xylia, as opposed to just the 2 of us. Our needs maybe a little more specific, safety, security, comforts, etc. We also were warned that communication with said farms may not be easy...they may or may not respond to your emails, leaving you with many questions. The site we found has seem to eliminate that.
Contrary to what we were anticipating, we've had such a positive response from people in South America. We have begun the process of reaching our to farms, or other properties we are interested in volunteering with. Some ...ok all of them are so inviting, I wanted to share a few of the places we will be visiting!
neverland farm
Meet Neverland Farm...located in Villacamba Ecuador. They are a biodynamic farm and sustainable living center. It is a pack-it-in, pack-it-out kind of place...but they have a burro that will come and help (awesome!), and we are tickled that there is a bicycle washing machine (super awesome!!!).

Escuela Minga

this is Escuela's an organization that helps to support school children in the rural highlands of the Ecuadorian Andes. We can all help with the children in english, math, or whatever is needed. They have their first graduating class of high school-ers this year!

just sharing 2 for now...but we also have plans to stay and work at an ashram in Quito when we first arrive, and another Bhakti farm - permaculture center called  Saraswati Ahimsa Vana...this place is the Amazonian basin, jungle paradise!

Ahhh...just South American dreams for now...counting down the days!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who knows

I'd been lamenting (bitching and moaning) about how much IT work I've had of late and the commute involved, and how I'd rather be working on the cob project in Laguna. But my buddy Gordon reminded me that, soon enough, I'll be a Hunter-Gather. INDEED! I hadn't thought of our coming adventure in such terms, but, soon enough, each day will only be about ensuring the safety of my family: having food for the day and shelter by night.

At home we've talked so much about the transformation and personal discoveries that this trip will explore. And, always, we conclude with: "who knows, who or what we'll be". Will we love traveling, return and plan the next adventure? Will it be upsetting and we'll race back to settle down? Will it really last a year? Will we come back at all? Who knows. And what about the harsh realities of ranch and farm work; will we hate the toil and the calluses, or embrace each dawn with the roosters? I really don't know. That's what's exciting. Because all I want to know is that we're going and our only goal is to challenge ourselves and find out.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

lighten up

There is a fact I know about caterpillars and butterflies; when the caterpillar enters the chrysalis phase, instead of just sprouting wings to become the butterfly, it actually completely dismantles and deconstructs itself, becoming complete mush, without form. Then when it's ready, it re-configures itself into its new butterfly form, from there breaking out of its cocoon stage and taking wing upon the breeze. I love this idea. Does the caterpillar know what it's releasing when it enters its cocoon? Is it afraid? Is it painful? Does it know its destiny is to become an air bound butterfly, from an earth bound crawler? If this is true for the caterpillar and butterfly is it true for me as well? Should I be afraid of such change? Change is inevitable, and the only constant in our universe. Do I fear the cocoon or the butterfly? Or am I resentful of the caterpillar? Or better yet...can I let go and trust the process?  

So the phrase or idea that has been with me  for most of the week is "lighten up". I have found this phrase whispered in my thoughts upon many occasions. Lighten up my thoughts, lighten up my body, lighten up my belongings....basically LET GO! I have always thought my self as progressive thinking, open minded woman. And, I probably genuinely am, however lately I have been met with fear and resistance. Diving in head first in the deep end seems to the only way I know how to enter these situations... good thing I've always been a strong swimmer. Yesterday I cleared out the shed, a daunting task that consumed my whole Saturday. What is stored in the shed are boxes of memories and things I have been carrying around for way too long. I generated 10 boxes of give-a-ways, 2 boxes of recyclables, 2 boxes of trash, 1 box for shredding. I condensed a total of 21 boxes into 6 (and could probably reduce that)!

As I look around my life and my house and I notice what I have been holding on to, what has been attracted to me, I wonder now what purpose it all serves. Is it stability that I crave in my environment, or can I find enough of that within? Is it beauty that I crave in my external surroundings, or can I be beautiful enough inside? Can I find happiness with out these "things" to carry around? I guess I'll find out. It's not an ascetic life I crave, just a lighter one. I think about the extra weight I've been carrying, or the heavy disciplines and I know they are all connected. If I can release one I can release two, and eventually them all. So as I dismantle my house and my life into an unrecognizable form... I wont fear the butterfly.
                                                    south american glass wing butterfly