Que te rinda

Que te rinda

This has been another difficult piece to write. I feel that recent experiences and ensuing writing, although challenging, are teaching me a new way to accept, to respond and to be in my life. They feel essential right now as a means of creative expression. I don’t currently have my studio for painting but I have this canvas of experiences and this writing as a means of expression and I’m embracing the process and the possibilities for healing in it. It is easy to write about the things that bring joy and are fun and nourishing, they are invitations to co-celebrate, but there is a vulnerability and nakedness that comes with sharing experiences that are more challenging. I don’t have to like everything and everyone, but how do I talk about these challenges without blaming others for the experience. I have been fascinated by what it means to go through this process of self-responsibility: to face myself, in the face of challenge, and to see what it is that the experience is showing me.


After many hours spent watching movies for enjoyment and distraction I felt myself landing into waves of fear: I was sitting on the plane coming close to Bogotá, my first destination on my journey to Colombia. The reality of my journey was landing in my body and I was literally quaking at the un-sureness and instability I was feeling. I had been on the road for nine months visiting eco-communities and here I was heading to Colombia based on a heart calling and a leap of faith: that it is the right place for me and that my small budget will somehow be enough. But the small budget was becoming a big problem in my head. I was racing through impending costs: taxi to the hostel in the old town: estimated to be about €8, one night’s accommodation approximately €14, food for tomorrow: a few euros, transport to bus station and then a bus to the eco-community…. It would come to at least €30 for my first 24 hours. OK that’s not a crazy amount of money; it’s all very reasonable. But I have €1200 for 6 months… I was scribbling in a black notebook trying somehow to calm my nerves but the figure of €7 per day was causing my head to ache and my nerves to fray… this is what I had to live on….OK… What am I doing? What was I thinking? How the hell am I going to survive on that? What happens if there’s an emergency? What if I run out of money? What if the crowdfunding campaign stops? What if I sell no more paintings? How do I survive? I was having an existential crisis at 550km/hr in a 747, several kilometers up in the sky, somewhere south of Cartegena, Colombia.

Earlier that day at 3:30am in Dublin Airport I had arrived to check-in for my flight. A very serious young woman from Lufthansa greeted me as I handed my passport. She began to look more serious and asked: “where are you going?”. Colombia” I said. “Do you have a visa?” “I don’t need one.” Another woman was called over. Everything was checked. They asked for my itinerary …and finally told me that I need visa, as I planned to stay more than 3 months. I had a feeling of disbelief, and strangely, at the same time, a very clear feeling that this is not going to be an issue. I said: “Either I’ll be going into Ecuador and back so I can renew my visa or I can get a visa extension over there. I know others have done this so it’s possible.” I remember how tired I was. I was wondering had I missed some visa details? No, I’m absolutely sure I don’t need to get a visa but I actually considered the possibility of tearing off to the Colombian embassy in Dublin (if there was one) and getting a visa before my 5:55am flight. “Could you please talk to someone else and check this again?”. The serious woman went to talk to someone. I wobbled with tiredness. But as she walked away I felt myself drop down into my body, calling in for support for this journey and for this situation to be resolved smoothly. She came back then phoned someone else…’the someone else’ seemed to know their stuff and they overrode the system, and I could be checked in! I was on my way!

So here I was on the plane outside Bogotá worrying and wobbling and wondering what the hell was I was going to do. But I found some calm place in me again that said that it was all going to be OK. That all I needed to do for now was to get to my hostel and get some sleep and then I can take the next step. It took almost two hours to clear immigration get my bags and change a little money. I was beyond tired at this stage. Luckily I got a taxi easily, and the ride into the city was exhilarating… if car racing is your thing. I arrived at my hostel at 10pm local time, exhausted but very excited to be back in South America. I was greeted with a warm smiling night watchman and shown to my dorm. A quick search for PJs, toothpaste and soap, a grounding shower and into a sturdy comfy bunk bed with clean white sheets. I fell asleep smiling: “I’m in Colombia!” I slept like a baby.

The next morning I woke feeling calm and happy. I planned to go straight to my first Eco-Community: Aldea Feliz that afternoon but wanted to get a little taste of Bogotá before getting the bus. I got up and had breakfast walked around the old city checking out some exhibitions and a coffee stop and had time to take a great free walking tour which introduced me to the turbulent and often violent history of the country: colonisation, division, suppression of culture, coffee cartels, drug cartels, uprising, FARC, La violencia, more suppression and of course Pablo Escobar, and in recent years: a peace treaty between the government and the FARC. I also got a sense of the wealth of tradition and the diversity of climate, culture and peoples. I was getting a sense of why I had been drawn here: the passion of these people and the transformation that was taking place after so many years of violence: there was a sense of burgeoning possibilities and a real fire in the belly of the country. I got to taste local fruits, chicha, mate de coca and enjoyed just being a tourist as I lapped up information about this place that called to me so strongly. I revelled in being reminded of the tastes and flavours of South America; this part of the world is like heaven for me: the taste of the fruits remained me of my many months in Guatemala between 2008 and 2010, the chicha (a traditional fermented drink made from corn) reminded me of my time in Ecuador with the Indigenous communities in the rainforest when I went with the Pachamama Alliance in 2013 and the taste of mate de coca reminded me of the first time I stepped foot in South America in 1999 when I landed in Cuzco Peru and was suffering from the effects of the altitude. I remember drinking this mate de coca (an infusion of Coca leaves that helps with altitude sickness) in a little cafe in Cuzco in awe of the feeling of ‘home’ I felt in this land. I have been enchanted since that first step. A home where it makes no sense as I tower over the locals and stick out like a big white sore thumb, but my heart resonates with this land.

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A street in Candelaria: the old town, Bogatá

In the afternoon I gathered my belongings and headed to the bus station. I was on my way to my first Colombian Eco-village! On researching my journey to Colombia, the Global Eco-village network (GEN) had put me in contact with GEN Colombia, CASA Colombia, CASA Latina and Carlos an architect and one of the founders of Aldea Feliz. He had written to invite me to visit the community and we had been emailing over the preceding months about my plans. I was looking forward to this visit: to learning about how he worked with bamboo to create beautiful sacred structures for communities. I was nervous however when, after arranging an arrival date, he let me know that he would not be there when I arrived but assured me that someone would be waiting for me.

After some confusing communication (due to my rusty Spanish) I finally got a bus to a diverted destination as my scheduled bus had left and hour early than timetabled, and I got a local colectivo (a shared jeep) to the entrance road of the community. I walked in the pitch dark, with my rucksack, up a hill with a pack of seven vigilant (but oh so very cute as it turned out) dogs barking around me, proud of myself for having had my headlight prepared in an outside pocket. I arrived to a large circular covered space with some lights on behind; I walked to the light and happened on some children watching TV. They pointed me to the kitchen where Jose kindly welcomed me. He asked who I was and if I had written to the community. He had not been expecting me. As it turned out no one had known I was arriving. OK, one step at a time. I got a bed in a dorm sharing with a friendly Uruguayan man and decided that things would get better after I slept. So I unpacked a bit and slept… a little less easily for my second night.

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Aldea Feliz

So on my first morning at an, ‘eat whatever you can find’, breakfast I met a few of the community: Arturo, Andres and some more of the kids. Jose asked if I wanted to hike to a waterfall as he and Severino, my roommate and fellow volunteer, were heading there. I said yes and asked when we would leave: “aurita”. This means now-ish in Colombia, but can mean anything up to an hour or maybe never. On this occasion Jose really meant now! So I gulped down breakfast and put on my boots, slapped on some sun cream and shoved a bunch of bananas and a water bottle in a bag. We hiked uphill for three hours to “Chorro del Plata”. I was grateful to be moving, to be outdoors, to be in the countryside, to be seeing the green divine lushness of this land and wow was I grateful when I finally got under that waterfall; it felt like my baptism into Colombia! What a blessing for my first day in Aldea Feliz.

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Hiking to Chorro del Plata

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Chorro del plata

People in the community were generally friendly but my first few days were confusing: it was unclear what it was that I should do as no one knew about the work I would do for Carlos or what this arrangement was. Carlos’s invitation was: to come and help him with some of his building projects, to join in some of the Minga’s (group building events) that were to be building Malocca’s or Cosmuy (thinking houses) in different communities and to learn bamboo construction. While waiting for the return of the mysterious Carlos I helped out with some daily tasks and got to know the river and the site.

Eco-villages are called Ecoaldea’s in Latin America, Aldea is an old word for a village. It’s seldom used but has been rejuvenated now in the eco-village movement. So Aldea Feliz means ‘the happy village’ and it is located about 2 hours outside of Bogotá. It was created 11 years ago. Dedicated members lived in tents for up to seven years as they built their homes. Now there is a series of beautiful houses stretched over the hilly 3-hectare site which sits in a tropical climatic zone with average temperatures of 22degC.  The houses are sited on dramatic steep terraces and are surrounded by a mixture of native trees including a rare Colombian pine, banana, platano, papaya, maracuja (passion fruit), coffee, orange, lemon, lime, cha-cha frutta (a very big bean that grows in pods on a tree) and various kinds of palm, and the beautiful Rio Miguel flows along one side of the site. It really is a beautiful location.

About eighteen people are living on the site permanently including 8 children and these residents are called the Tortugas (Turtles). Up to about nine people have homes or rooms to stay in at weekends. They are part of the community and are called the Escarabajos (Beetles). Two lovely local women are employed to do cleaning, laundry for residents and some cooking during larger events, and there are a number of volunteers who pay the equivalent of about five euros /day to work there. The community makes money from courses that are held on the site including; EDE courses in non-violent communication, Forum, etc., some income is made from the sale of their site grown organic coffee but most of the community income comes from outside; with people working sporadically in Bogatá or locally. There are a few vegetable beds that had been cleared and replanted by my roommate, Severino in the preceding weeks, but other than the baby lettuce, tomatoes, rocket, cilantro, a few pumpkins, lots of oranges and limes and other random fruit trees, food is bought locally for the community. Services on the site include: electricity from the grid, water from the lake that is filtered and pumped and there is no need for heating in this climate; an extra blanket at night might be needed for chillier times. Most recent buildings are built from guadua (a large species of bamboo) Have I mentioned how excited I was to learn about building with this!

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‘Tree house’ in Aldea Feliz

Carlos, his family and their child-minders were back on Thursday morning. He introduced himself to me, it was obvious that he was tired and the community seemed stressed about an upcoming event so I didn’t pursue any questions straight away. A group of us met to organise tasks to prepare for the event and later in the day when things felt calmer I had a chance to talk to Carlos about our arrangement. He looked at me blankly and just said that I need to pay to be there as a volunteer. I asked about our emails and his invitation but he said that he had not agreed anything with me, that he had a student architect working for him and that he didn’t need any other help at the moment. I wasn’t sure what to say at first I was in disbelief: I felt annoyed, I felt let down and later I felt angry. I repeated that we had emailed and had agreed that I would work there, but he was adamant, there was no arrangement. I had thought I would stay for a month or two to learn and offer what I could and in the mean time research other communities and projects. Now the arrangement didn’t exist so I thought I would leave but and I needed some time to do some research and make other contacts. I slept badly that night.

The next day I talked to Carlos again and he was still adamant that we did not have an agreement. I felt utterly frustrated and wanted our agreement acknowledged… so I sent him some copies of our emails outlining his invitation and offer. I said I would stay for a few days to get my bearings and make other plans. I volunteered in the mornings and researched other locations in the afternoons and evenings. And wrote and spoke to friends for support. I felt let down and far from support, hitting core wounds of rejection and really feeling terrified about my financial situation. I was wobbling and not able to find that still place in me for a sense of calm. I needed to find another community: a place I could make an exchange. Finally a few days later Carlos looked at the emails. The penny dropped, and he recalled the agreement.

It was such a relief to have our agreement acknowledged. He said he would honour it, but qualified by saying that the minga’s (group construction events) had already happened and that I had arrived too late. I had asked him and verified that I would be there in time for the minga’s in August. There were no bamboo building projects and no projects working on his timber system. He said I could do some small drawing work for him as an exchange, it would be an extra few hours a day on top of general volunteering in exchange for two meals a day and dormitory accommodation. This is not what we had agreed but with not option at that time I thought it might be worth trying this arrangement while doing research and seeing if I could get a better taste for this community: so far the taste was a bit sour.

 So on an average weekday breakfast was around 8am: but it sometimes was at 7:15 and other times as late as 8:30am. It was never clear to me when it was going to be unless I was actually on the breakfast shift and putting the food out myself. Group meetings were to take place daily at around 9am before work to check-in and talk about tasks. This happened four times in the 3.5 weeks that I was there. Volunteers work on community activities for four hours each day: including preparing lunch and breakfast at least once a week (including during weekends) and other tasks included painting, gathering fruit, hauling fallen banana plants out of the lake, washing out water tanks, helping with water system leakages, weeding and general tidying. Lunch was around 1 or 1.30pm. Meals were mostly vegetarian. The afternoons were free for regular volunteers but I worked on architectural projects for a few hours each day. In the evenings the community prepared their own meals in their homes and the volunteers prepared their meals in the community kitchen. This kitchen was a rather magical place where cheese, eggs and coffee disappeared in the evenings when the volunteers were preparing their evening meal and magically reappear the next day.

 The event that we had been preparing for on the day that Carlos arrived back was really interesting: it was a visit from a local Bogotá University group who are wanting to implement sustainable systems in their teaching. The head of the university is a passionate and inspiring man open to creating a new vision for the school. Its was great to get the official tour of the eco-village and get some background information and to see the eco-village offering an inspiring few days for the group: including dancing around the fire, telling stories and drinking chicha. Another very interesting day was when a group gathered to discuss how eco-villages could be places for re-integration for ex-FARC members.  Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia is the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was a guerrilla movement that was involved in the Colombian armed conflict since 1962. In June 2016, the FARC signed a ceasefire accord with the President of Colombia. This accord was seen as a historic step to ending the war that went on for fifty years. On 25 August 2016, the president announced that after four years of negotiations a peace deal had been secured. A national referendum was called that October but it failed to pass the accord with 50.24% voting against it.  On November 24 2016 the Colombian government and the FARC signed a revised peace deal, which was approved by congress. And on the 27th June 2017 the FARC ceased to be an armed group; they disarmed and handed their weapons over to the UN. Many of the FARC members were minors and these ex-members are seeking to reintegrate into society. The premise of the meeting was that Eco-villages could provide a structured environment for their re-integration.And another inspiring project that was underway was to reconstruct an old building to house the processing and packaging of coffee by local coffee growers. Aldea Feliz was providing the site and the growers were organising the building and arrangement of the coffee processing. It is a beautiful example of sharing and co-creating in the greater community.These projects are so inspiring and they filled me with passion for the healing potential of eco-villages in all sectors of society. 

As part of the reintegration meeting I met Stefan the founder of Fundación Viracocha further south in Colombia in San Agustín. I had been in contact with them and was interested in going there to volunteer for a few weeks. I was happy to be getting my bearings and a sense of my options. I was working on a few projects making image boards and some basic drawings for a local house alteration. I found that I was feeling exhausted with the work and found it difficult to focus due to my disappointment at not getting to work with natural materials. I enjoyed connecting with the community although it wasn’t all that easy, the language was a factor but also there was getting a sense of some unease in amongst them. I did make lovely connections with the other volunteers including two wonderful Colombian women Mar and Juanita, and along with Severino and Mar’s dog Lucky we were a sweet little family unit in our dorm. And I enjoyed spending time by the river, playing football with the community one Friday and a chance to play tejo. Tejo is a very traditional Colombian game including handheld lead weights that are thrown at a clay pit with a metal ring in the centre and triangular pouches of gunpowder set on top. The aim of course is to hit the triangles of gunpowder… where else would you get a chance to play a game like this? 

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Our dorm: its known as the Almacen or shop – as it was originally designed to be that. But this also sounds like Alma Zen… which means Zen Soul 🙂

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Rio Miguel: a place for meditation and contemplation

As time went by I was meditating and dancing to ground each morning but I felt really uneasy in the community. And when my fellow volunteers left I felt more isolated and began to wonder whay I was staying. I got the feeling that the community was going through some sort of change, my sense was that there was an unease in the group living there: in the general lack of structure and the assumption that things probably won’t happen when they are arranged: the ‘regular morning meetings regularly didn’t happen and there was confusion about who was in charge. Carlos was referred to as ‘the leader‘ but I didn’t understand how a leader fit into a sociocratic system. Sociocracy is a system of collaborative governance based on distributed leadership and one of the basic principles of which is that decision-making is made by consent, not by a leader. The general inconsistency and lack of communication was getting to me. At first I thought this was ‘the Colombian way’ and that I really would have to get a whole lot better as accepting chaos, Colombians can be very relaxed about time but I learned since that they are warm and wonderful communicators and do honour their word, in general: not so different to the Irish to be honest. 

So, I was working on a number of drawings for a project to be finished ‘urgently’, when Carlos and his family went for the weekend: they left on Saturday and would be back on Sunday. They were not back on Sunday or Monday and by Tuesday I still needed input to finish the drawings but realised that I had enough, I wasn’t enjoying the work, I felt that the community had no space at this time for really connecting, this place was not nourishing me and there was a whole beautiful country out there that I could explore instead. Mar had asked if I’d like to visit her in Bogatá, and Viracocha said I was welcome there so I decided it was time to leave. I let the community and Carlos know that I would be leaving later that week. Carlos arrived back on Wednesday night; I was leaving on Thursday at noon. Our final conversation was at 10am on Wednesday. I thought he wanted to get some feedback about my experience there but he wanted me to finish the drawings before I left. I said I was leaving at noon, he handed me a hard drive disk and asked me to put the drawings on it, wished me well and said he hoped he’d have time to see me before I left. He didn’t.

 I had been excited to visit Aldea Feliz. Their website is beautiful and divinely depicts an ideal community. It describes how they live by sociocracy how they work with the elements and deities, I really love their website and all that it promises. From what I’ve seen and heard people seem to really love this community: on their Facebook page people rave about their amazing experiences there during workshops and I know that it is really respected in Colombia. I had experienced sociocracy working well in Newbold in Scotland where volunteers met regularly in a circle and brought any issues to the community circle, all community members longterm and short term were part of their constellation. In Aldea Feliz we met as a group of volunteers once in the time that I was there and to me there was no evidence of sociocracy in action or much evidence of the other references in the average day. As with Ängsbacka I had an experience contrary to the general experience. I did stay amongst the community for 3.5 weeks and this certainly gives me a perspective from the inside and I really did enjoy the days that the two external groups came to work with the community. Perhaps if I had only come for a workshop I would be writing about the place in a very different way. But at the same time I believe that workshops express just one aspect of a communities capabilities: the capacity to talk about non-violent communication, integrity and ideal eco-living scenarios is one thing;  but the real hard practice is bringing the ideas and ideals into everyday life. Just like with Carlos’s invitation the website promises a lot, but in my experience it does not deliver: “it does not do what it says on the tin”. 

It’s difficult to write this: this is not what people are saying about this place but it’s my experience. I’m aware as I write that I’ve had a difficult few months and I wonder is it just me, have I utterly misjudged the place?  It all could have been down to timing on my part and in some part due to challenges with language, and cultural differences but I have to trust my experience and take responsibility for it also; not blaming the community.

I have been reassessing my overall journey as part of processing this experience and looking at how this experience of Aldea Feliz contributes to creating better ways of living. For sure the courses and workshops that are run there are inspiring and this journey is a chance to open up to other cultures; but I have been more interested in the shadows of the community and in me, and what learning may lie therein. My training as an environmental architect provided me with a way of assessing system in ways that others may not see them and I’m curious about how I see Eco-villages and communities as whole systems and as part of greater systems: made up of the living environment, the built environment, materials cycles and the interaction with them, the local economy and the people and how they interact internally and externally. Each community is radically different depending on these and a myriad of other influences. Basics of good design are in observation, accepting what is and working with what you have been given – you may not like but there is alway a lot to learn from it.

 No community is perfect. And their imperfection does not lie in the fact that it may have problems, they all have problems and issues: the problems lie in how they address their issues. And one thing that I have really appreciated about Aldea Feliz is the opportunity to give feedback. Before I left Jose asked me to give honest feedback for an upcoming community gathering and one of the co-founders, on receiving my email that I had left asked to speak with me and give feedback. I have been very grateful for the way in which it has been received. I feel very grateful for her clarity dedication and presence and for allowing me to assess my own expectations of the place and appreciate all that I did gain there. We talked about the power of ‘your word’ versus the power of ‘your actions’: How, at present, things are planned but not carried out in the community, how promises are made and renaged on and how this is an abuse of power and leads to mistrust and unease. This erodes the veracity of ones word and it erodes the trustworthiness of a group; it causes a sense of apathy. This is what I experienced in Aldea Feliz. There is a sense of being let-down constantly; a sense of ungroundedness and a sense of abandonment: when a leader figure does not follow through on his/her word.  And it was this sense of abandonment in my experience there: I felt badly let down and rejected and frustrated by the disorder in communication in the community.

I hadn’t fully realized how strong my own expectations had been I expected to simply love Colombia. I expected things to be easier after Ängsbacka: I very desperately wanted things to be easier. I expected to be able to stop and rest and catch my breath. And I expected the community to be great! But what do you do when things don’t go as planned? Well for me the first thing I did was to panic…and blame others and somehow my life for landing more crap on me. The graceful way (that I get to often after a bit of kicking and screaming and good old denial) is to accept life as it is now and open to the unforeseen opportunities that arise, and trust that things will be ok. The truth is that Carlos’s invitation propelled me to come to Colombia, perhaps without it I would still be stalling for fear of not having the money or a place to land. I am here and I am learning about my own resilience and the grace that lies in asking my friends to cheer me on when I feel like giving up. And I’m appreciating this path that is showing me to trust that things just simply are going to be alright, or not….but I can’t figure it all out in a little black notebook. I need to feel what it is that I am connected to and be present for the unforeseen opportunities that arise for me in any given moment.

Just before I arrived at Aldea Feliz there was a Minga in the community to rebuild their Cosmuy or thinking house: this is literally a place where business is left behind and people share from the heart. It was not in use while I was at the community, due to being under-construction. The building had its perimeter wall and the roof structure but was lacking its roof: Calico Palm. Towards the end of my time in the community the men got together to put the roof on. I asked if I could be a part of this and told that it was too dangerous as people were working at the height. I went down to have a look but there was no one working while I was there. This was my last weekend and I was under the impression that I had to get drawings done for Carlos for Monday so I focused on them. On Wednesday the men were still working and I was feeling really very sorry for myself for not being ‘allowed’ to work on the building. I was discussing this with two volunteers when I realised how ridiculous is sounded. I realized I could give myself permission!! So I ditched the drawings and headed to the Cosmuy where I decided: no matter what I am staying there to work. I asked if I could join in and the guys smiled and warmly welcomed my help! All I was doing was passing large palm leaves up to the guys on the roof but it was really so important for me to be a part of building something, to see this community building and to play even a small part in it. And for some reason I am crying as I write this: this is why I responded to Carlos’s email: this is what I had imagined. This is what I wished to experience here: this is what I am looking for: the simply acts of community that bring us together. I was so grateful for the voice of my heart that overrode the part of me that always likes to do what I’m told. There is so much in this journey that I realize for me is my initiation into full adulthood. It’s a bit strange for a 44year old woman to write this but I do let this little child, this little victim part take the reins of my life too often and there is this passionate, courageous brave part of me also also that is just waiting to express the wishes of my heart, sometimes is oh such simple ways.

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Guadua growing on site

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The Cosmuy: Based on old Kogi methods of construction: the construction that took place during a minga in late July (unfortunately before I arrived). 

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Arturro and Andres making thatch for the cosmuy: I expertly handed them up the Calico palm 🙂 

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The cosmuy mid-way through getting its new hair-do. 

Ecoaldea’s are not designed to be places that bring happiness. There is no ‘happy village’. In my experience of now 10 eco-commuities, ecoaldea’s are places of supreme challenge and transformation; they are experiments in new ways of living. There are no guarantees of happiness with experiments or indeed with life. Ecoaldea’s are made up of constellations of people that are ever-changing; they are far from perfect; and yet there is a sublime perfection in accepting the evolution of an EcoAldea. On one level nothing that happen is wrong: the rough patches, the wobbles and even the falling apart is not wrong. The only thing that can be wrong is our lack of acceptance of our own and another’s experience. I embrace my experience in Aldea Feliz, after some resistance, and I can’t know what is happening within the community. But I do know that they have been working together for 11 years through challenges that I can’t even imagine and they have a strong support system and they are creating on the cusp of so much change within their own country and within a wobbly global platform. Its not easy to do things differently. Its just not east to work with people. Its not easy when things don’t go as you planned. I honour this living Eco-Aldea system, their commitment and creative spirit and I honour their willingness to hear my experience as a part of their system for a few weeks.

And I leave you with this very common, and lovely, Colombian expression: que te rinda! It means: may your work be fruitful. And may it always nourish your hearts desires.

With much love, from San Agustin, Colombia. 

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Lucky (one of my many room mates on this journey) and I


My project of exploring community is fully supported through my creativity: through the sale of my art and by a virtual online community through crowd funding. If you would like to support me on this journey you can check out my art on www.sineadcullen.com or make a donation on my Crowd funding campaign https://www.gofundme.com/LetsCreate or through PayPal by using my email address: sinead.a.cullen@gmail.com

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2 responses to “Que te rinda”

  1. Sean Galvin says:

    Hey Sinead, found the blog! Wasn’t hard googling ‘sinead Irish ecovillage Colombia’ From the last article it sounds challenging I must say, but as you know the shortcomings you see show you what’s important in these projects and what values to retain yourself. Just wanted to say I admire what you’re doing and is food for thought at a time where I find myself again questioning and trying to figure out the real purpose of my trip and what comes after. I wish you all the success and inspiration along the way!

    • Sinead says:

      Hey Sean!
      I realised that I hadn’t responded to you, sorry!
      I’ve been on the road a lot and getting a chance to sit today and catch up.
      Thank you for message, and for your words. I love to receive responses to the posts; to hear what people think 🙂
      There really is a wealth of inspiration for a better world to be found in communities.. and we all have so so so so so much to offer! I hope you find the place and pace for your next steps! And I hope that you are really enjoying your journey through south america.. its absolutely a great way to gather inspiration and find your feet… as you walk 🙂
      go n-éirí an bóthar leat!!
      Sinéad

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