PeDreTea – Work organization

IMG_20160421_194719.jpgWhen we arrived here it was rainy, windy and cold. We had only wet tents, kitchen with no walls and leaking roof and a small camper van. It was obvious that we need to start work as soon as possible to be able to at least be warm and dry. It was not easy, in fact it seems that work organization is one of the biggest problems that a community can encounter.

At first we were just doing whatever we felt needed doing. The table, the rocket stove, the walls, the garden and in the same time daily jobs like taking care of the animals! It seemed so much and we were in lousy, rainy moods. So Michal built a table in few hours, we decided that the kitchen needs total rebuilding if we are even starting with it, and so the oven we had. First, we had huge plans about redesigning everything, so we have made a huge mess in the kitchen, the only roofed common space we had (and a place for cooking), filling it with building materials, tools, food and ourselves.

We tried to divide the work we had and keep the people responsible for certain roles as coordinators of this areas of work (we had roles established before we came here). But that did not work. It turned out that Mateusz who was responsible for eco-building is leaving, Michal who is responsible for gardens is very keen and capable in building, Judit who is responsible for forest gardens and Maja T – our coordinator are very keen to start the veggie garden and Maja B who is responsible for animals has to spent her time building the guinea pigs cages.

In the meantime we were trying to figure out what is the best time for us to have common meal and meetings twice a day. We changed the times three times to make it fit with the children’s timetable and still it was a huge challenge to get everyone in the same place in the same time, our meetings lasted one hour instead of 20mins from which more than a half was gathering the people. The circle format where everyone gets their 5mins did not work, people are used to talking between each other like that and responding spontaneously. We were supposed to do the design meetings – every day person responsible for his role is talking about the progress. Did not happen. How can you talk about gardens or animals when all everyone is thinking about is when will we finish the kitchen?

We tried to make two teams  – one working on the kitchen, one working on the garden. The first day it went great! We had some work done in both teams. Unfortunately, grinder that was needed to start working on fencing for the garden got broken. And so the drill that we were using a LOT in the kitchen. Mateusz who was the only one who knew about rocket stoves left. We were left with four working people – because one person has to always be with little Gabi. Lunches were late around an hour, meetings were still not on time if happening at all and so we ended up working only few hours or wondering around.

With time the balance started to slowly set, as it usually does in nature, but we needed proper organization!

Finally, Maja T decided to step in and make the proper rota. She wrote down all the necessary, daily jobs like watering, taking the sheep out to the pasture and back, internet work, cooking and taking care of Gabi (now, each of us gets to spend an hour with her). The rest of the time we all spend on the main project. Now it is the kitchen. It works out 7 hours of work and we spend this time mostly together. We finally see the effects of our job, we are satisfied and in the same time we have enough time for rest. Our lunch and meetings are on time. Soon we will probably divide to start the garden fencing, after a month we are getting into the right rhythm!

 

Maja Michal Gabi trip

 

Sorry for absence in writing but so many things been happening  many fluctuations in  our group and so on.

But let’s start  from begining :D.Couple weeks ago when we visited famous Mercadillo   (local produce market) in Puntagorda I spoted westfalia camper with polish registration plate, so I went to say hello that’s how I first meet Dorotka and Peter at same day I gave them my spare solar panels because place where they living there is no electricity this is how we became friends.We decided to visit them on our free day  but instead of using our camper we chose to hitch hike. We start our journey about 10 am  it tooks almost hour to catch first car. The guy he droped us in Cueva del Agua village but we didn’t know how far is to our destination Los Lomitos.From village we start to walk with hope to catch another car the views was great  and like a reward because the road was climbing up hill

via beautiful pine forest,  after about hour we  reach cross roads  with   many post boxes

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this was indicator that we are on good path. Next part of trip was via forest road which was a bit more gentle than before. After another hour we finaly reach destination remote hippie village Los Lomitos.When we’ve founded our friends home nobody was there  after we discovered that all of them are celebrating day called Gaiofa is day when another ecovillages  come together and help for one family. So I joined  to chain of people carrying stones for new  path, we also collect wood for fire. After we  finished work there was lovely  meal  everyone brought some food ,we only donated our help :D. There was many kids so Gabi she have some companions.

We stays over nigth  our friends home,when we  woke up there was lovley view of

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after breakfast  I’ve hepled for  Peter with construction of composting toilete

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and we left Los Lomitos with new friendships and great experience of community but we would back there many times 😀

With Love

Maja Gabi Michal

 

 

PeDreTea – Guinea Pigs

From the very beginning, after arrival, we started to work with guinea pigs. We were talking about it with 8th Life even before coming here, so that we take care of them and in return, we can have some for food. You can find more information about them as a food in here.

So very quickly we got responsible for picking the food for them, and even when it was taking us 4 hours a day and we were really fed up, we were still bravely going out to the field with a sickle to get 3 bags of greens. A week later it turned out that it should be rather 4 bags. Few weeks later, piggies were still multiplying like crazy, so now it takes around 6 bags a day for them to not be completely hungry. Even with a scythe, it was too much for us. Now, after a month it takes us 30min to get one bag, approximately. I must admit, the task of picking the guinea pig food became too much for us, it was the only thing we were doing all days and there is not even so much meat in those little animals.

We have too many guinea pigs – that is certain. Also, we now have few generations in one cage, so they interbreed, which should not be happening. We have to kill some of them and do the population check, so we can actually control their numbers. That is certain. So, we started to build new cages for them, so we can have comfortable space for all of them while moving and after and also, the old ones ale falling apart.

Just after we started, the rest PeDreTeans arrived and, because most of them are vegans and the rest doesn’t want to eat guinea pigs anyway, we decided not to focus our energy on it. We were working half of the day on the cages and the other half on picking food for them and our energy was needed to help with more important things – like the kitchen or garden.

Luckily, we are not alone in here. Guinea pigs belong the the 8th Life community, with Jose being the one responsible for animals in general. We had a meeting and settled that we will not be taking care of the guinea pigs, only sheep and chickens. Just, once we have a new tool for cutting metal, we all get together to finish the bloody cages. And then, if someone wants guinea pigs as food, we can still contribute by picking the food. Jose estimated that it takes 10 bags for one guinea pig to grow enough to be ready to harvest, and so that is the price for them.

Right now, we can focus on our biggest priorities – kitchen and garden.

PeDreTea – Kitchen Design

Start build a kitchen is the most important task and priority. Why? Because we have no living space and we have no  warm, comfortable place to sit. And without ready to use rocket stove in the kitchen is not working. With the unpredictable tropical wind and storm we realized easily.. Luckily we didn’t lose our humor that days but building is urgent!

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The problems:

  • Very cold & drafty in winter!  And anytime there is wind… eating when cold can give you bad indigestion – v uncomfortable
  • No hot water (some people won’t wash dishes without it in winter)
  • Difficult & messy to cook with incomplete rocket stove!
  • Horrible when not kept tidy
  • Everything gets dusty quickly as all open-air
  • The funny is about this kitchen there is not have a straight wall, 45 degrees corners

Good things about this kitchen:

  • It’s a nice big space & it’s held up very well even under near-hurricane conditions (amazingly..)
  • Practically invisible in the landscape (important criteria)
  • Nice sunset views if we get supper-time lined up!
  • Perfect for becoming a Camping Site Kitchen
  • Open-air, lovely when nice weather
  • Very cool in summer
  • Lots of great design possibilities
  • Fridges work well as anti-rat cup-boards

There is a lot of work before us to make this kitchen nice and cosy, but our spirit rises with the sunshine and as the weather gets better, so we are getting better in organizing work for our first important designs. Soon you will be able to see the progress on the kitchen!

With long list of jobs  we’ve started to make kitchen more cozy and  usefull for us  Firstly we focused on rocke stove the one who was already there wan’t efficient so with the experience of Mateusz we changed thew things:

  • rebuilding fire chamber with self feed  system
  • cutting out two  rings so we could adapt diffrent pots

 

This was great fun expecialy  part with using  grinnder and than  playing with cob

The next job was done mostly by Michal who used his carpentry skills he has  removed existing  roof beem from a almond tree so the construction wouldn’t shake when is windy

Then we’ve started to cover walls  This job was done mailnly by Maja B and Michal  we also rebulid existing sink, fitted windows and bulided more workspace  next to rocket stove

Rose and Judit made small wind catcher wall so when we cooking the wind doesn’t blow the gas out

First days of work at the Finca

After a few days of relaxing we’ve started to set up our camp site, Rose and Judit done great job of tidying up our new kitchen before  arrival last Pedreteans . Firstly We took care of the kitchen table which involved a bit of carpentry skills. Michal done great job.

 

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The second task was to plug in the washing mashine, on our first trip to Los Llanos we bought a valve for fresh water. After fitting it it was time to connect the grey water which was a bit more challenging but finally We did it so we could wash our clothes especially with 2 kids in the group.

 

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First tasks done from very long list.
To relax Himself Michal took care about our energy needs, so he pluged 3 solar panels 100W each to an old battery from his motorhome which is just enought to use for a 150w inverter to charge small appliences and supply light to  2 led strips fitted to the celling above the table and also give power to a radio. He really like some noise when he’s working, but listening to the birds is also good especially for us 😀

— Michal

 

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Rose and Judit-Adventure for a hot shower

Judit

We had a problem with a cold weather-there was no chance to have a hot shower. I washed myself in cold but still… I wanted to wash my hair in hot water… and additional Rosa and me wanted to discover Santa Cruz de la Palma, the capital of La Palma. Our the room was book and we left Friday early morning. Our mistake was because of Easter Friday is bank holiday so buses going less frequency.

After we reached La Palma we easily find our apartment we rent. First we went to see the city centre and get a coffee. The main road is covered with cobblestones and spanish style colored houses. The houses are pink, green, red, peach, violet and so on. Just two streets away there is a big long rock houses on the top, to get there you have to go up in tiny mazy streets and staired ways. Remember me Szentendre the hungarian village quite similar.

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Took a hot shower, washed hair was a heaven!

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We had a taste of Easter here with some strange symbols. It was interesting to see how they celebrate here.

Rose

What can I say about this weekend!?!? I really enjoyed my time in Santa Cruz, because as I already wrote on my first blog I think is a really nice and colonial style city with craft shops. I also had the opportunity to know better Judit, my new friend but not only that… she will be part of my new family! We had a really great time and I think she is really patience because my English is not so fluent as hers, unfortunately but hopefully it will be better in few weeks.

By the way, we woke up quite earlier that morning because we should suppose to take the GuaGua (the bus) at 7.30am but no buses and no cars where on the street so I was quite surprised, and I started to feel really frustrated and tired… I just wanted to reach Santa Cruz as soon as possible. I felt myself quite dirty and smelling. I wanted to take a shower and I needed to feel more comfortable with myself… Initially we thought a delay but after almost one hour we realized that was a bank holiday day. In Italy Easter is just on Sunday (Pasqua) and Monday (Pasquetta) is still bank holiday… how could we know that!?!?

We tried doing hitch-hiking but there were just few cars on the street and not everybody wanted stopping to give us a lift but after almost one hours and a half later a man (really kind of him!!) gave us a lift to Puntagorda and then we caught the GuaGua at 9.30, before jumping on the bus we had a really nice coffee and we laughed about the weird situation…

The GuaGua that we choose to catch follows the north part of the island and it takes almost 3 hours to reach the capital but it is a sort of sightseeing bus! We view was incredible! We crossed several villages with really narrow streets and then… I got sick: sore machine! OMG!! I could just look the street in front of me if not I could feel retching.. too many curve, up and down… I think was too much for me!! By the way I suggest you this way at least once in your life because is amazing… the nature is everywhere and the view to the Ocean is incredible!

I love the nature and that it… so we decide to take the bus to go back to Puntagorda from Santa Cruz!! Crazy!!

When we arrived to destination the room wasn’t ready (What I was thinking in that moment: “OMG!! I want to take a shower right now I was waiting for this moment for a really long time… but we have 2 days for that… so be patience and calm down :-)”) so we took a look around the city and for lunch we ate a Bocadillo (panini) with Tortilla and vegetables accompanied by a bottle of water!!

Most of the shops were closed and from far away  we could hear a local band playing some really catholic music and when we reached the band we figure out that was a procession! Men were holding a Jesus’ Statue on their shoulders and behind them the local band! For me was something completely new…

Then we went back to our room, I finally took a shower after 1 week (I was really happy) and I took a nap!

At 7pm we went out and we decided to eat something in a typical bar a bit far away from the city center… the food was fine but not really typical as we thought unfortunately.

When we reached the city center we realize that a lot of local people were running to the city quite well dressed…  and we wanted to figure out the reason and after few “calles” later we understood what was going on: the procession was bigger than in the afternoon and attendances were following it in silence. The smell of incense was everywhere… a teenager next to me had the hands on her mouth and nose because she didn’t really like the smell and some elder people close to me where looking at the procession and made whispered comments on it. The silence and the incense were all around… the only sound I could hear were coming from the chains that somebody in the procession was wearing… yes, chains on their feet!!

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The procession was quite long and a lot of local people were involved in it.

The tradition is really strong in this island!

See U soon!!

Judit

It was a wonderful weekend I really enjoy start discover La Palma with my new friend Rose.

Thanks to her I didnt lost.. her spanish helped us out:)

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