When 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!