Before “overpopulation” believers go straight for my neck, I would like to utter out that I am Pro Creation. Yes, Pro creation. Not Pro Choice, and not Pro Life.
But what does Pro Creation mean? Well, on the broad sense, it means favoring creation. But it also means Co-creative Procreation. Please allow me to make my case.
How many people nowadays were born because of the following “accidents”:
The condom broke
The pill didn’t work
Or someone saying:
“I drank too much that night”
“I wasn’t supposed to be in my fertile days”
“My biological clock was ticking”
“Everyone else were having babies”
“My partner wanted to have kids”
“I was too hot to pull out”
What is the story most parents are going to tell their kids about their conception as the first generation born during the Corona Crisis?: “The TV broke down during the lockdown”? Or perhaps, “The Internet was not working for a whole day”?
So it happens, a few weeks ago Sylvie enrolled us both in a free course offered by +Acumen called Designing for Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact, recommended by one of her closest friends. We are using this online learning experience as a means to get more structure in developing Experimental Peace Research and Learning Centers(1).
We are excited about the possibilities to find the best way to frame our projects using the concepts we are meant to learn the following 6 weeks of duration of this course.
Two months and a half ago, this 4-bedroom “co-housing” space had only one couple occupying one of the rooms and NO blender in the common kitchen.
Then, one and a half months ago, we occupied a second room and got a blender 10 days later (unfortunately, getting a second-hand blender did not work out). A few days after that, the other couple got a blender as well – exactly the same model as ours. Total 2 blenders so far.
And just at the beginning of the year, a third room was occupied, bringing a 3rd brand-new blender to the same common kitchen space.
I would guess, having 3 blenders available in the same kitchen would be an uncommon feature of any apartment – even if it was in the USA or Europe. But it is specially weird to find this in a country like Ecuador, where most of the electronic equipment is imported and very highly taxed. Plus, the currency in this country is the U.S. Dollar! So you can get an idea of how having 3 blenders available in one kitchen would be out of the question here.
But that is NOT all. One of our “co-housers” complained that we use the blenders too much, creating too much noise and so it was proposed to ban the blenders from the kitchen and use them on the terrace only! (Good comedy material, right?)
In any case. This is a good lesson for me to pin point the importance of having a vision in common when it comes to living together. Given our actual situation is NOT meant to be an intentional community nor an eco village, this current experience has given us perspective of how clear things need to be agreed prior to moving in together with people that may or may not share the ideals, practices and values that The Noble Peace Tribe people have in common.
If you would like to check out more of what having a vision entails, you may want to take a look at the Living Vision page.
JORGE: It was all very promising to travel to Ecuador in the beginning of 2018 to volunteer in a permaculture/edible forest community, coming all the way from Mexico, and meeting with my partner Sylvie in person for the first time. But as it turned out, and although this Fruit Forest project has a lot of potential, it did not provide the sense of community and shared joyful work amongst the residents and other participants there. It was a welcomed experience for me though, involving very intense physical activities with machete in one hand and preparing our own meals with the other. I feel content of both contributing with my best effort towards the culmination of this project, and also about all the learned lessons and hands-on veganic permaculture new knowledge.
SYLVIE: We both moved to Ecuador in the beginning of 2018 to volunteer in a permaculture/edible forest community. It was exciting quitting my “regular” live in Belgium as a project manager of a large European conservation project to do work exchange together with my partner and making this our new home. This Fruit Forest project looked very promising and it has potential, but we did not find the sense of community and joyful work shared amongst the residents and other participants there. The work exchange was very physical and included weeding, mulching, seeding and taking care of the plant nursery, planting and pruning trees, clearing land with machete for planting purposes, processing humanure, but also some maintenance work on the property as well as house keeping. I enjoyed very much planting and maintaining fruit and companion trees, learning about humanure, exotic fruit trees, local nitrogen fixing and companion plants, harvesting fruit, seeds and some vegetables, roots and herbs as well as the planning involved to grow such a fruit forest. I was also inspired to see that the project was trying to reforest in an area surrounded by cattle farms. However, it was sad to realize that mining and the pollution/contamination that comes with it has reached this part of the jungle and poses a risk to the clean water supply.
1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY IN ECUADOR
We are currently on our 1 year anniversary of living in Ecuador. We have been working on different proyects in the Amazon, Andes and Coast. Right now we are relocating and focused on finding our home and tribe. More about this after the following short but sweet “profile” section below.