Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Leaf Tailed Gecko

So Astrid, from Germany, woke me up a four am the other night becasue this lizard was on the wall at the foot of my bed. We poked at it a bit, but it didn't want to move so we just left it. In the morning we found it's shed skin all over the ground. Neat. I think the Ausi's think we are very slow builders when it comes to their office. But that's just the thing, we're not builders, we're furniture makers, and furniture takes time. It's kind of annoying cause we'll be in their working from 8 to 3 and cook dinner for them and they look at us like we've accomplished nothing that day. Grrr. We're also used to having a full shop of tools, so I think we're doing very well for only having a circular saw, jig saw, drill, and sander. What they need is a router, that would make it worlds faster.There's also a strange assumption that wwoofers have tons of money, which causes some issues with the hosts. While we have enough money to travel, we don't have enough to rent a car or stay in youth hostels even, hence wwoofing. I could give an example but it will have to wait.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Singing and Cutting

Last night Richard had friends over, we ate by candle light, and burnt a camp fire. Nicholas started playing guitar and singing all these French songs. It was beautiful; sometimes his wife would join in. I think I got a recording of it, haven't checked the quality yet. We talked a bit about singing, and how people don't know all the old folk songs anymore. People don't sing socially anymore. It's strange and sad. Sometimes it can be beautiful, but others uncomfortable. I almost sang Shenandoah, lack of practice, uncomfortable. I do want to play an intrument. Piano. Though the uilean pipes or concertina is more portable, both are expensive. I like the pipes more I think... We started cutting pieces for the office this morning. Got an early start to take advantage of the cool air and sun power. All the desks cut out and in place look shallower than I thought, but it will work, such a small space! Oh well. There'd be nother if not for us. It's nice to do some wood working, but worrisome as well. I worry more being in these mountains than anywhere else we've been so far. I'm most nervous on in between days, not know what to expect from the next host. I'm usually fine once we get therel it doesn't take a lot of skill or thought to weed a garlic patch. But here, testing my design and construction abilities puts me a little on edge. This is amplified by the extreme lack of privacy here.

A bit on a word: what's a word for a good sound? A good sight is beautiful, and good taste is delicious, what about sound?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Today is Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving to all! Gobble Gobble. I woke up today at 4:45 (Matthew woke up at 7) to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for everyone - which equals 13 people! It went pretty well. Not quite the same as in the States. We ate square Turkey bird loaf.

Quick update. . . Some of my eyelashes and fuzzy hair from the side of my head is burnt off. And I think, but I'm not sure, my eyelid is a little burned. I was trying to Light the gas burner and I had the order of operations a little mixed up. I turned on the gas and had difficulty lighting the match, so The big ball of fire from cartoons Exploded in my face, making such a loud swoosh sound that people across the room turned around.

Second . . . Took a long walk through the rainforest and felt something cold on my led- turned out it was a tiny leech trying to get it's self attached. I later climbed a hollow tree- very beautiful. When we got back I happened to find a tick on the back of my neck. We regularly see 2 ft long lizards and snakes and cute koalas so we are getting a dose of the good, bad and ugly.

Third . . . I love it here. We are designing and building office furniture, the people are nice, I get to cook when I want and we are on the top of a mountain in a rainforest!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wild Mountains

Well, here we are in the rainforest. Pretty neat. Whole place is solar powered. Building up an Environmental Education Center. We're designing furniture for their new office and cooking a lot. It's a good time, but we're always busy, no time for Japansese or a bushwalk. A well, Thanksgiving is coming up and well be cooking all day tomorrow for that. We don't have any phone service out here so we sadly won't be able to talk to anyone, but feel free to send us a text message.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wild Mountain

We've made it to the Wild Mountain soon to be Education Center. Lots of stuff going on and lots of different people here. When we first arrived there was a group of government scientists doing an animal survey on the land here to see if it would qualify for a certain ranking as a wildlife habitat. Very interesting, right on the edge of the rain forest too. Just heard from our next stop that they're out on some island you have to fly to so we won't be going there unfortunately, maybe we'll be able to stay longer here... Trying to get our India visas, bit stressful.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The last walk to Windgrove beach

I feel the power of the open water. It reminds be of the human touch. When you touch someone you have control, compassion, and even aggresion with the yearning of connecting your body to theirs. No matter how fast of slow it is you feel the careful attention to the touch. When interacting with the earth which has the ability to give and take life, I feel the yearning to be connected. . . But the careful attention to how the connection exits must be considered.

The Legacy of Luna

I've been reading this book "The Legacy of Luna" by Julia Butterfly Hill. It's amazingly well written given how scatterbrained she was during her lecture at RISD. And so young! My age when she went up into that tree. I keep wondering when my big event will happen, and what it will be. More and more I think I may have to make it happen, although these things always seem to land in people's laps, as if they were born for it. What am I born for? The things I do seem so ordinary to me; go to college, see the world, climb the canyon. Where am I standing for what I believe in? I digress. The book is a good and inspiring read, easy to get into and quick to finish. It leaves me wondering where the balls are in environmentalism. Vinda Shiva states that the environmental movement in India is lead entirely by grass roots women's organisations. Whenever I read about the environment it's always so feminine. Julia mentions a time in the tree when two female singers came up in the tree with her and sang songs and read poems and had a little session. Guys don't do that. How can men get involved and not feel like pansies? Jackson Pollack once said that "Painting needs balls" and I say Environmentalism needs balls, too.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


It's hard to leave a place that you enjoy. Especially when you are unsure about the next place. We were sad to leave Yvonne and her home. It was comfortable, warm and we felt helpful. Everything works out in the end. We are at Windgrove with Peter Adams. His property is beautiful. Walking along the path, seeing the waves crash against the cliffs- It makes you think . . . about everything.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Go Backwater

We head down to windgrove on Wednesday and they to the Deep North the following week and as such we have no idea when our next solid internet connection will come around, so if we disappear for a bit, fear not.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tree Rushing

I took myself out going to pick up Sam today. I was playing Warcraft 3 - noticed the time and ran outside to the van. Alison was waiting. I failed to notice a dip in the driveway or the broximity of a head level tree branch. To dodge it I croached down and stepped off the driveway, running to fast to really stop, and into the ditch, trip, fall, and roll into a stone lion gaurding the house and then the truck of the previous tree shredding my arm and brusing my leg. And then I had to drive the manual van into the city...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Shirley you jest

Last night we were talking to Yvonne and here recently arrived brother about their mother’s move from rural Queensland to Launceston after her husband’s passing. Well, she didn’t have any friends here and there was no Shirley club in town so she started one a month ago and now they have twenty two members. Wait wait, a Shirley club? Oh yes, you see her name is Shirley, it was a very a very popular name back when Shirley temple was on stage, but now it’s fallen out of fashion, so all these women named Shirley are around the same age. One day they decided to form a club, all you needed to join was to have Shirley as a first or last name. They’re in all the major towns now. It’s great for the old Shirleys because now they suddenly have all these friends from all walks of life to drop in on. What? Are you serious? I’ve never heard of this. Like, is there a New York chapter? Does anyone back in the states know a Shirley in a name exclusive social club? Alison and I couldn’t stop laughing, it’s just amazing.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ideas for the future

I want to start and run an organization that deals with sustainability, community, design, and education on a small scale in under privileged areas. Thinking of the specifics, I realize I have all these big ideas but I feel so lost because I have no idea how to start. So:
Where do you start?
How much of a business background do you need?
What are the benefits of a non profit?
Can it start very small- like a house, some design projects, and a couple of high school interns?
How do you get the local community involved, what about the local colleges?
How do you start looking at the funding? What are main things I should think about?
Ok, so now I feel overwhelmed. I think about all this but feel so helpless. This trip is so that I can get an idea of how other people deal with these things, I am seeing some of that, but I feel frustrated and want to go back home and start doing something about it.

What is this blog for?

I feel that I should explain or clarify. We created this blog for couple of reasons:
1. To keep in contact with people and share what we are up to on our long journey.
2. We planed this trip to research sustainability in communities around the world. During our travels we come across interesting things that we not only want to share, but we want to get feedback. So, if we or someone else writes something that you find interesting or that raises a question, or if you are going through your daily activities and randomly think of something that is relevant to our research then you run to the nearest computer, visit the blog and post a comment. In the rush and excitement you try not to forget to sign your name (we like to know who visits and responds). The next time we log onto the blog and see your comment we will be so excited and will put a lot of thought into our response.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit us in virtual space. I hope you come again.


I don't know what it is about this place, but I feel very happy here. Maybe it's the family we're staying with, the other wwoofers, our proximity to the city, the sunny hillside overlooks, or the gamestore I found yesterday. Whatever it is, I've been feeling better here than anywhere else we've been so far. It's just nice, you know? So this gamestore isn't really a game store, it's an everything store called Birchalls. They sell books, board games, action figures, legos, cards, stationary, models, and art supplies. The interesting thing about it is that all the stuff is pretty good quality, not the crap you'd expect to find in a store that sells everything in the states. They even had warhammer figures, that brought me back. Anyway, here are some lovely flowers we saw on the way to town yesterday.


So, between Sam, Alison, and myself we've been hitting the daily newspaper Soduku puzzle pretty hard, only this ones got us stumped. Any tips? The red is what we've got so far...