11 December 2017

mAyBe i M bAcK tO bLoGiNg...

I think for the last 4 or five years, I've been trying to get back into bloging, but then I never make the time for it...even now, I'm reluctant to write... I ask myself, why should I write on a blog? I have a journal...the question might be more like "what do I have to share?" Or " what do I want to share?" ... That's what blogs are for,right? It does help me process my own experiences and ideas, but it is about sharing in the end, otherwise I stick to my journal...

I started this blog when I went traveling for 6 months and it was the easiest way to share my experiences with a lot of my friends at the time, instead of writing e.mails to all individually ( this was 2005, before Facebook era)...

06 July 2017

WiLd fiRe iN pEdRogAo gRandE 17-24 June 2017 :-(

This was a post on Facebook...but I want to include it here ...
it´s been 20 days since the 17th of June. the day we started our Natural Building Course at Lisbeth Herz s place in Pedrogao Grande, and the tragic day of the big fire that desolated this country for 7 days. 50.000 hectares of land burned down to ashes, 64 people died, countless animals, houses, and much more...This is still what I have in my mind and why I´ve been avoiding going online.I´m still blocked to what I want to say or share, not sure if I share about the week which was a mix of good moments on the building course together with really sad news from our good friends Liedewij Schieving and Joey.

11 December 2015

How is the Mount of Oaks today ...


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Dear Friends of the Mount of Oaks”,



This letter is from me, Barbara, for those of you who were somehow connected to this place from the early beginnings and for those who are interested in knowing how things are developing so far. We are thankful for your part in the history of this place.



…if you want to go back in time, take a look at these many pictures first... then, find a moment when you have nothing else to do, and read my loooooong letter :-) … enjoy and rejoice !!!


11 April 2015

a nEw eCoNoMy...a nEw LifEsTyLe... iS tHeRe hOpE ?


"- You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.

03 April 2015

tHe sPiRiT of eAsTeR ...

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This Spirit is not dead, the Spirit that ... “stands for liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion, the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property, liberation from shackles and restraint of government. That stands for social order based on free grouping of individuals” (Emma Goldman defining Anarchism) ...
Human greedy systems come and go and they all try to destroy and kill this spirit... But the truth of what we celebrate at Easter, is that This Spirit is and will always be alive...

25 April 2014

O sOL dOs tRóPicOs ... Henrique Galvão

LINDO !!!! Acabei hoje de ler, a 25 de Abril..."O Sol dos Trópicos", de Henrique Galvão, de 1936, uma edição creio da minha avó. Este romance tem muito que se lhe diga. Um filho de camponês, deixa a aldeia da Beira sonhando n "a Riquesa ou a Glória, a Celebridade ou a Autoridade"...desiludido e falido vai para Angola para morrer...e é nos vales da Chela, entre o povo Mukubal, que encontra a razão de viver...vou transcrever uma breve passagem...fica aqui para pensar :

"...havia em mim um principio de felicidade simples que brotava como os rebentos verdes da massambala no meu arimo. Compreendia a vagabundagem dos mukubais - 

21 April 2014

bAcK oN wRitTinG...mAybE...tALvEz mAiS Em pOrTugUêS...



A caminho do 25 de Abril,
e porque também hoje
muitas pessoas se lembram que Cristo ressuscitou,
e nisso venceu a morte de vez e para todos,
vamos ter Hoje um pouco mais de Esperança...
Do amanhã nada sabemos,
amanhã esperaremos.
Nós somos criaturas
que fácilmente nos esquecemos,
e por isso desesperamos.
Precisamos de festas,
rituais,
missas e carnavais
para nos fazer lembrar,
ou apenas parar...

"Deus Quer
o Homem Sonha,
a Obra Nasce" (F.Pessoa)

Precisamos sonhar alto,

22 February 2013

6 meditations...

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On this post:
-  What are we looking for?
-  To Finn MacKull, our cat who is missing...
Each day has it´s worries
- "Us" and "The other"
- "old" and "new life"

12 February 2013

2nd FeBrUaRy – "gOoD" or "eViL" ?

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There is a whole spiritual realm we don´t really know much about (if we are honest)...
All I´m going to share is based on personal experience and my own interpretation, I might be wrong, as I realize how little I know on the subject.

It´s sometimes easier to recognize “bad” things in the physical world than it is to recognize “bad” things in the spiritual world. I usually don´t like to classify things as “good” or “bad” as that can be so subjective and fruit of our dualistic mindset...

10 February 2013

mOrNinG mEdiTaTiOnS fRom LaSt wEeK...


Finally it seems that I will make the time to write again on this blog... mainly because we have a solar panel which able us to charge the computer anytime... I will try to post some of my morning meditations... it´s more like what comes into my mind at that time... what my spirit is wandering or wondering about ...
Writing here it´s simply a way for me to process those times in the mornings...

30th January – God wants community not religion

25 December 2012

Christmas Meditation ...


by Richard Rohr
 
"The rifts and chasms between good people today sometimes seem impossible to bridge. Let’s just name a few obvious ones: male versus female, rich versus poor, liberal versus conservative, Christian versus non-Christian, “Pro-Choice” versus “Pro-Life,” the overdeveloped world versus the underdeveloped world, renew-from-within versus change-from-without, straights versus gays, hierarchy versus laity, whites versus people of color—and every shade of every issue in between.

18 March 2012

eXiLeS iN BaByLoN

(From Jeremiah 31:10-17 and Habakkuk 1:1-6)

Jeremiah speaks to the exiles in Babylon. People were scattered , made slaves throughout the vast and oppressing Empire of Babylon.
Here´s a song to bring Hope for those in captivity, for those who could see no way out, no hope for the future.
Jeremiah lived before the people of Israel were taken into captivity to Babylon. He was trying to tell people what was coming...but nobody seemed to want to listen.
Jeremiah was foretelling what could have happen to the people if they would not repent. Obviously they didn´t listen and kept living their lives as they wanted. They were eventually taken to Babylon...
Yet "There is Hope for the Future, says The Lord"

Who are the prophetic voices today?

tO bLoG oR NoT tO bLoG... ThaT iS mY qUeStiOn...

It´s been a while since I last posted here... (I should count how many times I started a post this way, eh, eh)
When I first started with this blog it was basically a matter of being practical, as I was traveling and it was the easiest way to share my journey with those who wanted to accompany me along The Way... Then, when I came to The Mount of Oaks, it became a weekly reflection for myself, and again, to share what was going on here with all those who were interested to know or those who passed by ...
Then I started a blog just for the Mount of Oaks, because I felt and still feel that the Mount of Oaks is not about me and I wanted to make that a bit more clearer... This blog became then for more personal sharing... reflections, thoughts, processing the week or season that passed, etc...
Now, I´m not so sure if people read blogs so much...

05 February 2012

fiNaLLy LaSt viDeOs fRoM oUr rOaD tRiP...

I know it´s been a while , but it was not easy to find the time to put together all the footage from our road trip...
We´ve been busy since we´re back and without electricity it makes it harder to find the time... Winter is a time of reflection and introspection anyway... A time to plan and envision what is ahead...
But anyway... here´s a little something to remember our pilgrimage at the end of the summer... Believe me, it takes ages to make this little videos...it´s fun though... but exhausting at times, to go through all our pictures and video snaps, putting it all together, cutting here and there, choosing the songs, etc... not to mention the times I forgot to save and the program froze...
Enjoy !!! There are six of them :-)
From Chester to Peterborough ...

29 December 2011

ChRiSt iS aLL, and is iN aLL...

One more meditation from Fr. Richard Rohr:

We are too tiny, too passing, too recent to imagine any eternal greatness within us, but the Biblical pattern of incarnation always has God disguised and hiding inside of littleness, particularity, ordinariness, and seeming insignificance. God seems to want us to do the desiring and all the discovering. No one finds God who is not looking for God and willing to go to the edges to find God. Unless we leave our comfort zone, we really do not meet God at all, but merely pull God inside of our own small sphere, and it is no longer God that we meet at all. Just religion.

24 December 2011

tHeRe iS gOoD nEwS aT cHriStMaS...


Prayer: 
O Rising Sun, enlighten my darkness.


" Through the heartfelt mercies of God, 
      God's Rising Sun 
will break in upon us,
   Shining on those in the darkness,
      those sitting in the shadow of death,
   Then showing us the way, 
one foot at a time,
      down the path of peace.
"    (Luke 1:78-79)
Pre-industrial people were far more connected to the natural cosmos and seasons than we are today, and were very aware that the 21st of December is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere... not really the death of the sun—but its rebirth! The liturgical year was easily connected to the seasons of nature. 

12 October 2011

here's a little review of our first 6 days on the road...
From Belfast, to Edinburgh/Scotland, then into England....firstly the Northumbrian coast to Lindisfarne on the Holy Island; Durham; Leeds and Manchester...

We had our last good-byes in Belfast with a lovely dinner and hang out time at Pádraig´s house. 

06 October 2011

LoVe cELeBrAtIoN viDeO

for some reason, one of the songs I used in the video of our Love celebration has copyrights and is not possible to open in certain countries, like germany... odd...
If it´s restricted in your country, click here instead... 
not so good sound, but hey !!!

Shalom
Salaam
Peace
Paz

30 September 2011

LoVe cELeBrAtiOn VidEo

check here for a youtube video...
If it´s restricted in your country, click here instead... for some reason, one of the songs I used has copyrights and is not possible to open in certain countries, like germany... odd...
when I find time I´ll post some more :-)
we´re just now packing the van to start the road trip back to the Mount of Oaks...through Scotland, England, North of Spain till Santiago and north of Portugal...

Shalom
Salaam
Peace
Paz

01 September 2011

oN tHe rOaD...

Here'e me and emma starting our trip from the Mount of Oaks to Ireland... in our van that now has a name, "soraia"... it came with the wind-brake we got as you can see...
We left on sunday afternoon and on wednesday we were already in the north of France close to the place we'd take the ferry to Ireland... so we still had a day to rest from travelling and enjoyed the day at a beautiful beach in Normandy...
I'll just leave you with the pictures and some brief comments...


20 June 2011

"cHuRcH aS pErMaCuLtUrE..." ?!!!

This is part of some daily meditations I get through e.mail from Fr. Richard Rohr, a Fransciscan monk living in the north of America... Obviously he's relating with the reality there, but we can see  the same issues in our part of the world...
He gave this tittle for the week "Church as Permaculture"... I had to laugh... and read..., specially because it was just the week before the Permaculture Course here...
so here goes:
"Mere beliefs do not necessarily change the way we live in this world.  What we have been calling “Emerging” Christianity or “Lifestyle Christianity” involves a real movement toward simplicity—at all levels.  A return to a simple lifestyle is the only way we are going to be able to respect this planet and create honest community instead of this social climbing we are involved in today.  

16 June 2011

tHe sToRm cOmEs bEfOrE wE rEaCh tHe sHorE...

I was meditating this morning on the passage in Luke 8:22-25, when Jesus and his disciples got on the boat to reach the other side of the lake, and got stuck with an heavy storm...
I was quite familiar with the story, and the teaching of Jesus to his disciples (me included) of how little faith we have when we face different storms on the way...
Again I got confronted with the same question Jesus asked his disciples then : "- Where is your faith?"

what was different this morning was that I kept reading while I was trying to get familiarized with the context... that's when my perspective changed...


09 June 2011

a LoNg wAy tO gO...

This is me next to Lesley a week ago during the Permaculture Design Course. I sprained my wrist when I was tying a rope from the tarp in front of the kitchen. I was on a step ladder and wearing an african fabric tied around my waist as a skirt... not a good idea !!! even though I lifted it and tied it up to my waist, as I was stepping down, the fabric untied itself and blocked my knee... so I was not able to step down, fell on my butt and landed on top of my hand... Outch!!! it did hurt... Thank God it was not worse as I had a knife on that hand... Fiiiuuu !!!
     This was just one of the many "incidents" I experienced the last weeks... but there were many blessings too... I would suggest you would grab a cuppa to read the rest...I will try to sum up the last months on these lines ... but I can't promise it will be short :-)

09 January 2011

3 mOrE dAyS iN aNgOLa...

      It's been a good time here visiting my parents...
the reason why I came so unexpectedly was due to my mom's health condition. She had broken 2 ribs and during the time of recovery she felt really bad...one night she almost couldn't breathe, she had high fevers and was cold as ice...  My dad said she was virtually dead... they went to the hospital and she was immediately looked after ... one of her broken ribs had punch one of her lungs, and they took out more than 1 liter of blood...

31 December 2010

a rEfLeXiOn fOr tHe nEw sEaSon tO cOmE...

It's almost 2011 (for those who count that way), and it's nice to be in a warmer place :-)...
I just wanted to drop a line and wish everyone the chance to have a good time to reflect on this year that passed ... a time to remember...
I'm sure in the end there will be many things to give thanks for...
I also want to wish you in this coming season, all the rest and peace needed for each day... time to stop and simply wonder at the beauty around us... time to contemplate, and eyes to see and realize that beauty...

28 December 2010

cAr tRiP ViDeO & mY oBsErVaTioNs iN aNgoLa...

This was my little trial to make a movie of my trip from Luanda to Benguela by car...
I went with my father, my brother Jorge and his 2 sons, Keanu and Eric... This was the first time I could make this trip by car cuz before the roads were not safe to drive...
It's been 6 years since I last came here and many things have changed... The war only ended in 2002 (after more than 40 years), and when I came here in 2005 there were still not many changes... 

17 December 2010

5 dAyS, 3 AiRpOrTs, 5 cAnCeLeD fLiGhTs...


so, I will share my "saga" of my trip to Northern Ireland...
I was only going for a week , for Emma's birthday, to see her dad in Hospital and the rest of the family...
I end up having 5 flights canceled, in 3 different airports, and ended up arriving in Belfast on the same place the Titanic was built :-)... thankfully nothing compared to the Titanic story happened :-/...After all that it would be dreadful ...

27 November 2010

rEfLeXiOnS oN LaSt cOupLE oF mOunThs...


It's been again a long time since I post anything...apart from my last note about my laptop keyboard... as you might presume, I do have a keyboard now :-)... i found a cheap one on ebay, only 12E...super!!! but that was not the only reason why I haven't got the opportunity to write...
the thing is that my days have been quite full and many things have happen...
Now I seat here in "my house" (the bus), the sun just set, I just lit a nice fire to warm up and made myself a cup of tea... the season of cold days (and specially nights) have started, and the olive harvest season is about to come to an end...
Somehow I feel as I haven't spent much time on my own for a long time, and maybe that's just what I needed to seat, relax , and write...

08 November 2010

nO cOmPutEr...aNd oLiVe hArVeSt nEeDs hELp...

it s been few weeks now that i cant use my computer. only to connect my internet modem in order to use my phone for internet, as im doing now... :-)
My keyboard got few drops of rain and doesnt work anymore.but the rest is fine, fiiiiuu...but i can only use the mouse ...
Im using my phone now for access internet and check emails, so i just wanted to drop a line to let you know.
All my mail contacts are in my computer, so i ve been only replying to those who have been sending me emails recently.

26 September 2010

sUmMeR tiMe...


This has been a reeeeally hot summer... one of my excuses not to write so often on my blog :-) eh, eh... but it's true, it's really discouraging to write during siesta when it's most hot, or in the evenings when I'm basically exhausted...
anyway, just wanted to catch up with the last month before I have another bunch of things to share...
After the time in USA I had lots of work to do here... mainly cutting grass/weeds to prepare the camping area for the permaculture course participants, and to open up the walking paths... at the same time I would use the same cuttings to mulch most of the trees...
I had to say that I had lovely visits who helped me on that...

14 August 2010

aBoUt TimE...


it's about time I post something about my time in USA... I already came back 4 weeks ago, but I had so many little (and big) things to do here at the land that I was not so enthusiastic to be at the computer... It's also not so encouraging when we have between 35º and 40º ... really really hot... so, If I'm not working, I'm swimming :-)...
But anyway, I would really like to share some of my thoughts about the time at the camp... first because it's always a good way for me to process it all, and then because I would like to share it ...
of course this would be simply my personal experience...if you're interested in more you can also read great entries by Audrey on the camp's blog... click here ...
I chose this picture to start with (it was actually a post card Marcia gave me from Chiapas-Mexico), because that is the picture I have of this camp... building bridges, where once there were walls...

15 June 2010

fACE 2 fAcE...fAiTh 2 fAiTh...hEre I gO...


Soon, me and Emma will be going to the Usa to participate in an inter-faith program called "Faith to Faith, Face to Face"... click here to find out more about it.
The program operates in four regions around the world, Belfast (Northern Ireland), Cape Town (South Africa), Jerusalem and United States. Emma is the leader of the Northern Ireland region and this is one of her jobs with the Corrymeela community that she's part of... so, this will not be new for her, but for me it will be the first time, both in this program and in the USA...
I'm really excited and looking forward for all the experiences that will await for us at this time...

12 June 2010

hApPy hApPy dAy !!!!


Just a couple of days after finishing our strawbale building workshop we had lots of friends and family for a "baby party"... (go to the other blog to see how it all went... it was great!!!)

This was definitely a happy day… a celebration day for many reasons…
For my twin nephews’ 3rd birthday, Nelson and Joshua, and also for Nolan’s 2nd birthday that would be later this month…
We also had little Diogo with us, only few months old, son of Pedro and Lisanne, my sister’s best friends…
And Kiara, Lua’s daughter was also with us…
so, a party with and for children… I think we all became a bit like children, except for the alcohol consumption ☺, but hey, it was a party !!!
Another big big reason for celebrating was that my mom came from Angola ☺ …

28 May 2010


This is Lyna's Yurt floor finished...
Click here to know how the strawbale building workshop is going...
It's only the second day and we are ready to lift up the walls tomorrow :-)

16 May 2010

hArD wOrK...


Check out here for our last weeks hard work...
I'm back in Belfast to visit Emma who got a viral meningitis... she's much better now, and I'll be back to the land on tuesday to get back to work...
We need to finish Lyna's Yurt floor, and get ready for our Strawbale building workshop... I'm looking forward for it...
IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE SOME MORE ATTENDANTS, SO, PLEASE PASS IT ON TO THOSE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED
it will be from the 27th May to the 3rd June...and costs 200E, food and camping place included...

18 April 2010

tHe sHacK...


what an amazing book !!! I just finished this morning and I'm still so thrilled about it all... I highly recommend it ...lots of deep insights given with a nice sense of humour... you can check it out here on "the Shack" 's website.
It will definitely break down all your pre-conceived stereotype images you may have of God... :-)


Let me share just a little part that stood out to me, to give you a little taste :
(one of the many conversations between Mack, the main character, and Jesus)

15 April 2010

wOnDeRs oF nAtUrE...


I just arrived from Dublin, after not being sure I was actually about to take the flight. All UK airports are closed because of a vulcano in south Iceland which erupted today...they say this ashes are really dangerous for the plain's engines so they are not risking to allow any plains to take off...
Even flights to Brussels were being canceled, I didn't understand...but I guess there was no danger to fly south to Portugal... Fiiiuuu...it was a bit chaotic at the airport, but I made it to the gate on time...
Thank God there are no major loses in Iceland, people are being evacuated, but no injuries nor deaths...just quickly read the news...


12 April 2010

oNe mOrE suCceSsfUl PErMaCuLtUrE cOuRsE ...


we finished one more successful permaculture course at the land... with 13 participants, most of them Portuguese (which made me really glad), few Germans, one Dutch and a "multicultural" one (eh, eh, hard to define, but basically he's born in Holand, lives in Portugal for more than 10 years and his parents are both from America)... that's Chris Uhler for those who know, he's part of the "house" already...and he was also the youngest of the participants... It was a pleasure to know all of them... and it was a pleasure to spend some time again with Lesley who is such a delight... Most of the people who came were new for me, so it was nice to get to know them... all such beautiful people...
Marcia also came from Lisbon to help me and Lyna in the kitchen, and as she said, it was so nice to spend this time with
like-minded people, even though all different and unique in our own ways... it was soooo nice to be with Marcia again... I miss her so much...


14 March 2010

wE hAvE hOt wAtEr aLrEaDy :-)


Me and Lyna were like children when the hot water came out of the solar water heater...this is how it looks , but check it here to see the last processes...
The permaculture course is coming soon and we still have to finish little things and make the shelter for the course cuz the forecast predicts rain... I'm still hoping that changes, but still, we have to be ready for what might come...
around 20 people will come and camp for 9 days for this intensive permaculture design course, but I'm looking forward to get to know them all... I do hope despite the weather, we will have a wonderful time together...
Me, Lyna and Marcia will be in the kitchen cooking and making sure there's always hot tea and coffee :-)

07 March 2010

rain...rain..rain...


check out here for last week's news...
Thank God the sun will be shinning this week...and I hope for the next weeks too...we need to dry a bit... the soil is totally saturated with water...even in our kitchen and common place the water springs from the floor...
In this picture you can see that our upper pond is overflowing...actually, the other one below as well... and our road is being a bit more destroyed....it's amazing how much power water has...it doesn't look as strong as stone, but it does find its way through...
so, I'm looking forward for this next week...we've still lots to be done...
Have a good and pleasant week too
PAECE

21 February 2010

wOrK iS gOinG wELL...


I have lots of news about last 2 weeks of work in the land... so, I better just put some pictures and write some comments about it...
Last sunday I went to Moses for a wee rest and I end up trapped by the snow...so I could only come back to the land on tuesday and then had lots to do...so not much time to blog...but I wrote a bit here on the MOunt of Oaks blog... I'm still trying to figure out what to write on my blog and on The Mount of Oaks blog...anyway, I'm not sure if it makes sense yet to have 2 blogs, but hopefully in a near future it will not only be me writing about the life in the land here...
As you can see, the bath roof is done...

After that I started to work on the the plumbing system for the washing station near the kitchen and the bath house...as you can see here on the same post I mentioned before...
I gave up on the idea to build a shower place before the permaculture course as I'm seeing the weeks flying by and I don't think I would have the time to finish all I wanted in the first place...

Willi is determined to fix our road down below cuz it keeps raining and it's getting almost impossible to go up with the cars... not so nice when we need to carry heavy material for the things we're working on...

As I said I went to visit the Winter's at Moses, and I end up getting trapped by the snow...they convinced (it was not so hard, eh, eh) to stay overnight and go monday morning...it was also Joshua's 13th birthday, so, another good excuse to spend some time with them all... we watched this movie "Avatar" online, and I have to say that I highly recommend it (if possible for you, go to a good theater and watch it 3D)...sooooo impressive... I was really touched by the story which, even though fiction, we could easily relate with our sad reality throughout history...when out of fear of the unknown people kill each other in the name of "peace" (or for the sake of money and good busyness)...it made me cry in few parts of the movie... I can say that after the Lord of the Rings, it's definitely my favorite movie...beautiful pictures too...
Anyway, monday morning I left, and I just needed to drive up hill to see this

Yep, snow again...and more was ahead...

I literally had to go around trees that were falling on the road with the weight of the snow... It was pretty exciting actually :-) and beautiful...but then I got trapped here

these were the tracks of my car wheels as I tried to drive up this hill...I got to a point where I lost traction and I had to go back...I was literally sliding to the edges, so every once in a while I had to go up a bit to straighten my wheels and slide back again... it was fun and exciting... I also knew I would be fine cuz I could just call the winters to pick me up if I was in trouble... but I did it :-)...
I was taking another way to go to Fundao, but then I thought the road could be worst ahead and I was not far at all from Moses... so I went back :-)... it was not snowing in Moses, so they were all surprised when I told them what happened... they had planned to go to Coimbra and watch a movie for Joshua's birthday, but they thought it wouldn't be a good idea if it was snowing... so we enjoyed one more day in each other's company which was great... not so great was the fact that the electricity from the city company was really weird and end up blowing up most of the transformers of computers, Josh's play-station, the internet modem and the washing machine...bummer!!!
But we did have a good time playing the guitar and me and Andy playing Djembes... Vonny end up falling asleep with the drums :-)
Tuesday morning I was again ready to leave...hoping I wouldn't get trapped with snow again...

well, I didn't... But looking at the road, I was glad I decided to stay one more night...the road must have been blocked with snow...
It was good to spend those days with the Winter's, but I also had my mind in all the things I had to get done this next weeks...

when I arrived, Willi and Sebastien were fixing the road below...such a good timing as I was just arriving with the back of my van filled with stones from Moses :-) I was already thinking we needed to put some more stones on our road...
but Willi was far ahead in his thoughts, and now he's determined to fix it properly... :-)

That's lots of hard work there as you can see...

nice pictures by Sebastien...



While Willi was busy with the road...I kept working on the plumbing... I fixed the taps on the washing station cuz they were leaking the first attempt...I opened a trench from the kitchen to the drums (next to the big bus), and dug the pipe...

And now I'm starting the second stage which is the solar water heater...here in the picture I was starting to build a small tower to put one more drum, which will fill the drum inside the insulated box next to it where our water will be heated... I have to build it with bricks, and that's why you can see a small foundation being prepared on the right side (facing the solar south)... I have to confess that this will be a great challenge for me, and I do hope that in the end of it, it will actually work :-)
we'll see...the tower is done now, so tomorrow I'll buy the bricks and start with it...
It's been a really exciting time for me to learn all this different things :-)

It's now 3 weeks for the permaculture course to start, when 20 people will come to stay for 9 days...
I do hope we'll have time to finish the bath house walls with a shower compartment (as I said, I gave up on building a whole shower place for now), the compost toilet and the shed for the course in case it rains... I feel the rain will stop for a while after the next full moon on the February 28th...but we never know really ...

Anyway, I hope you all have a good week...and time to process and rejoice for the week that is past...

07 February 2010

miSiOn aLmOsT aCcoMpLiShEd..


I just posted about my last week work on the Mount of Oaks blog ... click on the link if that interest you...
Oh, and I just want to say that I changed my settings on both blogs to moderate any comment, cuz I was getting stupid ones from chinese blogs, probably trying to make publicity or sell useless stuff... sorry about that...

31 January 2010

bUiLdiNg aGaiN...


just a quick note to say I 've just posted the last week news on the Mount of Oaks blog ... we're busy here building one more roof :-)

25 January 2010

nEw sEaSoN...nEw sTaRt...


I´m really excited with this new season and new start that I´m entering here at the Mount of Oaks...
Lyna and baby Nolan already arrived and she´s full of energy for this new season of her life too... I´m really glad to have this sister back here...It´s time for community again, after the long and, I believe, needed time of solitude, rest and reflection...
As you can see here , the permaculture course in March is already full (Around 15 to 17)...and most of the participants this year will be portuguese...

It´s nice to be able to offer this course at a low cost so that much more people can have access... probably we don´t have the best conditions to offer, but people don´t seem to be bothered about it...
I still have loads of work to do in order to prepare better conditions for the course this year...like a shower place and easier warm water, a better compost toilet, fixing the things which the rain and snow damaged this winter, and also provide a shelter in case it rains (I do hope not)...

Since I came back from Christmas and New Year, I´ve been fixing the road, making trenches on the sides, carrying lots of stones and some gravel for the entry that flooded... I also made a better fence between us and Tia Adelina (mainly because the dogs run straight into her garden every time they hear something on the other side...and I know she´s not so happy about it...some fences can bring more peace as well...ones that are not hard to overcome...more to protect the neighbour from my dogs, rather than to separate me from her, or because of fear...but anyway, we could go totally out of the subject here...

I´m working on the bath roof now and it´s gonna be nice to have Lyna helping as well...Much easier and faster with 2 :-)... and she loves building too...
Me and Lyna also went today to Alpedrinha (the nearest bigger village) where they have a day-care centre with lots of kids... Lyna thought it was the best for Nolan to spend part of the day with some other kids his age, and I also think it´s gonna be great for his development both as a kid and also to learn the language ... with a french mom and a german dad who communicate in English, I think now with portuguese he will have a wide ranche of choices to communicate :-)
The place was nice, fun, joyful and people were really kind... They knew about us, so they will give us the cheapest rate to pay as well...around 30E a month, which is quite handy too, as Lyna is not receiving the mother´s support anymore... Anyone who would like to contribute for that is more than welcome :-)

Anyway, I´m really looking forward to what this new season will bring...
I´m excited about the permaculture course and also the possibility of making a strawbale building workshop in early June (only if there´s enough people interested to cover all the costs)

BY THE WAY, ANY ONE WHO COULD BE AVAILABLE TO COME AND HELP IN THE KITCHEN WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED... SPECIALLY FOR THE STRAWBALE WORKSHOP, AS I REALLY WANT TO TAKE IT MYSELF...
LET ME KNOW...

PEACE

13 January 2010

rEpOrTs oF JumPEr wItH kUrDisH pEoPLe iN IrAquE...


Just a little post with a link to JUMPER s blog ...a friend of mine from Czech Republic...
so far he posted lots of pictures, and a post both in Czech and English... he really wants to share what he has been experiencing and seeing there... it's now his second visit with a CPT (Christian Peacemaker Teams) group and he totally loves it... I heard some nice stories from him when I met him at Juran and Ulli's wedding in Germany, and I want to keep his track...he also fell in love for the Kurdish cause... just thought you might be interested as well, so log on his blog... he wants to write as much as it will be possible for him... and he would also appreciate your prayers and support...
May you be an instrument of Peace and Reconciliation Jumper... you're not alone !!!
(on the picture, the second guy from right to left)

aFtEr sNoW...rAiN & fLoOds...


yep, the snow melted as it started to rain...lots of rain... so this was our entry road next morning as I went to check it out...
there was a water fall on the right side of the land and I presumed the stream of river must have been overflowing...
And that was the case... after one hour I manage to clean the stream taking out some eucalyptus' branches which were blocking the water flow and causing it to go over the edges straight into our land...

I also made some trenches so the water could flow away from the road and into the neighbour's land, and that helped a lot too...
But after fixing the river stream I could already see a major difference...
I also cut some "giestas" branches and laid it on top of the water where it was more muddy and less stones so the car could have some traction... I did manage to drive out of the land and parked the car outside (just in case) ...
Now I need to put some gravel that the village hall pilled on the road for people to use for that purpose... It's quiet a work to do it by hand, but hey...what to do ?!! :-)

...this will be my work for the week I guess... on the little brakes when it's not pouring rain...
I had other plans as I have lots of things I want to do before the permaculture course, but hey... that's life here... what else can I do?!! the natural forces are stronger and I can only wait for better conditions to come...
It's also nice for me to know for instance "how the water thinks", and what to do better to prevent such situations...or how to use that force for our benefit :-)... But I can't do everything at the same time , can I ?!! Shantii, Shantii...one step at a time ...
Oh well... the weather forces me to be more indoors, reading and resting (even though at this time it would not be tiring to be working outside either... sometimes is more restful for me than reading)... But I give thanks and enjoy !!! The ponds are filling which is really good to stand the next hot summer... that's what I have in mind actually !!!
And for those who live in the city, maybe the rain is just annoying, even though it might not even be affecting you much, unless your house leaks or some flood cut down the electricity... but give thanks and enjoy too, remembering that the land really needs more water to provide for the food we eat :-) , and definitely the springs need more water to provide the water we need to drink...
I don't like to think fatalistically, but if we keep wasting and polluting the natural resources as we are at the moment, maybe sooner than later, water will be more precious than petrol... a little thought for us to think about...