My husband and I grabbed the opportunity tonight, the niche in time, to catch up with my permaculture mentor, Doug Crouch. He’s been in Portugal for the past five months, so we really enjoyed hearing the progress on his work there. He asked about what I’ve been reading, progress on the land purchase process, my opinion on my online course with Geoff Lawton, and how the design process is coming on the land (Forkland Rd.).
I was really honest with him that I am getting mired down in the details of the elements and throw my hands up in frustration many times. Doug has re-encouraged me to take some steps back, print out an overview map, write down simple elements on small slips of paper with no details at this point, and start playing around with placement. He wants me to get back to the fun of the process.
We talked about a vision for field schools as an alternative or complement to university training, considering how ill-prepared for real life we have become with the lack of practical skills-training we receive. This really hits home right now, as we face all the work we need to do on the house to make it live-able to American standards. Especially since our return from Haiti, I find it very ironic that it is practically illegal to live without running water and electricity here.
Just a few days ago I read an article in the local paper where the lack of these two conveniences were held forth as two of the standards that determined a couple was unfit to keep and raise their own children. I found that nauseating. Yet here we are, and now we must scramble to learn these skills from scratch to make our own home acceptable to our culture.
More thoughts to come . . .