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The Joy of Co-Creation

Happy House emerges stone by stone

Happy House emerges stone by stone

In this post I want to share the many developments that are, and have been, taking place in the practical sphere as the Awakened Life Project makes further strides in emerging from the abandoned ruins of Quinta da Mizarela. It is truly amazing and such an inspiration to see what can happen when people unite behind a vision greater than themselves. Conditions have been challenging as it gets colder and the autumn rains set in and we are racing to get a communal kitchen and living space built so we can house all the wonderful people here who do not want to leave! But despite the challenges and chaos of too many things needing to happen, and nobody really being an expert (except Cynthia who is the Project manager par excellence!) and things always going “wrong” or taking longer than one thinks, harmony and joy prevails šŸ™‚

So many open-hearted people, who have embraced the field of unity and evolutionary passion that is the cultural soul-space of the Project, have given themselves joyfully in so many ways…

Master Builder Adam...one happy Scotsman and handy with a hammer!

Master Builder Adam...one happy Scotsman and handy with a hammer!

Scott with cork insulation

Scott (USA) with cork insulation

With the success of our Meditation Marathon fundraiser early in the year we were able to bring in our favorite Portuguese building team to renovate the Happy House. What was the most ruined ruin of all is now a beautiful building that will provide our meditation and meeting room on the upper floor (with fantastic views across the valley), and a bedroom and communal shower on the lower floor. Once Eusebio & crew had finished the walls, windows and roof beams, Glen & Adam and Scott set about putting the roof on with some help from our friends…

Annelieke joins roof raising party

Annelieke joins roof raising party

Teresa with roof tiles

Teresa with roof tiles

Meanwhile next door in the Big House major developments have also been taking place. Here you see the veranda and view from what will be our communal kitchen and lounge space (desperately needed as we have grown to 8 members now!)

Glen making a hole for wiring into meditation room below...

Glen making a hole for wiring into meditation room below...

We were all looking forward to welcoming our dear friend Robinson here as we knew he was a very creative builder. However what he created in a matter of a few days far surpassed our expectations. Check out the beautiful staircase below…

Robinson with his beautiful staircase

Robinson with his beautiful staircase

Robinson selected and cut the pine tree with just the right curve on it, then we dragged it down the mountain behind Big Red ( our battered Land Cruiser). Then he stripped, shaped and polished it, added beautifully elegant steps and astounded us all.

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Meanwhile back in the Happy House, French volunteer Phillipe was nailing down the wooden floor…

Philipe laying the floor in Happy House

Philipe laying the floor in Happy House

And then once Robinson was finished with the stairs he set about making wonderful railings for the verandas out of chestnut and heather branches. The hardwood of the heather is covered in a black resin that needs to be scraped off to reveal the white wood underneath, hence a spontaneous woodscraping party in co-creative bliss!

Woodshaving party

Woodshaving party: Yan, Cynthia, Marko & Robinson

Robinson & Ricardo hang out after shaving poles

Robinson & Ricardo hang out after shaving chestnut poles for railings to go around this veranda.

Meanwhile down in the garden there have been major leaps forwards also, especially during two very successful Permaculture Gardening courses that Laura and Annelieke ran recently…

Creating a raised bed on Permaculture Gardening course

Creating a raised bed on Permaculture Gardening course

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And then there was the harvest from our 3 top bar beehives which gave us several kilos of the most delicious honey…

Honey Harvest from Top Bar Hive

Honey Harvest from Top Bar Hive

And not forgetting Marko, who always blesses us with a smile and a big spirit, our Austrian woodsman who has been doing a fantastic job building a woodshed, making fences and cutting wood for winter. And recently he has been making shelters to protect our orange and lemon trees from winter frost and wind…

Marko making frames that will be covered to protect young citrus trees over winter

Marko making frames that will be covered to protect young citrus trees over winter

And there is Glen-of-all-trades who has given himself wholeheartedly, not only to overseeing the construction crew, but figuring out a hydro power system (desperately needed as the sun goes down and its raining!). Definitely not easy to do, as he has been finding out, as we have to transport the water from the stream further up the valley in pipes that keep breaking apart under the water pressure. So while it is not fully operational yet, during this test run the generator did indeed produce electricity so victory is in sight and Glen is undaunted…

Connecting inlet pipe to hydro generator

Connecting inlet pipe to hydro generator

Glen overseeing his new invention!

Glen overseeing his new invention!

Back up above in the Big House, tiling the kitchen floor and bathroom is in process…

Yan mixing tiling cement

Yan mixing tiling cement

Glen building the bathroom in Big House

Glen building the bathroom in Big House

Glen happily tiling bathroom

Glen happily tiling bathroom

The artist at work!

The artist at work!

And painting too with a lemony yellow clay paint, that not only is toxin-free but also absorbs any toxins floating about!

Jo discovered a flair for clay painting around stones

Jo discovered a flair for clay painting around stones

While Tom figures out how to build our communal kitchen his partner Jo has been enjoying bringing the interior walls to life along with our dear Portuguese friend Teresa…

Teresa & Jo painting

Teresa & Jo painting

Communal kitchen is being built here :)

Communal kitchen is being built here šŸ™‚

And dear friend Ricardo painting beams along with Yan and myself as we listen to the Rolling Stones “Exile on Main St”…

Ricardo painting beams

Ricardo painting beams

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Ricardo & Yan in big house

Ricardo & Yan in big house

And in the midst of all this chaordic ferment it is beings like our donkeys Mingo & Nuno who keep everything grounded in the simplicity of life…

Mingo crossing bridge over stream!

Mingo crossing bridge over stream!

Making the most of a bright sunny day this week we even managed to harvest some olives. I was up in the tree while Yan, Sara, Ricardo & Teresa did quality control and in the process 3 urbanized Portuguese discovered the joys of their rural heritage…

Picking olives while the autumn sun shines: Sara, Yan, Teresa & Ricardo

Picking olives while the autumn sun shines: Sara, Yan, Teresa & Ricardo

And as I write construction of the communal kitchen is underway as we have been blessed with the arrival of master-carpenter Tom and his accomplice Matheu…

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So co-creation continues apace here and we are very grateful to all the volunteers who have given so much in co-creating a beacon for Heaven on Earth…

MUITO OBRIGADO A TODOS šŸ™‚

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From left to right…Big House, ruined house behind (to be renovated one day!), Happy House, Pete & CynthiaĀ“s house on right, Adam & MimĀ“s bus and residence above right, compost loo below right.

And all of this comes to you via the wonderful worldwide web that keeps us connected to the outside world!

Pete in temporary office space with designer window sill and ergonomic bag of rice chair

Pete in temporary office space with designer window sill and ergonomic bag of rice chair

3 Comments

  1. Mari says:

    Hooray!!! It’s beautiful to see the progress, thank you for keeping us all posted šŸ™‚ love to you all and may the enjoyment of skillful creativity continue to reward you x

  2. Paulo Lemos says:

    WOW Loved what you have done with the place! šŸ˜‰ Those stairs… OMG!!!

  3. Dee Hawa says:

    Wonderul photos…. amazing staircase and a great creative “vibe”
    clearly obvious! I hope when i move up to central Portugal from
    southern Spain, i will have a chance to visit!
    Dee

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