Kahang Ecofarm: my new playground

I continue to hitchhike, but I arrive at night because a woman forced me to take the bus (and paid for it!). The next day, I wake up in paradise… Walking under a green alley, I can see colorful floating houses reflecting in the pond. The place is beautiful and the sunsets are amazing. Many bridge in recycle material link the houses to the land and the dinning bridge. Adventure trails, bamboo boats, fishing and resting areas are waiting for the tourists…

I start working on one of the floating house (almost finished). It is an amazing technic: the house is floating over about 140 giant plastic buckets full of water. Then I start to work on my own projects. The managers are very open-minded and curious. It’s the perfect occasion to apply all I learned in Asia before leaving the continent. I am surprised of all the new competences I gathered…

I start to dry banana trunks for their fibers, construct a structure to plant onion in bamboo, prepare coconut oil, compost, raised beds and hanging flower pots. I even construct a clay oven with the help of Ben, a Canadian volunteer. I learn how to use newspapers to make lamps and other accessories and how to make a chicken eggs nursery. And I also start to teach how to use banana fibers, make compost or pancakes (the cook was so happy)…

At the beginning we are only 3 French volunteers, and then Ben arrives. We spend great evenings talking and laughing with the Indonesian, Nepali and Malaysian workers around a barbecue or a few beers. Bakhta, a Nepali worker, is always fighting with Meng, the Malaysian cook in their own personal version of English language. “You go backside!”. It is then painful to leave all of them to catch my plane for Australia. If I didn’t have the flight ticket yet, I would have stayed much longer. The onions, beans, pumpkins and ladyfingers I planted, are just starting to grow and the clay oven isn’t dry enough to cook inside… But the seeds are planted!

Here are some pictures:

beautiful floating houses

Azlan’s graden: a surprising community…

I left Penang Island by hitchhiking to go back to Azlan’s garden in Kuala Lumpur. A spend about a week in total in this surprising place, a green peaceful place hidden in the middle of a crazy city. Sunflowers and sweet potatoes have grown up since my last visit, while new visitors have arrived. I already know André, a Lithuanian DJ found of reiki and Mad Mitch, a crazy Australian bikker healing himself with electricity and purified water… Pascal, a very spiritual French musician just arrived. All these personalities give a special atmosphere to the place where it feels good to share ideas and think about life…

 

So I spend most of my day talking, playing ukulele, and from time to time, I put some horse manure in the garden or wept some leaves. We spent a great afternoon playing music in a river with bamboo and other crazy instruments. Azlan, the landlord, is also the head of the green party (illegal in Malaysia). So it is a very public figure and I follow him to many public events: art gallery inauguration, young managers meeting, karaoke, and even his mum birthday! I meet many interesting people, but I feel uncomfortable in this huge city where I only see pollution and craziness. I can stay insensible to plastic waste and overconsumption, for example, I see them everywhere. So I rapidly move south to work in a farm growing organic rice…

Here are some picutres:

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Penang Island: great food in the middle of fishing villages

After 10 days of mediation, I discover Malaysia is a very cosmopolitan country, inhabited by Chinese and Indians since several decades (work force during the colonization) and attracting today Asian (most developed country in Asia) and Muslin (developed but cheap Muslim country) people. It is hard at first to find native malai and typical food because so many cultures are mixed together… I first arrived in “Little India” where I recognized the Indian clothes and tast without the bad smell and crazy noise. But in a way, these luxurious shops are so far from the “real” India.

I am hosted by Turkish and Iranian people, next to the University. They gave me great food, show me Iranian dancing, and just give me the desire to stay longer in Penang. So after a few days in Kuala Lumpur, I am back in Penang, to take the time to enjoy its food (the best in Malaysia), its beaches, garden, fishing villages and trekking trail. I also finally can visit KK’s secret garden (a permaculture project of a friend I met in Thailand)

I learn a few words in Malay, Perse and Arabic, as I am discovering foods from all these countries… I also enjoy cooking some French and Indian food for my hosts, with the help of another American girl. And I keep meeting people from all around the world, students from Europe or simple travelers…

To see more pictures:

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