One year in the paths of life…

One year ago exactly I was flying to India, with some anxiety to travel by myself, I have to admit. But today I enjoy traveling with no plans with a simple backpack making the most of every new place or people crossing my road…

This travel made me win the time lottery

Better than a million dollars, I won the time to learn, to discover, to share, to know myself, to think about life, to understand the world… I am now feeling more at peace with myself, with the others and with the Earth…

I first learnt to know myself. By observing my attitudes, I discovered my addictions, my expectations, my reactions towards the outside world… I realize what my true needs were, outside of the consumption world. I discovered I could not eat during 5 days, meditation during 10 days, not use money during 1 month, not have a house for 1 year… I learnt how to better feed my body and my spirit!

I also observed people around me from Laotian rice fields to Australian outback: very different cultures, but such a similar human nature! I learnt how to ask questions, accept the answers and open my heart to differences… I understood that we all have a partial vision of our world, incomplete, but all valid. I learnt to be humble, to trust others, to observe, to listen. I understood that living in a community is going to be a social challenge!

I finaly learn how to respect our Mother Earth. I understood how we hurt her, and how I could feed myself without polluting and destroying her. I discovered dozen of ways to be part of the ecosystem again (producing no waste). Here again each vision is worthwhile and adaptable to the land. I am excited now to put all these learning into practice on a land…

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Let’s party: from Christmas to Woodford!

After the festival’s preparation, I have a few days off to spend Christmas at Crystal Waters with Stephane, but also Lara and Heather, I met at the Zaytouna Farm, Evy, Kevin, Sephane’s kids and some others who all made this day wonderful. We decorate the house and even prepare a little Christmas tree. Under the stars, we enjoy some good cheese (of course!), some wine and many dishes, people cooked with love: gazpacho, lasagna, bourguignon beef, tiramisu…  Nothing is missing as gifts are passing among us in the middle of laughs. I didn’t imagine a Christmas in summer could be so nice! And the best gift: the Alsatian cookies my mum sent me made it through the Australian costumes!!

And then, the craziness of the Woodford Folk Festival started: dozen of concerts, shows and conferences at the same time. It is hard to not miss anything! I spend time listening to ecological debates, enjoying circus shows, Brazilian dances, artcraft workshops, Babylone Circus and many others concerts… Venues are full of costumes, lanterns, parades and monsters!! Indeed, this year focus is “be friend with your inner monster”. The most magical moments are the opening and the closing ceremony, and especially the sun rise on the 1st of January with Tibetans songs, surrounded by gypsies and hippies…

I worked a few hours every day at Common Ground, an organic restaurant, in exchange of free meals. I then had the occasion to discover the community managing the restaurant, called “twelve tribes”. They are from Sydney where they have a permanent coffee shop and a farm. They share everything: meals, work, finances and love! I spend great time talking and cooking with them, as they are all very friendly. They are also very religious and follow some very strict principles, which could assimilate them to a sect… But it is hard to judge a community without living with them. I only can say that they all looked very happy and full of love among them and for others…

Here are the pictures:

the village green

An internship with the bamboo’s king !!

Since my arrival in Australia, everybody is telling me about the Folk festival of Woodford, which seems to be the biggest and the nicest in the country. I have never been to a music festival, so I can’t miss it. Thanks to Stephan, I find a way to volunteer during the set-up in exchange of a free entrance ticket (worth 500$!).

So I start to work with Chris, the bamboo’s king. He lives in a small wood house in the forest. He is an artist able to build lions with leaves, koalas with raffia and boats with bamboo… For Woodford, we have to build giant lotus petals in bamboo. So for a week we gather the raw material around his house, and help him in his garden. I discover there the chocolate pudding fruit, a kind of avocado tasting like chocolate, amazing! I met Juju there, who cooks us a delicious Korean diner for her birthday.

We spend the second week at Woodford building the petals. We can see the festival emerging step by step from the earth. Tents, lanterns, costumes, musicians, visual arts and monsters arrive like little ants every day. Not less than 300 volunteers work under a burning sun, before being able to relax in the evening around talent shows and drum sessions. I enjoying learning to work with bamboo during the day and talking with travelers from around the world in the evening…

Here are the pictures:

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