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“So tell me about your project”

Things are explained…

“And what do you think you could do at our festival…”

Things are suggested….

I leave with this feeling in my chest. Is that fear? Are we making the wrong choice? An old story once told to me from a wise womyn repeats in my head, “We confuse fear with excitement all the time when our stomach feels upset…you have to find what it really means to you.”

Gulp which is it.

Wow this project is really happening isn’t it. Holy crap this is rad.

Well folks it’s all happened.

As some of you know I applied for my second working holiday visa here in OZ so that I could stay in Melbourne for a year and work with Cycle for Sustainability. All I had to do was pass a physical (yipes), work three months on a farm, and do some jumpin jacks. And yesterday I got notice that I’ve been accepted for another year!

So what does all this mean?

Well basically I have felt pretty strongly about getting The Otesha Project (Australia): Cycling for Sustainability — formerly (Cycle for Sustainability) moving in bigger directions with more peeps. And I’ve moved to Melbourne, tag teaming up with Ange & other crew, and trying to make all this dream into a reality. So for the next year we’ll be planning out some serious tours (3 or 4), performing skits, monkeying around, dancing to funk, and applying for grants. If we can get a sizable grant it would make a huge difference in the success of this project. Phfew wish me luck! It’s pretty huge for me at the moment as this was a huge decision but honestly it feels right..it feels true. Inside I feel that I’m following my heart more than I ever have. Shit yeah!

And now we’d like to thank our sponsors…

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank all the rad peeps out there. My friends, my family, my Aunt here in OZ for her endless giving, Andrew for his guitarness, Ella for her chips – beer – and laughs, and all that rad support, encouragement, love, giving, more giving, and help.

We are nothing without community. We are nothing without the support, inspiration, and love from others. Let’s hope that we can pull this bad boy off.

Peace, love, dance moves, and life.

PS – Shane is typically renamed to Shano don’t ask me why but I kinda like it.

PSPS – Leunig is an amazing artist from OZ.

A million years ago I wrote about how bothered I was that people tend to always look at external things to judge people’s level of education, social standing, and other things. That it bothered me that I came from a certain ethnic standing because it gave me social standing that I’d rather not have.

Frankly, it’s something that comes up in my mind from time to time. More that I feel this massive need to help out those that aren’t in the same social networks, benefits, or situation that I am. For a while I volunteered a long time with Food Not Bombs in Calgary to try and help out people who just needed something to eat (yes some people don’t really like going to homeless shelters to get food cause they can feel a bit intimidated).

I wonder at times if people forget that a lot of ethnicities (refugees) end up taking on a lot of the jobs that help support the existing culture that we sustain each day. It’s the immigrants in Canada and even in Australia that are working the late shifts at gas stations, packing food on shelves, and cleaning stores when they shut. I appreciate that and at the same time feel a little disheartened because I know that some of these (many taxi drivers I’ve met and chatted with) actually have engineering degrees from foreign countries that they can’t seem to get recognized in Australia or Canada.

I guess for me it just enhances the fact that I realize there is a need for me to really continue to strive to break down those barriers between the class structure I was raised in and others. Try and find ways in which I can integrate myself with more of these people (and frankly I feel more connected with them to begin with because like Ecuador they seem to value things that are more important to me).

What brought all this home for me was watching the Chilean movie Machuca.

“In 1973, in Santiago of Chile of the first socialist president democratically elected in a Latin-American country, President Salvador Allende, the principal of the Saint Patrick School, Father McEnroe (Ernesto Malbran) makes a trial of integration between students of the upper and lower classes. The bourgeois boy Gonzalo Infante (Matías Quer) and the boy from the slum Pedro Machuca (Ariel Mateluna) become great friends, while the conflicts on the streets leads Chile to the bloody and repressive military coup of General Augusto Pinochet on 11 September 1973, changing definitely their lives, their relationship and their country.” – IMB

At about the half way point I was crying and from that point onward the movie really brought you closer to the reality of what can happen in social situations (not only from politics but also because of social class systems). It was a beautiful reminder that breaking down berries, helping out those that aren’t in the same situation as ours, and sharing what you’ve got is the only way that we can help to create a sustainable fair world. And I know I can do that!

Through out my life my Mom has talked about how when she was growing up her family would reuse old clothes to patch jackets or even make new clothes. Sewing was a big part of what the family did. It’s just what people did when they didn’t have a lot of money, and also when the clothes that you were purchasing cost more then they do now. Today things have changed and it has become much easier to just throw away clothes as the cost of buying new clothing is quite inexpensive (unless you are buying designer clothing and if that’s the case I’d encourage you to read No Logo).

There are heaps of ethics associated with how cheap clothing is these days (see sweatshops), but my point is more the recognition of the fact that there is still plenty of use with the clothing that we do throw away. I feel a sense of responsibility to really use all parts of the clothing I purchase in as many ways as I can because so much energy goes into creating that for me in the first place.

Almost a week ago I was getting ready to leave the Permaforest Trust and had to go through my room figuring out what was worth keeping, throwing out, and saving. One of my pairs of work pants was quite trashed (massive hole in the bum that couldn’t be repaired unless I had a bed sheet to fill the hole). It just suddenly dawned on me…

Why not harvest (like seed saving) all the things that can be saved off the pants?

Read the rest of this entry »

I put on a workshop at the Trust recently about consensus decision making and also group facilitation (good even if you aren’t going to do consensus) that was collaborated from material I found at The Otesha Project and other places. I hope to post it on the Cycle for Sustainability website when we get things rollin but I figured I’d post it here for anyone interested.

And it’s here…..Consensus Doc

Keep the Peace

Shane

PS – I found this interesting article in the process of making this document and wrote about it earlier here.

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