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Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.

Executive Directors Report June 2013

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OUR Summer Programs are off to a ‘rip-roaring’ start off!!!brandy-gallagher

We have the most amazing team dynamic ever bringing together every aspect of programming, events, media, administration, human/social elements, completing on an outstanding level of building bits and pieces, getting food into/out of the ground (domestic and wilds)….and having so much love poured into the kitchen!!   The Vancouver Island Youth and Community Convergence hosted a diverse range of peoples with a full house (huge acknowledgement to the founder Mike Geselbracht, his brother Ben Geselbracht/and partner Larissa Coser!!!);  OUR team, and a range of design/build/activist folks, pulled off an amazing Natural Building and Community Colloquium mid May…which really brought to light the upcoming challenges within the natural building movement.  All this with the University of British Columbia Teacher Training Program placing 5 Practicum Students with us as they studied ‘experiential learning’ in OUR immersed learning community environment (brought in on village culture in a big way – Jasmine, Ashley, Darren, Susan, and Karen …..incredible impact for Freya who fell in love with each of you!!)…..not to be upstaged by the ‘FishEye’ 60’s band that rocked out the evening with all these groups and ‘My Big 50th’ birthday party – picture ‘early OUR folks’, and many from over OUR last 15 years,  in with St. Michael’s Highschool, the Colloquium, UBC, all OUR Interns/staff/volunteers/residents….and even some folks who just heard about it on Facebook and thought they should drop in and check OUR ECOVILLAGE out!!!!    Now that is what we call ‘permaculturalizing’, or stacking functions, for OUR weekend of May 11th/12th.   All topped off with a formal linens Mothers Day breakfast that the guys went above and beyond for… and the womyn (young and old) were smiling.

And that was only the first half of the month!!  May 17th heralded in OUR ECOVILLAGE’s 12th full Permaculture Design Certification. With 30 folks in full time and a few drop in Alumni – OUR course is pretty juicy.  We are in awe of the opportunity to have Charles Williams take a lead on this course (Javan was booked part of the course so we tried to a new shift) with an amazing variety of guest teachers and Teaching Assistance from Logan Sanders, Brock Foster, Ini Giesbrecht, and Chad Babcock.  Already there are rave reviews given participants experience…..  It is exciting that this summer will close with Charles Williams teaching with Starhawk when we come full circle with OUR Internships and close their programming with the new “Social Permaculture” course which Charles/Starhawk are piloting this year (see Earth
Activist Training and The Empowerment Manual).

One big thing to note in relation to OUR summer programming is that OUR ECOVILLAGE has made a commitment to local and is offering any SHAWNIGAN LAKE resident  a FREE seat in any of OUR’s courses (can not do this if an outside facilitator)….and if you are from the wider community and you feel you have a great reason to propose a ‘value exchange’ for your tuition only component of a course….and that you will use this learning for positive change in our community…..well we are listening.

Calendar update:  call us if you are a friend of Simon and Alex (and the new and upcoming little ‘Lamonde’) and you are hoping to come to their ‘Honouring Circle and Dinner’ to acknowledge how loved, supported and nurtured they are by OUR community and by friends of theirs who live in the wider area.  Please consider coming in on the very simple and life enhancing organizing team!!!!   This is meant to be a warm hug for them…. So many amazing upcoming events, workshops, and activities this summer.  Come on by for a tour, meal or a stay with OUR community and get caught up.

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I write this after 12 days of a long and heart-connected vigil with OUR beloved Eialina Armfelt, who helped found One United Resource some 20+ years ago.  In these last days of 24/7 ceremony, song, tears and letting go…..her life continued to remind us all of why OUR ECOVILLAGE is such an important sacred space at this time in the advent of human/planetary affairs.  As she would remind us…..”what befalls my people, so befalls the planet”; in other words how we treat ourselves and each other is a direct reflection of how we treat the earth…..our mother.   She has been the mother to so much beauty and possibility in her life time…..and her ashes will be laid to rest at the base of the Peace Pole on Vision Hill at OUR ECOVILLAGE some time in the coming months when we have yet another  ‘Commemorative Conservation Scattering Grounds; Green Burial’ Legacy Project with The Land Conservancy of BC‘ ceremony and honoring for this fiery Viking Womyn whose spirit has touched all OUR lives……”Blessed Be”.

See you for Solstice!! – With Unending Compassion!

Brandy, O.U.R. Ecovillage Executive Director

Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.