Over the last couple of months the Kraal Retreat,at Mpande, have been hosting my Eartworx workshops. We've had a tremendous response from the local community. It has been very successful and I hope to continue and expand my vision of uplifting the community in this area.
Being a retreat I thought it a good idea to incorporate the Mexican sweat lodge (Temazcal) at the Kraal.
Upon arrival back in South Africa I was anxious to get back into the mud. The rural Eastern Cape, where I mixed my first African mud, has since become my home. The Xhosa people have been using natural building for centuries. Adobe bricks and wattle and daub structures are still found all over the Transkei. My vision here is to learn and teach. Sometimes all we need in life is a new idea.
One of my community workshop projects that have taken the interest of many Xhosa people in my community and surrounding communities, is the clay oven. Many people in rural Eastern Cape live without electricity, and cooking on open fires put a huge strain on firewood as a resource. The idea is to host workshops with volunteers wanting to learn as well as make a difference in the local community.At the same time interacting with the local community, making a difference, and leaving a positive footprint.
Workshops combining natural building with organic gardens and education in nutrition seem like a positive course of action to take in this area.
During the years I spent in Mexico a great love for vibrant colour and mosaic was ignited in my work. I started combining natural building with mosaic. The time I spent with the Nahuatl tribes along the Pacific coast of Mexico also turned out to be very inspirational. I gathered a wealth of knowledge and new (old) ideas from these beautiful people. What started out as mosaic art suddenly evolved into many new useful and sustainable projects.
Natural building techniques are easily integrated with natural living. Sustainability on the fast track to becoming a necessity has opened the door to natural building as a point of interest.
Not only the indigenous tribes of Mexico, but also the indigenous people all over the world,are becoming teachers to those of us who are returning to rural life, self-sustainability and natural building.