Typhoid is typical and everyone is an electrician

As I write this I’m laying on my bed and flailing my legs above me as I let the fan bring some air to my body and liberated nether regions. I take in this very full, and very social day in Haiti. My feet are heavy with the heat and humidity.  It’s summer in the…

Oh but to live in a chicken coop again

Stories of home and hearth : central Alberta, Canada – June-Sept 2013 When the Fishers and I decided to work together last summer, I was to be living out at their farm near the town of Didsbury most days in the week, and touching base with the big city life in Calgary the other days…

How to celebrate Agriculture Day with a paintbrush (and etching tool)

It was a coincidence (or was it?) that I headed out to Fire Escape (the pottery painting place in Calgary) last Thursday, May 1st. May 1st also happens to be Labour and Agriculture Day in Haiti.  I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to pay my tributes to Kouzen Zaca, the patron Iwa of farmers.  His…

Involving cellphones and time: an intro to Digicel in Haiti

The American woman sitting next to me in the CaribeTours bus – we are headed to Cap-Haitien from Santiago in the Dominican Republic – smiles at me knowingly and nods “Yup, it’s true, if you thought that Haiti is primitive now, it’s nothing to how it was 5 or 10 years ago”.  My eyes widen…

30 goats jogging through a Karate film

Last night, we were several hundred in the small square of Sainte-Suzanne watching a Chinese karate movie under the palm trees and stars.  Dispersed among the hills and greenery, it feels like only several hundred families live here, in this village in North Eastern Haiti, instead of the documented 25,000 individuals.  We gather together in…

My personal Haitian context – real and primary

My primary source of frustration this past week has not really been an ongoing lack of sleep, or digestive troubles or seeing the misery and garbage of the Haitian 3rd world reality.  Rather, I am annoyed to find it so difficult to talk about and share any of this unique experience with anyone.  The Haitians…

Integrated or seperated – how we can simplify through multi-functionality

One of my favourite Permaculture principles is that of multi-functionality. Basically, the idea is that every element designed into our Permie systems must fulfill multiple functions and interact and coexist with all other elements. The objective is harmony and cooperation throughout and also system resilience and increased efficiency. For example, a water collection system can…

An Indian summer in Calgary

A last-minute decision to spend a few weeks in the town where I grew up: Calgary, Canada. An opportunity to reconnect with old friends, family and places. Escape the other-worldly frenzy in the hundreds of parks and bike paths. It’s a little chilly, yes, but it’s so very beautiful! Enjoy the photos :)

There will never be an App for nature!

A beautiful article showing that our rush to ecology and Perma is simply a revision of how things used to be. I definately can relate with the author’s grandmother as mine too has incredible stories from the past, the most incredible of which was her day to day life: chickens, vegetable gardens, reusing water… I…

Bolivian army helps us weed our garden

So, this morning I went out to get some bread and milk only to return to the house 5 minutes later…and see that about 60 or 70 soldiers, from what I am assuming is the national army, are busy flaying their machetes around weeding the small strip of park across the street.  I didn’t think…

WWOOF in South Bolivia (Tarija)

With an expiring Peruvian tourist visa as the so-called excuse to bugger out of the Sacred Valley for a few weeks…I headed out to Tarija, Bolivia last Saturday night from Cusco.  I had two buses to patiently sit through, a 15 hour ride from Cusco to La Paz (one of the capitals of the Bolivian…