Most of us know the term "open source" in regards to software. Back in times, before trademarks and patents, many cultures were built on "organic" exchange of ideas. It allowed for more equal growth of communities, easier access to new concepts and vibrant use of creativity.
Development of blockchain technology, aiming to decentralize many aspects of our society, along with growing number of grassroots movements and community based actions emphasize human collective foundation.
The core value of humanity, co-creation.
The Earthship project in Indonesia was a great example of open source ideas at work. Michael Reynolds has said many times, that each earthship build is an experiment, where new concepts are implemented and tested. There are shared and discussed with participants of those projects.
Like with open source software, each innovation could be modified, adapted and used for different purposes in various locations.
There is one principal, to co-create and share self sustainable ways of living.
It has been amazing time, with awesome people! I would like to share this picture story with you, and hope it would bring courage and light into your life.
BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU THAT SUPPORTED ME ON THIS JOURNEY!
By air from Chicago to Tokyo, then Jakarta and Lombok to finally change to land & water based vehicles. Some cool views on the way...
The beginning of this journey was a bit rough. I took off from Chicago Friday morning, 11th of November to arrive on Kenawa island Sunday, the 13th late afternoon.
The temperature changed from 40F in Chicago to over 100F at my destination. I felt upside down for a few days ;-)
Here we go, Lombok... a few more hours by a car, a ferry and a boat to get to the island. Easy peasy ;-)
Before rural areas, last glimpse of glass & steel world...
We had made some arrangements beforehand with other volunteers. I met them at a local hotel where they stayed. Just enough time for me to take a shower. It felt like a king spa after long hours in the air :-)
First steps on this tiny piece of beautiful land. After long travel it`s good to have a little exercise, let`s put up a tent, hehe.
Arriving on the island brought a few surprises. It was said that there were no people living on it and I imagined that it looked like a virgin island. Remote indeed, but with some signs of human settling, some walk paths and small shade huts.
There were several families living on the island and three tiny stores with dinning areas. It was really cool. Language, culture, food. Good spots to hang out. We could support local businesses while having a place for a breakfast.
Several small shade huts were located around the island, used by local people coming for a picnic. For the time of the project, we have occupied them either as sleeping areas or shade to hang out. With ants and flies ;-)
On my way to the island I was touched by curiosity and kindness of local people. I have learned that there are over 300 hundred languages that are spoken in this country. Even though we didn't speak any of Indonesian languages, with happy attitude and beautiful smiles everything worked smoothly.
No electricity means no juice for electronics :-) Many of us brought small solar panels that worked the wonders. Here - our solar station on the side of the shade hut.
Have you noticed that there was mostly grass? In the past, palm trees were growing on many islands. Local people cut them to use as building materials and for other life needs. The earthships brought a new idea how to take part in reforestation. Toilet plugins... Really cool ones :-)
Coming back to the project: Let`s pound some tires!
Hard labor work and very high humidity made me thoughtless. Beautiful lesson about myself, on both physical and mental levels.
In addition to the volunteering team, we had several local guys helping us with the project and learning about earthships...
Earthships are "organic" in their design - the use of recyclable materials, the way how they function and earthy look. Underneath there is a solid foundation, where layout and measurements are the key.
And lots of Dust, reminded me sometimes of Burning Man event in Nevada ;-)
...so after biting the dust in scorching sun it`s good to have...
...a good break under the shade, with cool company around :-)
Most building materials had to be transported to the island by boats, bit by bit. The coral reef did not allow for bigger ships to come close to the shore. Nevertheless, there were some materials available on the island - dirt, dead corals and garbage washed off the shore in good quantities. We have been cleaning the shore by collecting the garbage and incorporating it in the build, double dip :-)
Earthship designs first collect the rain water for drinking and living purposes, then recycle it to feed the plants in and around the build. Here one of the planters "work in progress", and a quick charming photo smile :-)
It takes One`s vision and dedication to make it work... Here: Michael Reynolds entering his envisioned tropical Earthship design that we collectively brought to reality
Yes, it`s time to put a hoody on tire walls!
The roof would create a nice shade and collect water, both great against scorching sun :-)
Twist by twist, the roof frame was made of "rebars"-steal rods used to reinforce concrete, shaped to desired curves.
It has taken lots of hands to create it...
...and even more to carry it on the top of tire walls!
Back to basics, mortar and bricks... I should`ve said mortar and tires ;-)
Earthship crew showed us step by step how to work with mortar on the roof, one layer at a time.
Weather was kinda playful with us. No rain for many days. Quite a few times heavy clouds were popping up on the horizon just to pass by, teasers ;-) One day it pushed us to work really hard to finish before one of those teasing moments.
As above, so below, the work on the interior kicked in once the roof was set...
...and it was like a maze runner site ;-)
Plastic bottles, pop cans and glass bottles were incorporated in the build. Some were hidden, other exposed, peacocks and ghost cats ;-)
It seems to be simple, yet there are parts of work that are tedious, detail orientated. It takes time to clean the slate and allow the light to shine through, reflections of life...
We had multiple stations, each took care of different part of the build. Here: the bottle station, where we have cut, cleaned and taped bottle bricks. There were some cool conversations and fun with playful tapes that we used to tape the bricks, humidity was not on our side at all ;-)
On the back side of the build, extension of roof covered the patio, but first things first, twist and support :-)
Water tank got its can & bottle camouflage.
Isn`t it amazing what we can do with the stuff that we throw away on a daily basis?
Before we would get rain water, it was good to stop by the kitchen to catch some droplets... quick lesson, every bottle has its rock bottom ;-)
And for those moments, we had suppliers of local cooling agents, Bintang beer, cold and tasty :-)
Great learning experience with awesome peeps!