MUSIC IN VILCABAMBA – LOJA ECUADOR
Nothing is more inspiring than living in such a great place surrounded by peace and serenity to produce good music and great artwork in general whatever your field happens to be. Mine has always been music and more recently I gave a go at producing video clips.
NO SHAME IN YOUR TEARS
This week I have completed a video clip that I wanted to do for a long time. It is a very relaxing song, a little bit New Age but not too much, called “No shame in your tears”. The clip shows photos that I took myself in Ecuador over the past 5 years, Hope you like it.
Here is the direct link:
You can also find it on our web site: www.nadamasquebuscar.com
There is also a Spanish version of the same song here:
First time to television in Loja, what a great experience it was, totally relaxed, lots of fun, we can make mistakes it does not matter.
Watch e few clips I made out it here:
In French, my native tongue:
To be continued…
July 2010 Journal
By Anita Evans
Vilcabamba Loja – Ecuador
The inspiration of Rain
Porches in Ecuador are a norm they are large with a roof that overhangs them completely. I suspect this is for several reasons.
One, construction, traditionally houses here are made from rammed earth or adobe blocks both of which require wide eves to protect them from rain and the weather.
Two, as a lot of peoples living occurs outdoors due to the climate a large covered porch acts as an outdoor living space as well as a work area for drying the coffee beans, maize and washing.
The house we are living in has a porch all the way around it and it is covered completely by a roof – known to some as a veranda instead of porch.
Our neighbours chickens and roosters use our porch as a freeway to get to the other side of our garden. As with cars on freeways, the chickens tend to leave a trail of pollution behind them in this case, chicken shit. Fortunately for them, the rooster is stunning and we love watching him so they get to use the porch. Unfortunately for us, someone has to clean up the pollution left behind.
So I’ve been looking at our porch that goes completely around the house (and the drops of chicken shit go completely round the house too) thinking it could really do with a clean but not been inspired to do it.
Now for those of you that might be screwing up your nose up at this – chicken shit, thinking I would not allow chickens to run around my house! They’d be in a chicken coup etc etc. Get over it – get real! Someone still has to clean up the chicken coup too you know!
Today it poured (rained) and I mean poured down. We had thunder and lightning to boot. It rained so hard and horizontal that the rain came in under the porch right up to the walls and windows of the house (very unusual). The veranda was soaking wet.
A good thing about it raining here in Vilca is it is warm. If you come from a colder country\place similar to where I do when it rains and blows a storm you generally want to just burry yourself indoors and not venture out as it is freezing, cold, grey and gloomy.
Here today the rain inspired me – to clean the veranda. Since it was already soaking wet and it was warm and still bright outside. So when the rain eased off and wasn’t coming in horizontal anymore the eves gave me shelter from it. The rain also helped loosen up the chicken shit so it came off easier.
So, the rain here is inspiring not something to cringe from and what till it passes. And we have a clean veranda again!
What makes the esSence of a Society?
Here (well at least in Vilca I cannot say for the larger cities of EC) when you buy a beer in a bottle if you return the bottle (clean) you get 25c back. The same goes for the Pony bottles (10c back). They recycle the bottles here.
What this means is that you return them to the place you got them from so over time you and the store keeper get to know each other and the experience of just buying or returning your beer bottles develops a deeper meaning. You develop a rapport. This is one of the things that are missing from big cites and more obvious in the western world in general.
I remember when I grew up in good old NZ (not what it is now) one of the jobs for us kids was to take the milk bottles out and put them at the top of the drive way around 5 pm. The milk man would come and collect the old bottles and give more bottles filled with milk. The money for the milk would be in coins in one of the empty bottles. The number of empties out (+ money) = the number of full milk bottles you got back. No one stole the money, no one broke the bottles.
The same was for dad’s beer bottles the empties would be cleaned and returned to the place of purchase and 10c paid for each bottle returned. Us kids would clean them, collect them and return them to the store and spend the money on lollies. J 10c bought a lot in those days.
The bottles would be sterilised and reused by the beer\milk companies.
I distinctly remember when this all changed in New Zealand. Some politically correct dickhead decided it was not ‘hygienic’ to do this. Then the companies decided that the cost of collection and cleaning was too expensive and it was more ‘cost effective’ to keep producing new bottles. The collection of the empties ended. Now, New Zealand, like the rest of the ‘modern world’, has a huge glass bottle waste problem.
So there were no more trips to the local store for us kids. The store keeper lost that rapport with his clients.
The milk man fizzled out too. People started stealing the money from the bottles, breaking the bottles so then the milk man had to issue invoices so his ‘paperwork’ time went through the roof which ate into his profits and poof he was gone.
Go to the supermarket to buy your milk and you’ll be lucky if the check operator makes eye contact with you. We now have a problem of what to do with all the plastic milk bottles or the cardboard ones that add to our land fife piles.
So what makes the essence of a society? One aspect is that connection you build up with the local people whom you get services from through regular contact over time. Your shopping becomes a social outing. The reputation of the business is based on the business owner and their service and reliability not on the cheapest, best deal you can get. You know you can rely on that person’s knowledge. You have trust between you. They know they can rely on your business. You pass them in the street and say ‘hi’ and ask how their family is. More then likely your kids play together.
This is what it is still like in the villages of Ecuador. There is a fibre of energy that makes the villages a nice place to live. Please don’t change.
an Article to Share with you
The following is some bulleted points from a brilliant article written by Martha Beck.. The full article is available on http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Martha-Becks-Problem-Solving-Strategies-Decision-Making-Advice . Martha Beck is a life coach, columnist and author. Her website is: http://www.marthabeck.com/
How to solve a thorny problem
- We are used to living in an either – or world – but when it comes to yes – or – no dilemmas, the most powerful thing you can ask is:
“What if both answers are true?”
- There are two kinds of people in the world; those who divide everyone into two kinds of people, and those who don’t. (my emphasis)
- But limiting ourselves to one answer means we often stop seeing what’s actually happening, and we make decisions based on labels instead: “The guy is a player……..so no date”, or “This friendship is dysfunctional……begone!”This strategy feels right…..until the guy or the friend does something truly sweet, gives you the kindness and affection you love and need, and there you are, spiked again on the opposing horns of the duel-emma.
- … we make judgements about all kinds of people, …We’re not only shocked when those assumptions don’t hold up; we’re unsure how to handle the new information.
- The only option….., for anyone who’s confronted with two apparently opposite sets of data, is to blast apart the mental dichotomies that organize our minds and drive our behaviour.
- If you scrutinize your own life, you’ll find you do plenty of things that violate the dichotomies in your mind.We’re considerate, selfless, and clever (except for the times we aren’t) or we’re luckless losers (not counting the infinite things that go right for us every day).
- … the problem with either-or thinking. It keeps us removed from reality, and it requires that we spend a lot of time and energy convincing ourselves that life is one particular way (and burying evidence that doesn’t jibe with that view)
- What makes a both-and mind-set so powerful is that it takes you beyond the two choices you thought you had. It opens up new, previously unseen possibilities and opportunities.
- There is one caveat to all duel-emma relationships; if you or the other person involved can’t or won’t admit the whole truth – “Yup, I have a Dr Jekyll side, but there’s also a Mr. Hyde in here” – the relationship will become increasingly dysfunctional. If both parties can discuss the full range of their behaviour, however, almost any relationship can work.Try seeing your world and yourself this way, eyes open to whatever is before you, mind free of dichotomies. Are you good or bad, fragile or tough, wise or foolish?
- YES. And so am I.
I have already mentioned this under the Loja section of www.seekvilcabamba.com . However, we have discovered more about this practice this month. See we got clamped again. Yes, our parking ticket was displayed and filled out correctly. However, what we did not know is, it had expired. Seems the card is only valid for 90 days.
So the cards for parking expire and they appear to have a zone on them too. Ours said Zone A. So I guess Loja is broken up into zones. And a zone A card is only valid for zone A. So far we must have been in the correct zone for our card as we haven’t been clamped for being in the wrong zone, yet. Or maybe they have future proofed the cards and zones are going to be introduced in the future.
So what do you do if you get clamped?
You will have a parking ticket under your windscreen wiper. Take this ticket to the Municipality offices at Parque Central Loja. This is the large green building on the same side of the Parque Central as the Turistico Information Centre. You will have to the pay a fine (in our case it was $3). The Municipal staff then radio to the parking warden that car ‘blaa’s’ ticket has been paid and could they please go and unclamp it. Now, go DIRECTYLY back to your car. Do not pass GO or stop and window shop. If you need a new parking card get it once you are at your car. See your window of opportunity here is not long. Your car will be unclamped. The traffic warden will do his\her round again (they do this very fast) if they come pass your car and it doesn’t have a valid time + card on it you will be clamped again.
I suspect Emily and I have been hit by a bout of food poisoning from a restaurant we ate at. Emily had vomiting, fever and diarrhoea for one day followed by several more days of diarrhoea. Me I had fever and cramps that lasted 24 hours. I treated Emily as I would have done back in New Zealand. I gave her a mixture of natural supplements to combat bacteria and virus infection and to support the immune system and bowel and monitored the fever. Monitored her water intake and added a mineral supplement to her water. I took her off meats and grease and onto a raw, natural diet.
She also saw Vicente Valdivieso who is a very qualified naturopath here in Vilca. She went through a Hulda Clarke zapping protocol (so did I) and also iodine supplement. Vicente also treated her and me for parasites so we covered all our bases.
At no point should you stop the diarrhoea (though I am sure there are those out there who disagree, but let’s not go there. This journal is my opinion and you are entitled to yours). Diarrhoea is the body’s way of getting rid of the bad stuff inside the body.
What you need to do is support the body during this process by ensuring fluid intake is good and mineral supplements are given to compensate for the loss. As well as everything else I mention above.
Argh, this is a topic we don’t like talking about in western civilised countries. I guess we like to think we are beyond them now we are civilised. Wake up call, you are not, parasites don’t give a toss if you are in a civilised country or not. They exist everywhere. I remember when growing up in NZ my mum would do a parasite cleanse twice a year for the whole family (animals included). This consisted of taking this red tablet. There was never any pain or discomfort. Pierre remembers similar too his mum treating him for parasites.
Ecuador is perceived as having a higher contamination with parasites then say a ‘1st world country’. This is what the mainstream medical establishment wants you to believe. Thus, reinforcing the notion that 1st world countries are healthier and safer to live in than other countries, which could be true for things like yellow fever and malaria. But then again is it not that malaria and yellow fever are tropical diseases and that these tropics just happen to be mostly in none 1st world countries. Maybe it has nothing to do with the status of the country but more its location on the planet?
So, back to parasites. Here in EC as in ANY country you should do a parasite cleanse every 6 months. Now there are those out there that will argue that if a person’s terrain (as in the internal well being of their body) is in good condition they will not become susceptible to parasite infestation. Wake up call, kid yourself not, your terrain isn’t good, period. I doubt whether anyone has the level of ‘good terrain’ that would make them un- susceptible to parasites given the amount of overall pollutants that are now in the atmosphere, water, earth of the entire planet. Really unless you’ve done a whole heap of tests on yourself you have no dam idea what your terrain is like. Your ego might like to make out you are above average in this area but are you really? Just because you eat raw, meditate, have the ‘right thinking and attitude’ whatever does not make your terrain healthy, this is a false belief.
There is no harm in doing a parasite cleanse there are natural and pharmaceutical approaches to this. There is potentially (serious) harm in not doing one. Now again people will say that parasites are all around us they are a part of life. This again works fine if your terrain is in optimum and I emphasise optimum health. But how can you be sure for sure?
So keep up your parasite cleansing every 6 months no matter where you live. A good book on this is ‘The Cure for all Diseases’ by Hilda Clarke.
Do you really need that test?
When you are pregnant and 35 or older you are strongly advised by the doctor\midwife to have an amino test to determine the health of the baby and if the baby had any birth defects.
I didn’t. Why didn’t I? Well, I got to thinking Ok I take this test and the results come back positive for birth defects what would I do with this information? I have two options:
Abort or not abort.
So the question came down to would I abort? The answer was no, there was no reason on this planet I would abort this baby.
Then my thoughts went to, if the result was positive for birth defects and I chose not to abort I then have to live with this knowledge for the rest of the pregnancy and this knowledge being of such a ‘sad’ nature would interfere with my ability to enjoy the pregnancy for what is was – being pregnant.
Then my thoughts considered the fact that it is well known that 50% of test results are wrong – false positives or false negatives. So I could go through all this worry and have a baby with no birth defects despite the test results.
Then I thought of our ancestors who didn’t have these test and accepted the child they were given.
So I chose to not do the test and enjoy the pregnancy for what is was. And accept my baby for who they would be.
I was talking with a friend the other day that said that other people were recommending that the water sources in their area be tested for contamination. There is talk of illegal mining where they live and that the miners poor mercury into the rivers which are used as the main source of drinking water for most person in their neighbourhood.
I answered this with “And what are you going to do with the test results?” “What is your plan should they come back showing contamination?”
The reply I got was “We haven’t really thought about that.”
My point here is: what is the point of doing any test if you don’t consider what you are going to do first, should the results come back bad?
If you are not prepared to abort why get an amino?
So they find out the water is contaminated. Which I say it is in some parts of the rivers given what goes into them from the people living here let alone any illegal mining practices. You only have to watch life in their neighbourhood to understand this you don’t need to do any tests.
What are they going to do with this information? Go to the government, hmmm that could take a long time. Find the source of the contamination? Put in water purifiers in their homes (which is the best option and one that should probably be done regardless of tests or no tests)?
In Nelson New Zealand the local council did water tests on all the rivers and streams in Nelson grading them from A being perfect to D being the worst. The tests were run over several months at different times during each month etc. Most rivers failed many coming in at C or below which is not fit for human consumption. Yet people still drunk the water for it was the only water source they had.
You must consider your options prior to getting tests done. What are you going to do with the information? What is your plan? What are your beliefs and will they stop you from certain courses of action? What are the resources available to you and could a lack of them stop you from a course of action?
After a good analysis what are your realistic options available to you upon receipt of the results should they be bad?
Remember, sometimes knowing can be more damaging to your health through worry (especially if you can’t do anything about the problem and are stuck) then not knowing. It is known that you can worry yourself sick.
Free Energy: the other side of the coin
By Pierre Wauters
I have attended a small segment of the August 14-17 2010 Montesuenos “Truly Sustainable Solutions for Ecuador and the World” conference (Vilcabamba, Loja Ecuador, see www.montesuenos.org ) and, at least in the small segment that I have attended, I must say that what was missing and unsaid feels to me more important than what I have heard. I had to leave after lunch. The afternoon was going to be a discussion panel. I missed the panel but nevertheless, I can write here what I would have wished to say there. The little time I spent at Montesuenos was certainly not wasted as it gave me inspiration to write this essay below.
Energy 101: there are two sides to the energy equation: the supply side and the demand side. The supply side is what is available to us: electricity, transport, heat or any other form of energy that is given (I mean sold) to us. The demand side is how much of it it is that we want and how much of it we can afford. The more energy we want or need, the higher the demand. The demand depends on lifestyle of course. The US is notorious for its high energy demand per capita. The higher the demand, the higher the supply has to be to meet it. It is obvious that if supply does not meet demand, there is a shortage. To a shortage, the response is usually not to look at the demand and try and reduce it but rather to try and increase the supply. When supply meets demand, prices are low and this is what we, in the west, call “economical balance”, which is supposed to bring peace and happiness.
This basic mechanism of supply and demand is what got us where we are, I mean the mess we are in. For decades, we have benefitted from dirt cheap energy in the form of the so-called “fossil” oil (nothing fossil about it but that is another topic). Thanks to this cheap energy, we have been able to do things like never before. And what have we done exactly? Are we more at peace and more enlightened than before? As a species, are we generally happier? Nope. In the west, people work more hours per week than ever, the state of our health is a disaster; diseases that did not even exist 100 year ago have reached epidemic proportion, there is not a single eco-system on the planet that is not in decline, mother earth is in tears, raped, tortured, scarred. Sure, we can fly from A to B in huge planes with one computer per seat, we can divert rivers, mine entire mountains, drill at incredible depths in the ocean, etc… Without this immense supply of cheap energy that we have had available for so long, these things would simply not have been possible.
As a result of all this activity, compounded by the fact that the energy that we have been using is dirty, we have polluted the planet. However and this is the first important point that I want to make, I believe that the vast majority of the damage that we have caused to our home planet has nothing to do with the fact that the energy that we have used is dirty. Any other form of energy, no matter how clean, would have done the dirty job just as well if not better. A bulldozer that would run on pure water and would emits no fumes whatsoever, or one that runs on cold fusion or vacuum energy can flatten as much Amazonian forest as a classic diesel engine one. I would even say that it could do more damage because the last restriction, which is the price of fuel, would be removed, allowing bigger dozers to be built to do bigger damage for less cost.
My observation is that, as a species, we are just not yet capable, not yet wise enough, not yet “evolved” enough, to be given a lot of energy to play with, let alone energy of the free kind. The first question that comes to my mind when talking about free energy is the following: “assuming that tomorrow we get this free, clean and unlimited energy that we are craving for, what are we going to do with it?” If the answer is “more of the same” then I would say “no thanks”, if the answer is “something different”, then I would say “what on earth makes you think that because the energy is free and clean we are going to use it wisely when history shows us beyond doubt that we won’t”.
Sure, with abundant free energy, we won’t need to drill for oil anymore. Great! We can start drilling for something else then. What could possibly make anyone believe that we would not find something else at the bottom of the ocean that we really want? Hey, we could start dreaming of commuting to Mars and mine it. And why would we stop clearing the Amazonian forest to make pasture for McDonalds’ cows? And why would we stop trying to privatise water everywhere? These activities do *not* depend on whether we use oil, alcohol, water or the energy of the vacuum, do they? In addition, with cheaper and more available energy than before, we could drill deeper, cut down faster, blow up more and fly further and more often. Is this going to make us healthy and happy?
Understand that I am not saying that I love polluting cars and buses and that we should not turn to better forms of energy. We should. What I am saying is that, by itself, this will achieve nothing. Until we look at the other side of the energy equation and, most importantly, until we look at ourselves, nothing will change.
For a start, what exactly is the word “free” supposed to mean in the expression “free energy”? Does it mean that it would cost nothing? If that is the case, I would ask why we think that we could get anything for free when it should be obvious that it is just not the way our current world operates. For example, there is nothing cheaper to produce than water, the whole planet is awash with it. Despite of that, we pay a lot of money for water. It strikes me that a litre of drinking water is in many places more expensive than a litre of gasoline. Water should be free but to many people it is not. This demonstrates that it is not the intrinsic nature of a resource that determines whether it is free or not but rather how we see that resource and who decides to own it. In our current global system, any form of energy, no matter how cheap to obtain or produce would immediately be grabbed by corporations and sold at a high price. This is the nature of our society and unless we change this, nothing will ever be free.
You may say, well no, the word “free” does not mean “gratis” but means available in unlimited quantities. In that case, we have another problem. Like I said earlier, because of the way we are, anything that is available to us we tend to use. If we were to tap into unconventional vacuum energy, also called zero-point energy, what we would do with it would still be conventional work, such as moving a car, lifting a weight, heating a house…. And this work that we do with this energy will produce heat. For example, if homes in cold climates were all equipped with a vacuum energy generator, can you imagine the amount of heat that would come out of these homes? Why bother sealing the windows or even closing them when the vacuum energy heat pump is running day and night for free. And where would all that heat go? Many new-age-free-energy-enthusiasts have no understanding whatsoever of the laws of thermodynamics and believe that, just because energy originates from a non conventional source, such as the zero-point, that energy does not follow the same principles that we have observed for all other forms of energy? Heat is heat and heat does not just disappear. Rather, it accumulates in matter and unless taken away by other mechanisms, the temperature of the matter rises as a result. That is what sun rays have done to ocean water for millions of years and the principle still applies.
Think of it that way. Let’s compare vacuum energy with nuclear energy. If I hold a gram of matter (e.g. iron) in my hand, it does not appear that there is a lot that I can do with this gram in terms of producing energy. What is a gram of anything going to do? But if I understand atomic energy and manage to somehow split the atom of this anything, I can then release enormous amounts of energy from this single gram. If we were to split the atoms, not of a gram but of millions of tons of matter all over the planet, we could release quantities of energy impossible to comprehend. That released energy, when used to do work, would ultimately and inevitably be converted into heat. Literally the whole of planet earth would heat up, burn and/or blow up. Of course, we don’t split the atoms of huge quantities of matter all over the planet, because we can only split material that is radioactive, such as uranium, and that material is dangerous and available in limited supplies and we all know that the by-products of splitting this material are even more dangerous and almost impossible to dispose of (e.g. plutonium). One of such by-products is “depleted uranium”, so called, not because it is harmless, but because it is less radio-active than the non depleted variety and also to make it sound OK for the US and the UK to drop it over the Middle East to help them win their good wars. Vacuum energy is to a cubic meter of nothing what nuclear energy is to a gram of something. A cubic meter of empty space does not appear to contain any energy at all, that is until we understand about the zero-point and manage to find a way to release the energy that is within this cubic meter of nothing (which we now have found). Vacuum energy is incredibly abundant of course. There are many cubic meters of nothingness around us, more than we can comprehend, and, unlike nuclear energy, vacuum energy does not release harmful by-products. But using it, putting that energy at work, would ultimately produce heat just like using any other energy form and we would be able to use truly unlimited amount of vacuum energy and release unlimited amount of heat whereas we are limited in our use of nuclear energy. To my knowledge no-one has done an in-depth analysis of what would be the consequences of playing with these amounts of energy over a long period of time. Ironically it could very well be that our use of dirty non-free energy is what has so far saved us from ourselves.
Let’s now look at the other side of the energy equation, the demand side, and see how working on this side is the only sensible solution to our energy crisis.
Our so-called energy “needs” have steadily increased since the industrial revolution. It seems that the more we’re given, the more we believe that we need and the more we want, just like kids with ice cream. We seem to have reached a point where we are completely confused, not knowing what the difference could possibly be between “needs” and “wants”, let alone what’s “good” for us and our children. For example, once upon a time we were happy with one single warm room to settle into together at night around the fire while it was freezing in all the other rooms. I remember my aunty putting me to bed under 3 blankets in a non heated bedroom in Belgium. Today, we “need” central heating so that all the rooms are equally warm at any point in time. The kids have individual TV sets in their rooms and they each want to watch their favourite TV program. This is what we call “our way of life”; this is what Toni Blair said that we won’t let these Muslim religious fanatics destroy, “our way of life”.
Then, we have more cars per person than ever, we fly to more exotic holiday destinations as ever and we build bigger houses, not just one but two or three, there is no limit. But each car, each house, each TV set, each computer, each plane that we build require materials, metal, wood, plastic etc… These materials in turn require the harvesting of forests or the mining of minerals that we take from the earth.
This is how our demand not only for energy but also for primary materials has increased to a point that, were the people of China and India to adopt the same “way of life”, there would simply not be enough resources available on earth to meet the demand. This is not an energy problem, it is a resource problem.
I live in a small village in the Andes Mountains of a small country called Ecuador. Here, the majority of people are poor and their footprints on planet earth are tiny. They build simple earth houses, wash their clothes by hand in the river and have no car. Many have never travelled outside of their country. Their houses have no heating, they cook on firewood or gas and their entire house would easily run on one single 10 Amp fuse to light the TV set and the few light bulbs that they have. Meeting their energetic demand is a lot easier than meeting the demand of the average European or North American family.
For generations, the people of Ecuador have only known their traditional ways of producing food which requires virtually no energy. The seeds are sown, the irrigation water is collected from the mountains and conveyed by canal, the food is harvested by hand and transported on horseback to the markets. People come to the markets to buy the produce that they carry in baskets or other forms of non disposable containers. For generations, people have thrown what they don’t want (AKA “rubbish”) through the windows, subconsciously knowing that banana peels and chicken bones will all disappear soon thanks to the dogs, the ants, the bugs, the soil flora… Mother earth knows what to do with flesh and bones. Today they still throw the things that they don’t want through the window and it is still called “rubbish”. The difference is that today it is made out of plastic bags, plastic bottles and a myriad of non organic non bio-degradable objects. The people don’t seem to have realised yet that their rubbish no longer goes away as it used to. Or maybe they have but don’t know what to do about it and have decided to look the other way. Who are we to blame? An outside observer of our own societies would probably conclude that we don’t seem to have realised yet that the smoke from our cars is killing us. We are no better.
We use the word “sustainable” all the time as if sustainable necessarily means good. Well, as long as we stay away from nuclear weapons or the infamous WMDs, we seem to have achieved “sustainable war”, haven’t we? War can go on forever and appears to be quite sustainable. Don’t smile. This is in effect what the WMD business is about. Making war is OK as long as it does not kill too many too fast, as long as it of the “conventional” kind and not the “mass destructive” kind, in other words, as long as it is sustainable.
Is planting alcohol producing crops to be used as an energy source for cars sustainable? And if it is, does this fact make it good? What does the word sustainable actually mean? Think about it. Does it mean that we can do it for a very long time? In that case, fossil energy has been quite sustainable! Does it mean that we can do it forever? We can hardly think more than 10 years ahead at the best of time, less for our politicians. How could we possibly comprehend the concept of “forever”? If it means forever, why would we think that running millions of car engines on hybrid battery systems would be sustainable? How many batteries can we manufacture before we run into new problems such as lead or mercury pollution? Batteries last 5 years and that is if you look after them and never let them go flat. Where do they go after that? Do we want landfills with 10 billion batteries in them as the sustainable solution to our problems?
Let’s forget about solar panels and windmills and hydro, we are told. That is the kids’ playground. Let’s go and play with the grownups. Let’s focus on “real” free energy solutions such as the energy of vacuum, cold fusion, cool devices that produce more than they require, seemingly violating the first principle of thermodynamics. To hell thermodynamics! These devices work, they are real, they are the future, we are told. The reason why they are not here yet, you see, is because they have been suppressed. So, we just need to “unsuppress” them and the world is on its way to happiness, finally, right?
I have explained above that the energy released by these free energy devices would still ultimately be converted into heat and just that means that we could not use that energy in unlimited quantities forever. But there is another aspect. No matter how free the energy they produce is, these pieces of gear must be manufactured just like anything else. Depending on what is required to build them and how many are needed for worldwide use, the technology could be scalable or not, I don’t know. That is not the main point though. The main point is that we still haven’t addressed the demand side of our energy equation. We are still with our nose glued on the supply side of it.
What we need to do is to ask ourselves the very fundamental question: “what is it that we really need to take us where we want to go?” There are two sides to this question: the where and the how. First, we need to know where it is that we want to go. Then only, we can ask ourselves how to get there. In that order preferably.
The problem is that the “where” part of the question is extremely hard to answer because the question is outside the realm of technology and science. The question is a philosophical question that can only be answered from within, not from without. It used to be the prerogative of philosophers, wise men, healers, priests … to address this important question of where exactly it is that we are going as a society. Not anymore. With this sense of direction lost, we seem to be paddling in circles, only knowing that we want to go faster, but faster to where??
So, my solution to the energy problems of our times is to get back to that question of where we want to go as a species. In the course of the doing that, we will inevitably hit the demand side of the energy equation. How much energy do we actually need and what do we want to do with it and why? Do we really need more energy? Could we not, God Forbid, for a minute consider reducing our demands and needs which would in turn reduce the pressure on our environment?
In the end it boils down to “being” versus “having” versus “doing”. We have become obsessed with the latter two. Having gives us status. Doing keeps us busy and distracted. Both give us identity and feed our egos. Even having good things, such as an art collection or a wonderful home or a ranch with beautiful horses is still “having”. Even doing good things such as leading the free energy movement, the 9/11 movement or the Vilcabamba landfill management project is still “doing”. People love having and doing. Having and doing require a lot of energy and admittedly if the energy was free and non-polluting, it would allow us to have more and do more. Being is harder. Being does not require energy. One can sit under a tree for 4 hours and “be”. We need to learn to be more, have less and do less.
The people of Vilcabamba and other villages of Ecuador can help us because many are doing just that: have little, do enough, be plenty. Instead of teaching them what to do to become like us, we need to watch them more, let the deep silence of the mountain fill up our hearts and start being.
Original article published at http://www.seekvilcabamba.com/Projects/Articles/14.aspx
Copyright 2010 seekvilcabamba.com
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By Pierre Wauters
A few months ago I gave myself the challenge to build a house in Vilcabamba in the Loja province of Ecuador in the Cutanapamba green real estate development for USD 15,000. Not just a tin shed or a glorified garage but a *real* house with running water, bathroom and kitchen, everything you’d expect.
I did this because I am the happy owner of some beautiful land along a pristine river not far from the village of Vilcabamba in the province of Loja in Ecuador. I am currently paying rent each month to live in a house, a very nice one that is, in the village and many times I asked myself “why am I not living on my own land for Christ sake?” Finally this is about to become a reality, a few more months and we’ll be all set.
Why 15,000? Because that is what I could afford at this point in time and also because I believed intuitively that it was possible. Many expats build for much more particularly when they deal with other expats to do the work and/or when they try to transpose here what they had in the 1st world The locals on the other hand build for much less than that but they seem happy with a toilet outside flushed with a bucket, no hot water, few windows, a low ceiling, unpainted brick walls on which they stick religious posters, dirt floors etc… I am not criticising by any mean but these places give me the creep. I like my comfort. I wanted a house with windows, cold and hot water in kitchen and bathroom, lots of light inside, an open kitchen with ample bench space to chop vegetables, a cosy atmosphere, something that looks good and feels good, something finished without rebars sticking up above the roof. Also I wanted to try and set an example of what can be done for a fixed price, because many would be buyers in the Cutanapamba project ask me how much it would cost to build and how long it takes etc… There is nothing like a real project and a real home to show to answer these questions.
The building is not finished yet, so I don’t have al the answers yet. This article is part one of a series and I will keep posting as the work progresses.
Read on at
A brand new online guide has just been published on Vilcabamba Ecuador with maps, restaurants, shops, activities and much more
This guide has been written by Anita Evans and Pierre Wauters who have been living in Vilcabamba for 6 months
It is a living guide that is being updated almost daily
Check out www.seekvilcabamba.com for details
If you are looking for real estate in Ecuador, whether you want to live here or make an investment, Vilcabamba is definitely a place to consider.
There is a lot of real estate for sale in Vilcabamba, from apartments or houses in town, to small or large pieces of land with or without buildings. For sure, there is something for everyone. Prices tend to be higher in Vilcabamba than in other places in Ecuador. This is due to the popularity of Vilcabamba, the “valley of longevity” with its ideal climate, lifestyle, abundance of food and also its cosmopolitan expat community. People come here to live not only from the USA but also from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany among other countries.
If you are considering buying real estate in Vilcabamba Ecuador, we have something truly unique to offer: a “non-gated” property of 70 hectares subdivided into spacious and private quintas (lots), located in one of the best and safest areas around Vilcabamba (San Pedro) along the most pristine river (Uchima), right at the foot of the world famous Podocarpus National park, only 6 kms from the centre of the Vilcabamba village.
The property is called “Cutanapamba”. It has everything to offer to nature lovers and health conscious people while at the same time being close to town.
Fifteen (15) lots (called “quintas”) of sizes ranging from 8,000 m2 to 17,000 m2 are for sale.
From Vilcabamba, head towards Loja on the main road, turn right into the San Pedro village, then follow the dirt road to Sacapo and then before going up to the Sacapo village turn right and head down to the Rio Uchima.
for more details