Saturday, 28 July 2012

Gearing up for something BIG

July 28,

At the moment, I find myself welcome at a wonderful place with alot of soul.  Toi Toi Manawa is a 90 acre permaculture centre run by two enthusiastic organic farmers, Kailea and Andy.

Tonight I happened to haggle with a hunter, and chucked a massive wild boar in the car, and now it's hanging on a willow tree outside, waiting to be butchered in the morning.  By this time tomorrow, it shall become HELLA MEAT and provide heaps of delicious, wild-boar flavoured protein for the next few months.  I hope by consuming this beast, I may absorb it's tenacity and ability to forage in the woods.

Anywho, this month has been interesting.  Alot has happened, many things have changed, and in just a few days I'll be off to a freaking Orangutan Sanctuary in the middle of Indonesia (WUUUT!).  I'll talk more about that later.

So a little more than a month ago, I decided to head south, and do my duty to upload gigs of videos in Christchurch for the permaculture conference, as well as finish my fundraiser video.  Though there were 100 reasons to stay up North, I was called down South, and down South I went.  It was only fitting that on the way back, I ran into all the permaculture crew at Awhi Farm in Turangi (Including Jo, Brian, Georgie, Kelvin, Matua, and a few others).  We had a massive meal, they said goodbye to me, and off I went.

Unfortunately, the dreaded stomach flu hit me mysteriously, and I spent several days moaning around Wellington, and nearly crapping my pants on the ferry back towards Christchurch.  Luckily, I made it back to Ilam in one piece (without crap pants).

What stomach flu does to a man

It took me about a week to recover from the Ol' stomach flu, because it stealthily creeps back if you don't starve yourself for three days.  Luckily, I souped my way back to health, and quickly got in to the swing of fitness again.  Despite all the amazing organic food I've had, I felt lazy and sluggish up in the North Island because I wasn't exercising for a few hours a week. Doesn't matter how well you eat, if you don't get out and exercise, you'll stay in lazytown with the fatties, and I ain't one of them.

Silly Random Story:

Rich and I decided to take a break from our odd jobs and do some location scouting for his film at a park Wildlife Sanctuary.  As I walked down the main path, I looked to my right, and saw what appeared to be people...naked people.  Turns out it wasn't just people, it was old people...having what I guess was their bi-monthly forest sex.  It was an awkward moment of eye contact to say the least.

Back to "Normal":
A strange thing happens when you leave all these amazing permaculture places, you feel like you have been pulled away from something important.  Though I was utterly grateful that my friend Rich let me stay at his place for a month, I felt that I was putting my life on hold by staying in Christchurch for too long.    It's an amazing city for students and construction workers, but my journey lies elsewhere, and I felt the need to get on up out of there, and get back to permaculture.

I've seen the promise land, and it is filled with Biochar!

However, before I could do that, I needed to finish my big fundraiser video, and what is that you ask?

Next month, I am going to Ketapang Indonesia to work at an Orangutan Sanctuary, and I intend to give something great to these Orangutans, and the people who care for them.  Earlier in the year, International Animal Rescue accepted me to work at their center in Ketapang, Indonesia, and when you get that chance...there is no way to turn it down, especially considering how threatened Orangutans are.

 I'm going to fight to make sure my fundraiser is successful, because I want to do something real to help the Orangutans at the centre.   I won't make any money off of it, and won't make back my travel costs anytime soon, but that is what service is all about, giving and expecting nothing in return.  What I want to do with my fundraiser is leave the Orangutans and the people that care for them a gift that will ensure their ongoing care.  If I do one thing good this year, I hope this will be it.

The Big Orangutan Fundraiser

The One downside about going to the Borneo rainforest is the 14 SHOTS you need to get.  Though I don't mind vaccines, my arm felt like a pincushion, and those shots aren't cheap. Neither is the Anti-Malaria meds (Malarone).

After two weeks of Phelpsing' out at the  local swimming hole I started to make my way around to planting Rich and Ness's backyard garden, though it's a pretty ghetto-licious design.  Maybe after a few months away from Christchurch, I will know if I'm a master garden planner, or a garden destroyer, depends on the strawberries planted in the strawberry tire.

                   Fun Fact (urinating near a lemon tree for several months will make it grow monstrously huge, a good third world fertiliser technique)

Note to folks, the lemon party technique will not be used with any permaculture consulting I'm involved with in the future.

So off I headed to Toi Toi Manawa, and I was delightfully surprised by what I found.  Toi Toi Manawa at this stage is basically a blank canvas for what is to be an incredible Permaculture Education Center.  The main building is incredibly well built and insulated (a first in New Zealand), there are two massive compost toilets, plenty of shipping container rooms for students to sleep in, and 90 acres of land to experiment on.  Though I've wanted to plant Shitake Mushrooms here, I decided to research using Biochar on the property instead.  Pretty pleased with the 10 year Biochar plan I typed up for the center.
Toi Toi Manawa

You don't realise how much you need the outdoors till you've left it, and come back again.  It feels good working outdoors, using your hands and your brain to improve the landscape, one small step at a time.  Though work with business and film requires incredibly fast paced coordinating to get right, work on a market garden requires persistence, patience, love, and observation.

 I think we need more of that, and less people racing to an early grave surrounded by a pile of real estate investments, like this guy:


Though I've been trying not to read to much news, it's absolutely insane looking at what's going on in the state.  DROUGHT across the entire continent.  Colorado is on fire.  It's mind-numbing and enraging that the politicians who's states are ON FIRE do everything they can to say "climate change is a hoax".


Don't even get me started on the U.S. Elections.  Though I'm hoping all of congress is throne into the hole in The Dark Knight Rises, I'd rather vote for the disappointing Obamanator over SATAN CHILD EATING MITT ROMNEY.

Romney laughing at burning Mountain Gorillas

I don't think I need to say anything about this guy...  He says climate change is a hoax.  He's a massive tool.  He keeps his family in an Mormon compound, He says 'corporations are people', he believes woman should be controlled by men and abortion should be outlawed, his company destroyed lives.... AND he's a creepy, plastic, hypocritic figure head of corporate fascism.

Meanwhile, Obama is busy schmoozing out with bald-headed real estate investors who pour champagne on him, but I'd still vote Obama over Mitt Beelzibub Romney.

Though I am utterly content experimenting up here at Toi Toi Manawa...I had to go back and see the new Batman movie...'Dark Batman Knight who Rises' or whatever it's called.  It's an unknown, small budget indie film that just came out.

  I'm embarrassed to say it, I kind of got tears in my eyes at the end of the film.  It felt like seeing Star Wars for the first time.  Plus Bane shot up the Stock Exchange, which was awesome.

Though some people said the movie was Anti-Occupy, I think Nolan snuck in some insanely obvious jabs at slimy stock market traders, cops, insane rich folk and middle eastern women?!
Anyway, in one scene, two stock market traders are moaning about not getting the right rye-pastrami sandwich, then one of them gets shot in the face...comedy gold.

Well, it's about time for me to get the heck off of this computer.  By this time 7 days from now, I'll be in the middle of Borneo, blogging about my sensuous experiences with Orangutans...but in all seriousness, according to Willie Smitts, they'll stare into my soul, and instantly know whether I'm not a good person.  Hopefully I'll pass the Orangutan test.