I love being back in Taos. When we spent two weeks here in August I learned that this area is called the Land of Enchantment. Well, it certainly has enchanted the two of us. When we drove back here Tuesday afternoon we came from the east which took us through Cimarron Canyon State Park. The drive AND THESE MOUNTAINS are so beautiful it moved me to tears as I felt the comfort of being back in this special part of New Mexico. Me and my mountains…I went on a FANTASTIC yesterday morning, our 1 day off from school. I hiked up 2,500 ft. through Italians Canyon, along the Rio Hondo and into the frost line. There was snow on the ground and frozen water as I climbed towards 11,000 feet in elevation. It was a fabulous 5 hours.
Rob and I absolutely loved attending the Biotecture Academy orientation together yesterday and came home feeling inspired and eager to learn more. Last week I attended solo which included various classes and a day of fieldwork where I learned how to use several power tools and spent an afternoon plastering the aquaponics trough in a greenhouse. Every day that I came home and shared what I learned with Rob it made him want to be there right there with me. And now he is! We enrolled him in school today and he spent his first full day on the site with me building a bond beam form out of cans and mortar, cutting and tiring rebar for the buttresses and building footings. All under Taos’s magnificent sky.
Rob works on leveling the can form for the bond beam
I get to play with power tools and plaster
A snapshot of my wonderful Sunday morning hike
The entire concept of sustainable living that the earthships afford someone speaks to me in volumes. When I was a really little kid my younger sister and I wanted to be scientists who would “cleanup the earth.” I grew up recycling and never considered myself entirely wasteful…until I lived in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2013 for four months. I had never before seen, nor even imagined, the amount of garbage that resided in the the streets and rivers of that city. I lived on the Bagamati River for 3 months. Decades ago this was a beautiful clean water source that the locals drank from. Four years ago it was filled with sewage and garbage from the community.
As an American it is really difficult to understand the concept of “garbage” and what happens to it after we are done with it, where it goes and how that effects an area. We consume, throw away and forget. Our garbage is collected and removed from our sight and our smell. Being in Nepal and seeing piles of garbage in waterways and streets, miles of garbage piled up next to the school that I worked at (that I walked along the polluted and fragrant Basmati river to get to) opened my eyes. Garbage is a real thing that every single person has to deal with on this planet and our planet is huge. Seeing a place that didn’t have the infrastructure to handle garbage and being faced with it day after day where I lived awakened me to just how much waste we produce as individuals and ultimately changed me. I think anybody who has spent time with me in the last four years would say that my return from overseas made me extremely adverse to waste. Imagine my delight when I learned last week that Europe is outlawing throw away plastic in 2020!! So fast forward from my wanting to cleanup the world as a kid and being unable to ignore how wasteful society generally is to discovering Earthships. Earthship: a home that takes more from the dump than it puts into it. A home that is built from garbage – old tires, bottles, cans. A home that uses the environment to function rather than fossil fuels that harm it. A sophisticated sustainable and comfortable home that uses the earth’s natural cool temperature and the sun’s heat to keep your home a constant 69-71 degrees just makes sense. Why would we do this any other way?
Throughout mine and Rob’s journey these nearly 8 months I have had many life experiences that have felt so right as I grow and we continue to build a life together, not just a living. Building an Earthship, in harmony with nature, respecting the earth and sun and the natural resources it provides in an effort to heal and protect the environment is absolutely what I was meant to be doing. Over the next 4 weeks I will step outside my comfort zone and into a new world, again! I’ll learn how to use power tools, build, plaster, mix concrete, lay glass bottles into a wall, pound earth into tires, set up a solar system and so much more. Rob and I have come a really long way in our thinking since we left Dallas. We lived a different lifestyle previously and for us that is not something we see ourselves ever turning back to. We invite every single reader of our blog to visit us in our home and business when it is built by our own two hands so you can see what we are so excited about— and then come on a big fat hike with us! With those 2 experiences we can show you what makes our hearts so full day after day.