A two hour drive from Wote in the Makueni district of Kenya lies the village of Ngomano. The last 9 miles of the trip to the village center takes a four-wheel drive vehicle and nerves of steel. Not only are you sharing the single lane road with goats, sheep, cattle and people heading to get water, but what is used as a road is often deeply rutted and washed out. Hold on to your stomach for this bumpy ride.
Just before you arrive at the village center of Ngomano a small side road to the left takes you a hundred yards to The Clay International School. This school was developed by PEI Kenya as an innovative way to teach, and in order to create a sustainable community. Continue reading “Sustainable Village Life”
I’m sitting in a kitchen in Caprese Michelangelo in the hills of Tuscany with a glass of a local white wine. There s a fire going to keep the room toasty warm. Jay is busy in our hostess’ kitchen preparing a tomato and fennel fish stew with ingredients that we picked up from the market that day, all of which were locally grown or brought in from the coast.
Is ‘local’ a theme here? So far, it is and not just because it is a passion of mine.
Let’s start from the beginning:
In Sorrento, where I spent my first few days, the streets are lined with orange trees. Small orchards of a few trees, herbs, and grape vines seemed to occupy all available space in backyards and on balconies.
Limoncello, a lemon based liquor, is not only regionally unique but also varies by producer. One variety I tasted on a whim was far better, in my opinion, than others to the point that I might have though it was a different drink all together.
At night while enjoying a stroll down Sorrento’s small side streets, I caught a glimpses of the day’s catch – frutta di mare – in display cases visible from the outside of the restaurants. No doubt this is meant to entice you in, and also to let you know what the fresh catch is for the day. Fresh meaning that it was caught that day and brought up from the harbour.
Once seated at the restaurant for the evening I was pleasantly surprised with a local and superior in quality bottle of vino rosso – red wine. This left no need to spend money on the otherwise pricey wine list, a pleasant occurrence which repeated itself throughout the trip until Rome.
Sorrento’s ability to not only feed me, but to do so locally and with great flavor was definitely appreciated. I appreciated knowing that the locally produced and harvested foods comprised the entire menu.
Would this be repeated? Find out about Tuscany in Italian Food Part 2: Tuscany.
Out to dinner with my friend the other night I casually referred to Peak Oil in a discussion. We were talking about topics that might be potential articles on Earth Thrives. As it turns out he didn’t know what Peak Oil was. Hadn’t heard about it and didn’t mention the fact until I had rolled on to another topic.
This friend had spent at least the past two years running a company whose focus sales demographic was the triple bottom line business, and so I assumed that he of all people would know what peak oil was. Turns out I was wrong.
Over the next week I asked another ten colleagues and friends if they knew what Peak oil was. I expected that they would know when I asked and was not prepared to find that all but one of them didn’t.
I shouldn’t have assumed that my friend or anyone else, for that matter, has the same knowledge that I have. This is not to say that I am amazing, but more to show that my foci are unique to my interests. We all have our own interests which lead to what we read, look up and study in depth. The topics that I have spent more time with include (but are certainly not limited to):
Urban gardens, Peak Oil, sustainable communities, organization development; leadership development, GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), socially responsible business, alternative economies, and local living economies.
While I have spent that last two years immersed in the world of green and sustainable while working on my Masters degree from Goddard College in Socially Responsible Business and Sustainable Communities, not everyone else has gone as in depth in the same topics, even industry professionals.
Let’s face it, many people still think of sustainability as a topic that stands on its own, when it is really a lens through which you see the world.
So, don’t assume that if you bring up something like the Andersonville Study in a conversation about why buying local is important that the person you are talking to has a clue to what you just referred. Ask if they have heard about terms, studies, and topics that you otherwise might take for granted that they know. It will help you to educate yourself as well as others and that is what we need to have happen in order to build the breadth and depth of our information.