Title

Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Journey to the Source


Back when we had a television, LOST was my all time favorite show. It was the only show that I had to be home to watch each week. I loved the characters. I got wrapped up in the crazy plot twists. I enjoyed trying to piece together the various philosophical views being hinted at. I longed to be in that landscape...



I now find myself on an island very similar to the LOST island. And although our plane did not literally fall out of the sky, we, by all means, crashed onto these shores. We are still struggling to make sense of what happened to us. Like the LOST characters, we have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves...to take the lessons learned in our other life and make the most of our new island life. For us there is no going back...we would be in Locke's camp...stay on the island and learn from its mysteries...



This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to a very special place on our island. The Source Farm has the potential to be like that place on LOST where the light of the world is kept. Located in the eastern parish of St. Thomas, The Source Farm is a family vision to bring light, art, culture and sustainable living to a very impoverished community. I found The Source's website while searching for sustainable communities on the web before we left. I decided to send an email to the address listed...just to say hi and that I supported their cause. To my surprise, I got a response! It was the beginning of a dialogue and exchange of beautiful ideas! One of the projects the Source has implemented is a women's sewing cooperative. The unemployment rate is extremely high especially among women in the Johns Town community. The literacy rate is also very low. There are few opportunities for people to travel out of the community to search for work. The sewing co-operative is a way for the women to learn a skill and earn for themselves. It is hoped both by the Source and myself, that my skills can be used to inspire and invigorate the co-op.



Mo wants to get involved with the sustainable building initiative. The Source is promoting the Earthbag building technology as an low impact, affordable way to build housing. So far the Source has two earthbag houses. I got to stay in one on my overnight trip and it couldn't have been more cozy and comfortable! I loved it! Both houses are completely off the grid, relying on solar and wind power for electricity and rain water catchment for water. Like the co-op, this initiative is extremely important to have the community understand and support. On my visit, the Johns Town community had been without water since March! Residents must walk down a treacherous path to a communal pump to get their water...for drinking, cooking, bathing...all their water needs. Reports of people being robbed on their way to the well in the early morning hours are prolific. Elderly people must hire a taxi to carry the water containers back and forth...a cost they just cannot afford. Electricity is also very costly island wide. There is a huge push towards developing renewable energy sources to help lower the costs. In fact, former U.S. president, Bill Clinton, was just here giving a lecture on renewable energy hoping to convince the government to get behind the movement.





The other projects the Source is working on include an organic farm and CSA, healing arts center, a learning center focusing on progressive global learning models and eco-tourism. When Nicola told me about the plans for the learning center, I got so excited! I envisioned Shine and Song attending. In fact, when Nicola spoke about any of the numerous projects evolving at the Source, I got excited! Like I said, it is a very special place. The land itself seems to vibrate with positive energy. Surrounded by the Blue Mountains on one side and the sea on the other, this former coconut farms boasts gorgeous views as well as cozy nooks, like the stream with lovely waterfalls, where one can literally get lost...only to be found again. I was inspired by all that I saw and talked about with Nicola. The vision she shared with me was just beautiful. I'm thrilled to have found this place and truly believe that it is the Source for all the is good and beautiful...






I feel like I have found my place...my path...there was a reason I was brought to this island...


Please check out their website to learn more: http://thesourcefarm.com/
And if you are looking for a way to see the true Jamaica and do something positive and good at the same time, check out their work exchange program. You won't regret it!

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