We spent the last weekend in Awhi Farm - a centre for sustainable practice. The name in Maori means "to take care of", "to nurture". It is a little paradise in the middle of nature. Isolated from the "modern, hight tech world". No electricity, maybe just some solar panels. No heating, just your sleeping bag. No light at night, just the moon and the shining stars above you, and in the morning, waking you up, the first ray of light. Compost toilet or the bush. Shower only at the Squash Club nearby, or at the natural hot pools. No charger for your phones, but real birds chirping around. No supermarket on the corner, yet a fascinating food forest and hens that nourish you. Just pure nature.
You loose connectivity, yet reconnect. With the people around you. With yourself.
Simplicity, at its best.
The Awhi Farm is located next to Lake Taupo, the biggest lake of New Zealand. It is run by Lisa, a Maori lady with clear blue eyes, a lot of meaningful tattoos and a big soul. She takes care of this piece of land for the past 5 years. In fact, her family is on this land for the past 26 generations! The place she created here is very special, inspirational. A self-sustaining farm, that takes you back to nature, back to basics.
Food grows everywhere around you. Fruit trees. Many many vegetables. Lettuce, onion, kale, mushrooms, mint, just to name a few. An amazing "food forest" wherever you look. Beehives, hens. Everything self-made, self-grown, self-sustaining. Organic. Tasty. Healthy.
Little cabins to host some visitors. Who want to come to experience something new, something real, something very natural. To learn about permaculture. To learn about the environment. To learn about growing and eating healthy food. To learn about securing food in an affordable way. To learn about building sustainable homes. To learn about life.
A place that was created in nature, with nature. With a lot of work and vision. With enthusiastic WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organis Farms) from all around the world, helping out to maintain and to develop this magical atmosphere.
It was amazing to experience nature at its best for several days. Very different, sometimes unusual. To see that it is possible to grow your own food. To compost. To think about how much waste we produce. To heat water because you just can't get hot water from the tab. To wait until the water boils, slowly, and pick your own mint leaves for your tea. To see how relaxing it can be to be in the middle of nowhere without our busy everyday modern routines surrounded by vibrating screens, phones, "things to do".
To step back, to slow down, to relax. To go with the flow. To feel the trees, the bush, the plants, the green surrounding you and giving this amazing, uplifting sensation to recharge your batteries. To feel the geothermal energies of the natural hot pools nearby. To let the strong smell of the minerals and the spluttering mud take you. "Back to nature" philosophy, actually not a new concept...
Glimpses of steam, fascinating colours of the minerals and mud. Tokaanu Thermal Walk.
To enjoy cooking together, eating together around the table, with the clear blue sky above your head. To see the pizzas bake in the special wood stove. To taste home made, home grown food a la Maori style baked in the hot steam in the ground next to the hot pools - the puia cooking.
To share stories. To share experiences. To share inspiration. To share success and confidence. To share doubts. Pain. Fears. To open up. Expose yourself. Be vulnerable. Show respect. Compassion. Understanding. Not to seek approval. Listen. Laugh. Cry. Let go. Enjoy. Love. Live.
With people you hardly know yet you feel you have known them for so much longer. Just because you shared.
And with your loved ones.
I will remember this weekend for long...
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