Well… I did say that I would update this blog while I was traveling, and I did alright for the first week, but then I seriously fell off the wagon. Oh well, I enjoyed the computer-free time!And now I’m back in sometimes sunny/ mostly rainy Portland and getting back to work.
One of the places I enjoyed my time away from the computer the most was in the south island of New Zealand in Golden Bay where I stayed at an intentional community/ eco village called Tui.
The Tui Community and Land Trust began in 1984 when a group of like-minded individuals decided to buy over 100 acres of land to start an intentional community. In the last 30 odd years Tui has gone through various incarnations and approaches towards a vision of intentional community and has quite successfully blossomed into a village in which 30-40 adults and children live gently upon some of the most gorgeous land I’ve ever seen. Many of the Tui Community residents are independently employed outside of the community in neighboring towns, a fair amount are employed by the community’s cottage industry, Tui Balmes and Waxes and a few more are kept busy running young men’s and women’s rites of passage programs, respectively, Tracks and Tides.
I traveled to NZ as the guest and assistant for my dear friend and mentor Melissa Michaels who was invited to Tui (with myself, another assistant and her two daughters in tow) to share her work with the New Zealand Community. Melissa runs a rites of passage program called “Surfing The Creative” which utilizes movement, dance, music, art-making, performance, council, and a whole lot of other things to facilitate dynamic leadership and community building. Learn more about her Colorado-based workshops and classes and her international program.
In Tui we were welcomed into the fabulously imaginative home of Suzi and Jim, two long-standing residents of the village. Suzi is a leader and founder of Tides, a rites of passage program for young women, and Jim is the leader and found of Tracks, the young men’s rites of passage program. Two of my friends and other collaborators of Melissa have traveled to Tui to take part in the leadership of these programs. Are you skilled or do you want to learn more about youth leadership and rites of passage? This would be a place to come and learn about it!
Another opportunity to travel to Tui is to go and WWOOF. Willing Workers On Organic Farms is a worldwide network of willing and able people who exchange labor for room and board on organic farms. The terms are negotiated personally, there is generally no monetary exchange, and traveling and working is one of the best ways to get to know a community and land.
On the drive from Nelson to Golden Bay- overlooking the valley.
From the vantage of Suzi and Jim’s balcony
Tui community garden
Tui community dinner
Meagan Chandler, singer, artist, and sister traveler relaxing in the evening warmth
The view of Suzi and Jim’s house from the driveway
Suzi and Jim in their kitchen with grandson Koa
Koa and his dad Jay, preparing for our last supper together
Meagan on the rocks by the estuary
Suzi and Jim’s chimney stack!
More pictures from the rest of the trip (Berkeley, L.A., Sydney) coming soon!