Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our First Eco Village Experience

In September we had our first visit to an Eco Village and it was an amazing experience! I had my doubts and was anxious prior to our trip, but by the time we were saying goodbye and giving hugs two weeks later, we didn't want to leave.

Where did all of this happen? At Dancing Rabbit, an intentional village in rural Missouri!

In the spring of 2013, we applied for work exchange positions, however the visitor program was more suited for us since we're a family of three, so we applied for that too! After a few weeks of correspondence we were accepted into the program for September. We made the necessary arrangements and when it came time, we took off for two weeks into the unknown! What an adventure!

The purpose of the two weeks is to paint an accurate picture of village life and to introduce people to all of the customs, as there are so many things there that stray from the norms most of us are accustomed to. We certainly learned a great deal while there. We saw all kinds of new things and were involved in new experiences.

The houses there vary in style, some look like a a regular home, others look like they were made of mud and are artistic and unique. While each structure may differ in appearance, they all have one thing in common - they are built sustainably.

We got to help out with two of the homes being built. One was straw bale and we stomped cob for the inner walls of it. It was a novel experience to feel the cob squish between our toes and then journey to the lake to clean off afterwards when we were caked in it.

I learned to be more comfortable with composting toilets and with having to go to the bathroom without as much privacy as I prefer. Josh learned about alternative energy. Kai learned how to play with a little girl there who was 6 months older than him. It was a process of constant learning and every day there was a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be tapped into.

We rode bikes, ate lots of vegan community meals, took many dips in the swimming pond, cooled down in the Inn with beer or with Virgil's soda, and laughed and enjoyed time with our companions. We had a daily agenda that was structured so that we spent time with different members learning and doing different things. There was also evening community activities. Free time was also accounted for.

It was an epic time. Truly, we met many wonderful individuals there.

We can definitely envision ourselves living there, but we haven't decided if it is what we want to do. In the meantime, we'll probably visit again and I can't wait!!

If you want to check it out:

Or if you're interested in intentionally communities closer to you:

Just remember, you can't simply show up! You have to prearrange your visit so that it is convenient for both you and the members living there!

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