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Co-creating the Florestral Project

We are sending our deepest gratitude to those that have supported our campaign to raise funds for the establishment of the Retreat Center!

All that we have received has been put into the Land together with daily devotion and a lot of hard work and sweat, the team on the land have been pushing themselves to get our hosting facilities put in place.

Each day new developments have been made and it is truly amazing to behold! From the creation of the greenhouse to picking the first greens, from laying the first foundations and now having a house to sleep in, connecting pipes to having the freshest drinking water, a kitchen, toilets, showers, pathways and from cutting bamboos to having the first sweatlodge ceremonies... All in a days work, we follow the sun and now as the crucial time limit approaches we also work by night with the help of a generator... We have created several medicine gardens with personal dedications made by contributors, and it brings such joy to see the land becoming a Medicine home.Still much work awaits and is undertaken so as to be ready for the first retreat of 2014, the Forest Vision Quest in January.

It is the Vision that has brought us here and it is this Vision that is driving us forward so as to arrive at a point of rest from physical work to a deep spiritual surrender as we begin this retreat aimed at thorough clearance and renewal and personal vision....

Thank you from the Heart of the Florestral Project!

team

 

 

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The first Volunteer Program on the Land is in action!

In November we began our first volunteer program, inviting enthusiastic people to join us in this pioneering stage of development of the Hosting facilities in the Land. We happily welcomed our first volunteer crew that signed up !
 
Before the sun shines into the valley we are are waking up to a new day. Meditation, yoga, a swim in the river or coffee, each person begins the day with a smile, for the eyes are filled with the splendor of this forest all around us.. The list of tasks is long so we face each day at a time , courageously trusting that all will be done. We have felt the support of Nature and the Universe; we have had little rain allowing for a much easier environment to work in, good wood has been provided as well as a great dedicated and hardworking team. We also see the long distance support through our fundraising campaign reaching many people and their positive and giving response to it. The land is transforming and before our eyes we are viewing a dream become a reality. Hammer and nails, spade and seeds, spoon and bowl, in the hands, each person here is contributing greatly..
 
We have the first cabin ready giving us the possibility to sleep in the land. With that all the basics, kitchen, showers, toilets. The day ends with the setting sun and we sit together around the fire. Without electricity we sleep early, which is good since we arise brightly the next morning once again to begin another productive day...
 
moving trees poles  mick putting poles  first green salad
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Around August, we started to work on the Florestral Land, step by step.

First of all, by locating, hauling and stacking left-over teak logs from our neighbouring plantation, who recently cut and processed many of their trees. And this squirl-smart gathering and -saving has continued, on and off, until this very week, 3,5 months later.

Dibenga Ferhan, a dear friend from France-Turkey, helped me a lot in the first weeks, by becoming dirty, covered in mud, sweat, and rain. Together we piled the wood, ventured into our bamboo-grove to saw, by hand, pieces for temporary covers (with tarp), and began attempts to remove bark. Initially with a short, thinner teak branch, rhytmically pounding the logs, then on to a small and later to a proper sledge hammer.

Upon Vismay’s return from Israel, and when our neighbours were fixing some of the damage they inflicted upon the road that runs in between the two properties, he hired and guided their bobcat tractor (with driver), and created two ‘plantels’ (flat areas), where the first two structures were later going to be build.

Pablo and Harold, our main ‘carpentero’s’ have done most of the actual technical, and heaviest, part of the construction. I assisted wherever I could, and whereever it was necessary. For example: digging holes for the posts, digging drainages, placing the posts, mixing, carrying and putting down cement, taking off more bark. They did the entire frameworks and roof installation (tarp and zinc), walls, doors, a unique floor of ‘galletas de teka’ (teak cookies, or slices) in the cabin, sanding and polishing, levelling out the soil, and what not.

After the skeleton of the dining/kitchen area and the first cabin were finished, we moved on to the greenhouse project. Again with teak logs, and our local yellow bamboo, Pablo and Harold erected with 22m by 6m on one side, and 14m by 6m on the other, a decent-sized transparant plastic roof, underneath which a lot of greens, vegetables and herbs will be grown in the (near) future. To even get to his stage, took quite some effort. The tall grass, shrubs and bushes needed to be cut with the machete, then thoroughly raked and and put aside, hundreds of remaining roots had to be pulled, and the tiny weeds shaved off. After all this cleaning and preparation, Jordi, another local worker , and I went on with building raised beds (7 times 1.20m by 14m), for which we had to loosen and plow the semi-compacted soil with a pick and shovels, then crumble the resulting chunks by hand into finer and finer pieces, and put left-over teak planks all around.

At this time, Umberto, our nearest neighbour with a house, a kind of hermit and naturally enlightened farmer, commenced with cutting larger areas, thus revealing the topography of the land, after which we could discuss and determine the most suitable spots and locations for the guest cabins, the temple, the showers, the toilets, and the sweatlodge.

Our biggest challenge and time-consumer so far has been carrying and bringing most of the material, literally on our shoulders, from the entrance of the land, 300-500 meters along to the area of the hosting facilities, up an down some slopes. In this sense, the conditions have not been easy, and rather primitive. Every sack of cement, every log, every plank, every zinc board, equipment, everything, had and has to be taken on the back, and walked to our construction sites.

Hopefully in 4-6 weeks, with the dry season, this situation will change, and we will be able to begin using the road (the latter part of which is in a pretty bed condition, during the period of daily rains).

Starting from scratch takes a lot of energy and perseverance, but it is also very rewarding, and satisfying to take part in, be a part of, and enjoy the beautiful fruits of one’s labour.

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In 2009 we understood for the second time that the urban life was not for us, we also longed for community but we could not find good soil in which to plant the seeds for this lifestyle.

Then the calling came, from across the seas, from the forest. Our friends were moving to Costa Rica and they invited us to join them. The calling became stronger inside us. After some time of preparing and closing we made the big jump, with a lot of trust and belief and yearning to bring ourselves to a place that our hearts agreed to call home.

We came to Costa Rica, this small land that is abundant in life, water and beauty. This land's richness is in its simplicity and in nature. Clean air and water, an abundance of food and animals and a country without an army!

This is why Costa Rica appealed so much to us!

We came here to find land, to return to a simple and truly rich way of life, growing what we need and living in freedom, joy and harmony. It took 3 years for the right land to appear. We searched and made so much effort to find the right place, yet in the right moment the land was revealed to us. At first we looked for a land with a lot of forest. Those kind of lands are generally sloping and very wet, and you need to remove trees in order to build. So we understood that planning and growing a forest cam be a wonderful part of what we want to create. So many lands in CR have been used for cattle pastures and need to be nourished and restored to their natural state.

We stayed in the valley of Las Tumbas for the last 2 years, and then one day Vismay ventured off down a small road that caught his attention. He came to a fenced property that intrigued him very much...

So began our discovery of this beautiful land with a big river and spring, a land that had been used for agriculture as well as grazing, a land that was waiting to be freed..

And this land welcomed us from the beginning with gentleness that cannot be described in words only felt...
The land offered a great natural layout to support our vision for community private houses, a retreat center, gardens and reforestation.

And so, we have arrived to the threshold of manifesting a vision into reality, we are so ready for it, with an open heart and mind, to learn to create to live..

With so much appreciation to Nature and those that are supporting this vision.

Viva the Land! Viva Florestral Vision!

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