Dec 9, 2008

On the Home Front

Check out the Trailer for the SWoBsMovie!
(click bottom right to watch in high quality)

Home is where the heart is...

It is great to be home, but as always, a bit overwhelming. The majority of the energy swirling through the state of California runs on a completely different speed from the tranquil coastal villages in it's neighboring country of Mexico. It's hard not to get swept up in the whirlwind of it all. The pressure to make money, to "do" something and the fear of the "unknown" seems to make for a somewhat frantic society.

Aubrey stretching it out

Still, inspiration is to be found here as well. We arrived home just in time to catch the last day of the 2008 International Natural Building Colloquium held at the Orella Ranch. Guner Tautrim’s family has lived on the ranch for seven generations, continuously making it more amazing and beautiful. Seventy of the world’s leading builders who specialize in using natural materials convened at the majestic event site called The Oaks.

Guests included Penny Livingston-Stark

Bamboo Classroom

The Orella BaƱo Team makes working fun!

A five-stall bathroom was the project, constructed from locally harvested and milled timber and a selection of different experimental infill techniques using cob as the base. Cob is made from clay soil, sand, and straw. It is like adobe, just not formed into bricks. The sewage is piped into a Watson Wick, which leaches nutrients into the active layer of the soil. It is a brilliantly simple solution to flush toilets and septic systems.

Stompin' Cob!

Maya preparing cactus for the plaster mix

The resulting structure is super strong and completely natural, utilizing local and renewable materials. It is also a work of art, as cob allows ultimate freedom in shaping and forming the walls and windows.

Guner plastering the "Salmon Room"

Aubrey and her dolphies

Holiday time sent us on a trip up North to catch up with more family and friends. Santa Cruz is a unique town, overflowing with an abundance of trippy hippy outdoorsy folks (our favorite kind!), artists and athletes all mesh together, making a hot market for the restaurants to offer a delicious variety of quality foods and bumping musicians to keep everyone move’n.

Bryna "Isabel" art is our favorite! We took this piece home!

There always seems to be surf hitting somewhere up there but we definitely lucked into some solid swells with pristine conditions.

The Lane holding

We also “lucked” into finding and purchasing our future home. Yes, we were able to buy our first house together, a 20 foot tipi! We bought it outright for a whopping $500 cash. We were even able to bundle it up and transport it back down with us atop of my old little rust’n crust’n Honda. The poles were the only things that couldn’t make it, so we figured we could make our own with some of the many local Eucalyptus saplings.

In between all the continuing adventures we’ve been getting to work on our own projects and editing the many hours of video we took along the way through Mexico. Check out our Trailer for the SWoBsMovie!

Also in some more exciting news, the lovely spunky hunky Canadians who traveled to Mexico and stayed in Barra for a couple weeks in October have joined forces with local restaurant owner Pablo, to create a Library for the town. They are calling it Books for Barra, and it will officially be the first Library the town has ever had. To find more about it or get involved contact:

Refugio Gold

We will be hosting a Fundraiser at the end of January to support more projects for our next mission to Mexico. For every $100 raised, we can build one composting toilet or one sand filter in a town in need of appropriate technology. Please help us spread the word of sustainability and the joy of creativity!

We return to Oaxaca end of February to revisit our projects that we started throughout Mexico. We hope to continue to Nicaragua if we can raise the funds. Thanks for all your interest and support!

Contact us!