I spent most of November in the central jungle of Peru, working in a project called Kadagaya. Kadagaya (meaning abundance) was started about 6 months ago by Julie and Vladimir, two awesome physicists with expertise in energy systems and materials and a grudge towards the monitary system. Both in love with the idea of a resource based economy (where everyone gets what they need and the system runs on abundance, not scarcity) and fed up with the inefficiency, destruction of the planet and corruption caused by money, they decided to leave their jobs in Copenhagen to build a "pilot project" for the society that they want to see. The goal is to create a self sustainable community, with technology to improve quality of life and reduce human labour where possible, and where choices are based on science. The pilot project aims to show people what can be done with the current state of technology, more or less a "proof of concept" for the idea.
During my four weeks there, among other things I helped build an elevated chicken coop, build a roof, even out floors, plant all kinds of things in the gardens, dig ditches to protect the house from the ridiculous tropical storms of the upcoming wet season, learned how to bake bread without an oven, learnt how to cook many things and learnt a lot about what solutions are out there to sustain basic needs (water, food, electricity, sewage, rubbish disposal, etc), as well as about the philosophy behind the resource based economy and ideals like the venus project. I also saw lots of crazy, huge and fantastic bugs, and got bitten a whole lot by less fantastic ones.
Avocado abundance: just pick them up off the ground in the jungle. The inevitable avocado withdrawal after leaving here wasn't pretty.
Thank god for the river: no better place to cool down after digging trenches in 30 degree heat for a few hours.
The project is ambitious: next on the list are creating buildings from grown polymer, fiber and fungus materials, building a hydro electric powerplant, creating a system to collect methane from the compost toilets, building a tractor and so on. It would be most interesting to visit this place again in a few months to see how it's evolving. In a few years, the hope is to create a community of roughy 40 people on this piece of land. In the long run, the vision is to have similar communities in different parts of the world, so that the ones who live there can move between the different places by switching houses every now and then, thereby learning how to live off the land anywhere, and being able to experience different cultures and so on.