» Archive for December, 2009


Thursday, December 31st, 2009 by Marie

Gonzalito visits us about once a week.   He is a very smart 8 year old who lives in a nearby village.  He is getting used to chatting with the weird international visitors we host!  When he visits he likes to volunteer.  His jobs include photography, message delivery, paper maché mask making, coloring and making cool things out of legos.


Photography assignment -  take pictures of everyone!:

Lego zoo:

Meditation Mats

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 by Marie

For three years or so we’ve been moving a large piece of foam from storage place to storage place, not quite sure what to do with it.  A few weeks ago we came up with the idea of making meditation mats.

Lori cut the foam into 18″ x 18″ pieces.

Silvia spent about a week and a half sewing thirty covers for all the mats.  She swapped in different styles of fabric to give them a bit of variation.   Each cover is removable so that we can easily wash them, which is great since they will normally be used outside in the forest.  Silvia is an Italian textile designer, so she easily crafted the covers in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Tired after all that sewing:

Just as Silvia finished the covers, Rose arrived to the Bosque.  Rose leads group meditation every Friday afternoon, so the mats were quickly put into good use.


Monday, December 28th, 2009 by Marie

Paul made this art with the sun and a magnifying glass:

The art of decorating a material with burn marks is called pyrography - “writing with fire”.  It can be done using a tip heated by fire or electricity, or using sunlight through a lens - Paul used a magnifying glass.  The bigger the lens, the bigger the burn mark.  Fine detail can be done using a small lens.

Paul is volunteering with us for two weeks, and we’re so happy to have him!  He leads cob, wakes up early and heats up water and oats for others, he makes art, and today he worked on his design for tents made out of tarps.  Thanks Paul!

Cathy trying out burning wood with a magnifying glass:

Paul after leading cob building:

‘Tis the season

Saturday, December 26th, 2009 by Marie

We have had an extremely busy insanely great December!  Due to people having time off from work and travelers wanting to spend the holiday season with a community, our group is larger than normal.  We’ve had people coming through from Canada, USA, Mexico, France, Australia, Italy, England, Germany, and India.  All of our visitors have been such a pleasure; leading activities such as meditation and temezcals (ritual sauna), making amazing sculptures and paintings, and working on building very needed furniture: tables, bunk beds, and shelving.

We are SO thankful to have such a large group of hard working individuals right now, especially since we are fighting a plague in our pine trees.  I’ll write a more in depth entry on that soon, but we really cannot express our gratitude for all the people who have helped us save the forest.  Their arrival and spirit was timely; we have cleared the plague out of several areas of the Bosque.  There is still work to be done, but the enthusiasm and drive of our volunteer team is astounding.

Though Christmas and holidays at the Bosque are not very traditional, we did take some time on the 25th to celebrate our current community.  Judith made an advent candle centerpiece for our table and Justine made a holiday tree.

The advent candles being lit for the second week of advent:

Justine’s tree (the base is the bottom of a maguey flower stem and the branches are madrone):

And now we prepare for the new year.  We are feeling really positive about what it will bring.  The amount of recent creativity and generosity has been such a wonderful thing for Brian and I to witness.

We wish you a happy solstice/Christmas/festivus/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/whatever.  Mostly, Happy December.

Looking foward to 2010!

A late night note from Brian

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 by Brian

My day today started at 5 am. And it ending now at 12:40 am doing things I don’t want to do; Telling nice smart wonderful people they are…. I start tomorrow at 7 am if I can get to sleep. Total of 21 people to manage in the morning. Luckily, I am getting better at it and have it mostly figured out. Mostly with surprises. Getting better at talking with people in Spanish who barely speak English or Spanish. Great mix of projects and lots of progress. Will have 5 meetings, 1 group discussion if I don’t cancel it for tiredness. Three teams of two will arrive to deal with the unmentionable problem, but all the paperwork in in place now. I am playing roles I don’t like but are part of the survival of the project. Tricky puzzles getting easier as my tolerance of bullshit and abuse decreases and my ability to communicate the goals and difficulties increases. People here are happy. Vibe good. Really amazing mix of people. It is like having a party of temporary housemates during their peak educational vacation experience. I wish I could attend the party sometimes. I need to be like stainless steel. There has been rain and I can metaphorically feel so many of the baby plants we put in this year being so very happy. I need to be… who I am not yet. I guess I should just be satisfied to be doing the best job I can do and some how try to find a few moments I can relax and be happy. Stainless steel machine must work harder.  If I was a marketing guy I would say I should work at 110%, but as a rational dude who isn’t totally stupid I will settle for something over 90%.    I hope we are all working for a better world as best we are able.

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