» Archive for January, 2010

Silk Screening Workshop

Monday, January 25th, 2010 by Marie

Cathy and Caitlin led a silk screening workshop!  During the workshop participants designed images to print onto jeans, pieces of fabric, shirts, and hats.

The process is surprisingly simple and produces really nice results.  Paul designed a turtle, Peggy designed something that is not Kokopelli but looks like him, and Silvia made a print of a fun phrase.

Jacky printing the turtle onto his jeans:

Peggy’s design:

Caitlin (left) helping Peggy:

Silvia cutting out her screen:

Getting started (Cathy on right):

Cathy was kind enough to write up really nice instructions so we can potentially re-create the workshop.  Click on the images to see the instructions in our photostream.

Caitlin and Cathy volunteered at the Bosque for two weeks.  They helped build our chicken coop, they fought the pine beetle plague, and they were two very nice people to have here in the forest.  They also brought along their very fine dog who likes to sleep with her tongue sticking out:

Thanks to Cathy and Caitlin!  Come back soon!

Volunteer Spotlight: Matt

Saturday, January 16th, 2010 by Marie

Matt volunteered at the Bosque for a little over four weeks.  During his time here he built tables, shelving, and a chicken house.  He helped fix the grey water system at the Casita, worked with Chilino to build a roof for the chicken coop, and worked with Benjamin to build amazing seating for our sauna.

Besides his building frenzy, Matt was an honest and forthright member of the ever-dynamic Bosque community.  He noticed the needs of visitors and volunteers and made sure they were met, either by himself or with help from Brian or myself.  He saw problems and helped to fix them.  He successfully mediated conflicts and sought solutions.

Matt’s vivaciousness allowed him to cross language barriers and make friends with everyone who came through the Bosque.  He noticed the constant social changes we experience here as people come and go; and he went with it!  Matt saw three cohesive groups form and re-form during his time here, and he was always eager to join in and help create an amazing vibe.  His humor and kind spirit made the Bosque a better place.

Matt is a well rounded individual who was an asset to the Bosque, and he is missed!

During carving class:

With Paul on New Year’s Eve:

Building a table for the stove in the Casita:

Recording studio

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by Marie

Our friend who lives in a village nearby has just opened his new recording studio!  We made a website for his space so that Bosque visitors who are interested in recording their music can take advantage of his amazing space and prices.

Alejandro has been producing his own music for many years, and has recently began to offer the use of his studio to locals.  His space and materials are fantastic.  He speaks Spanish and English, and is happy to work with Bosque visitors.  Read more about what he offers on our website.

System failures

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 by Brian

It isn’t always easy….. Even with a good to do list, and organized tasks… system failures distract…

Not being able to turn on a light switch for magic power. Not being able turn on a faucet for water and have it come out reliably.

The lodge pump failed. Unclear why it doesn’t pump water… it starts ok then goes to a trickle. I will take it apart and clean it out. The system appears to be pretty rotted. The pichancha is bad and the tubing is weak. I will replace and rebuild it all. Luckily, I had another pump I use for such cases and so we can get by.

A few days ago the solar power system fuse blew for no apparent reason. I replaced it and was proud I had the part on hand since last time it took a while to order the fuse from the states while I hooked up a hack fix. I just noticed that the fuse I have to order from the states says it is assembled in Mexico. You would think I could buy it here. Today the fuse blew again… And now we are using the last one I have. There is no apparent short in the system… so why are the fuses blowing? Maybe it was just one bad fuse since the new one seems ok. It is a Cooper Bussman T-TRON Class T JJN-110 fuse. Without power…. no internet and therefore no communications. We write dozens of emails a day just to arrange visitors and volunteers. Some months ago we had troubles with too many people using our tiny electrical system and risking the destruction of the batteries… we have usage rules in place to protect it now though of course some people don’t like rules.

And we also have the problem of the 67,000 liter cistern which after being built wrong, then fixed and working for two years, now mysteriously is failing to hold water. We have to fix that as soon as possible. And general water usage is increasing, having so many people, so it looks like rain catchment will not be sufficient until we can make heavy investments into more water storage. There seems to be no easy path to water capture and storage… but we will take any path we must.

The van is still hanging in there…. 1997 Dodge RAM 3500 extended length van named “Van Gogh”. It has served very well going up our terrible road. But whenever it does have problems… We get worried that it is such a critical part of our survival that it’s failure with cause great troubles. The transmission was replaced this year.

In any case, we are doing great overall! Learning a lot. Adjusting.
We just had a December surge of volunteers; all great folks! And some campers too!
We are almost finished fighting the pine beetle plague on this side of the barranca and the other teams are working on that. The chicken house is almost ready. We are arranging more local classes to build the local economy and help guests have intense times.

Much to do for business, immigration, infrastructure, plants, animals, people, and developing the Bosque culture. Need to recruit more residents for greater stability and strength.

Our goals for 2010 are ambitious and our survival uncertain! But intense progress is possible and we will keep riding the tiger.
Good luck to us all!


Friday, January 1st, 2010 by Marie

Happy New Year!

The Bosque is a forest full of happy people today!  New Year’s Eve was…  dare I say… the best one yet.  The current group - last group shot of 2009!:

Yesterday, after a big mid-day meal, Rose gathered people together for an intention setting ceremony.  Resolutions were shared and recorded.  A few people remarked that this was a completely new experience for them; a way to think about goals within a close group.

After that ceremony, some folks headed to the View for a yoga session.  The sauna ran all day and was SO nice - we have new benches made by Matt and Benjamin that are much more comfortable and practical than the “temporary” benches that were installed a year ago.

During dinner people exchanged gifts in Secret Santa fashion.  Included among the gifts: a beautiful necklace, a Moraccan shoe , $1000 fake pesos, a massage, handmade pottery, chocolate, dreamcatchers, and pick-up sticks.

We brought out the telescope to look at the full moon.

This New Year’s Eve we had a blue moon - read about blue moons on wikipedia.  A blue moon on December 31st happens even less than once in a blue moon!  Paul (being awesome as usual) used a magnifying glass to do moon-focusing.  The lens points the light of the moon onto a person’s forehead, and Paul draws a design.  His favorite symbol to draw is a heart, though he is happy to take requests.  Paul says the ritual opens up your third eye - an eye that can see…

We opened the Black Rock Lodge for a dance party!  It was the first time we’ve cleared out enough space for dancing in the main room.  Because Brian and I live in the lodge, and because we host so many people, we tend to keep the building closed except during the day when the kitchen is used to crank out food for folks.

Brian set up dance lights, a fog machine, a strobe light and a laser.  We ran the generator - a selective use of gasoline to help create a nice vibe.
Rose spent hours collecting good music - last night was her DJ debut.  Nearly everyone donned costumes and danced like crazy.

We counted down together for midnight - happy 2010!  Brian and I passed around Sidra (fizzy Mexican cider) and sparkling apple juice, and everyone shared beer and tequila.

The Bosque is welcoming 2010 today by taking time off from normal work and enjoying the lovely people, the forest, some good food and a nice sauna.  Today’s activities include a wood carving class, a pine needle basket weaving class, hammock laziness and card playing.  Tomorrow: we start our resolutions to make a better world.

We wish all our friends, family, and anyone reading a happy January 1.

Honey Cupcake does not know what to think:

Peggy made a million balloon hats:

Cool laser effects:

Dancing dancing dancing:

Cathy played the trombone.  She is amazing:

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