I’m in a hurry. I want to write this post while I’m fully in the thrall of the glorious feeling currently enveloping me. This trip, and the world, are better than I thought they were/would be. That’s simple and vague, but amazing. I was wrong about how good the world is! I already thought it was mostly awesome, but now I think it’s better than that – with a great deal of potential to be even better.
We just had a two hour presentation/conversation with a bunch of awesome 4th-graders in Ms. Kelly’s class at Odyssey Charter School in Palm Bay, FL. We started by introducing ourselves and very briefly (no kidding!) explaining our trip (around the world, no money, blah blah blah) and our four core motivations (fun, learning, contributing, and pollinating ideas/questions). Then we took questions. The kids were eager and smart and positive and full of queries (our stack, a la Occupy, was at times 20 names long).
They asked us where we stay, where we get food, why we haven’t been to Haiti, etc. We got 33 kids to boo Publix with us (for having compactors instead of dumpsters), to promise to talk to their friends about composting rather than throwing out food waste, and to reject the idea that there is ever a legitimate cause to be mean to someone. We talked about the fact that everyone there (and everyone reading this) is participating in the rapid, disorganized, and permanent destruction of Tuvalu. We probably went over their heads with our discussion of the Kitchenware Revolution in Iceland, but they liked Iceland, so that’s ok! It’s about the spirit of it all. We had two hours of sharing our utterly sincere and energetic beliefs in the possibility of modern life and the responsibility that accompanies our interconnectedness. And it made us happy and it made them happy. And I feel better than I have in my entire life, I think.
We want to do more teach-ins. (As I’m writing this, Mark just walked up with a box full of perfectly fresh wrapped vegetables from some nearby dumpster!!!
What a great world where free food is so available. [33 fourth graders agree with a resounding, “Yayyyy!!!”] What a terrible world where such great food is thrown away. [33 fourth graders agree with a resounding, “Booooo!!!”] And one billion people will go to bed hungry tonight while we dine on America’s waste.) To add to the greatness, while we did our best to teach, share, learn, and take in life with those wonderful kids, Lake stayed back to do physical work- building beautiful brick benches and a fire pit- at our current base of operations.
That base is Wind’s permaculture “art project,” an “experiment with the limits of a person,” an urban homestead/farm designed ingeniously and sustainably to be entirely materially self-sufficient within a couple years. And he does all this with the intent of sharing every idea he can, from aloe band-aids to growing houses (oh yeah, we’ll be writing more about that). The sharing of ideas through the internet has made such things evermore possible, and being immersed in such a setting gives us a beautiful glimpse of what a prosperous, sustainable future could look like.
All we ever wanted in life was to be happy and feel like we’re making a real contribution to the happiness and well-being of humanity. And we’re closer to that than ever before. We felt that to the maximum today in a classroom at a “green” public charter school that has all organic food served in a composting cafeteria, great teachers, great kids, no tuition, and no selective admissions. But we’re feeling it pretty much every day.
– A-Dog feat. J-Ho
Note: We’re posting this the day after it was written, whilst luxuriating like lavish lemurs in Cocoa Beach.