My journey will officially end in June this year. I have arrived by chance back at the project I started at in May 2015 in Brazil. I tried to find good projects in South America as I journeyed from north to South but couldn’t find anything I liked. So I decided to head back here, to cardinot, Rio de Janeiro, and spend my last few months working on more eco builds till I head back to the UK for Kate’s wedding. The plan was to then head on to India, SE Asia maybe, then who knows.
However after arriving here, the owner told me there was work opportunities to be had in the near future. Specifically, being a manager for eco builds, probably in Brazil. So I have now pretty much taken the training op which will be under volunteer conditions (unpaid, food and accommodation provided, chances to earn money through tourists who visit plus 1 day a week to pursue my own projects here) for a year or more, which will then be followed by building contracts when I am competent.
So there it is, my travels will end, with a move to Brazil and training – at the least – to become a mud house builder.
My feeling right now is that I will stick with the training for a year or two, however, whether I stay and take on contracts here in Brazil afterwards is another matter. I would like to come back to Europe still to be closer to family and friends but this sort of opportunity doesn’t come round often. I can always do the training, then try and find eco build work in Europe or even England if I’m lucky.
As for life here, it’s not too bad. We work more hours than I would like but in return we learn a lot. I get up at 5:30 each day, have a massive breakfast, walk up the hill to the waterfall just five minutes away, have an ice cold shower with a view over the mountains. We work from 7 will 4 on a variety of projects. At the moment it is split between the final carpentry, natural plasters and paints, and general finishes to the first house, a couple of days building a stone bridge at a waterfall and sometimes a day on the permaculture gardens.
Soon we will start the new chalet where my training will really get going. All our water is from springs, the gardens at the volunteer house have lemon and orange trees full of fruit, the village is tiny so there is next to no pollution, the nearest shop is half an hour walk so I spend barely any money, the holes in my clothes are getting bigger and the patches more numerous, we live in the mountains so we are at the base of loads of hikes, it is between 15-35 degrees in the day and cold at night which is prefect, and the team at the moment is really fun.
Basically life here is pretty good.