Eat Together without Phones on the Table and Other Lessons I Learnt from Starting an Eco Community.

‘Community living’: to live with like-minded people, share food, ideas about life and necessities, support each other, work on projects together, have somebody around to have a chat or a drink with and respect everyone’s space. It’s a way of life which can be valuable, joyful and a way to learn from one another.

Experiment

After our time in Casita Verde on Ibiza, we wanted to create this communal way of life with a small group of friends. With this plan in our minds we moved to Mallorca last December. We were so lucky that our friend Luis opened the doors to his Resilience Centre, his home, to make it happen. It has been an interesting experiment.

Unfortunately the Corona-virus made it impossible for our two friends to return to Mallorca after they went to the UK which was supposed to be a quick visit. Vanessa arrived from the UK to Mallorca just before the lockdowns. She’s still living with Luis and is the only one there. Time has been too short to create this community together. And times and circumstances have changed tremendously.

After weeks of unclarity, also due to the Corona-virus, it became obvious we aren’t going to establish an eco community together at the Resilience Centre. It’s Luis’ home and it will just stay that way. We are thankful we have had the opportunity and that he has been so courageous to open his doors to our friends, who he had only seen on a Zoom video screen.

New home and ‘new’ courses

This experience has led to the opportunity to purchase a small piece of land next to it, which would never have happened if we had not come together. Dorus and I have a new project: the creation of our place, only for the two of us. We had hoped we could have our friends next to us and start a community this way. It’s sad it won’t happen anymore, but we have learnt some valuable lessons these past six months.

We had to let go the idea of organizing the Sustainable Living courses in the Resilience Centre as well, but we are still going to organize them and find various locations at which to host the courses. We won’t be stopped! 😃

This October we’re planning to have a 2-week Tiny House Build & 2-week Sustainable Living Course in the countryside of France, near Bordeaux. For more information check our new website www.greengorillas.eco 🦍

Hopefully we won’t have regional lockdowns, or worse, a second wave of Covid-19 happening with complete lockdowns in October. 🙏

12 lessons I learnt from starting a community:

  1. Start with a clear vision/goal.
  2. Own/rent a property together, not one member who is owner/landlord, as this could cause a power imbalance and the constant feeling you are a guest, not feeling it as your home. 
  3. Invest equally, not having one or two members being the investors and carrying the responsibilities.
  4. Show commitment. It shouldn’t be the easy, cheap option to live together, but share responsibilities clearly.
  5. Know each other first.
  6. Create a home and facilities and a cozy ambiance, having private quarters where you can retreat.
  7. Healthy balance between masculine and female energy, ‘uppers’ and ‘downers’.
  8. If a member has a problem, he/she must also try to solve it; not slowing down the group.
  9. Reliable and transparent book-keeping.
  10. Eat together without phones on the table.
  11. Having at least one member who loves to cook on certain days.
  12. Care about each other!

Con Amor from sticky Mallorca 🔆

Eva

Image created by Lélie Lesage. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives – help stop the spread of COVID-19.