Feliz Año Nuevo!

OK so 2014 was a tough year. That’s why I stopped writing posts. Who wants to hear about how miserable someone feels? Or maybe it’s OK. Everyone has miserable times. And according to Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone, 2014 was a tough year for many. So if that was you, let’s have high hopes for a better year this year. Because the darkest hour is just before dawn. Let our year burst with a sunrise so peachy it bursts open the sky.

In 2014 I was in Nicaragua and stubbornly would not give up my 6-month job even though I was crazy lonely, was deserted by my work partner, got robbed in a car, had a bike accident with subsequent stitches on my face and had to travel for 5 hours to find any form of romance (or surf). Coming back to Guatemala, I had to deal with a tragic drowning, crazy team dynamics and chikungunya.

BUT there was light too. Being away from my house and my project in El Paredon, I had fantastic staff – Seth and Kate – who I managed remotely. They made things happen – opening the first library in El Paredon and laying the groundwork for the construction of a new school. We hosted 6 volunteer groups for Surf for Life on my return and have started a bag making project with local women which is going great. And being away made me realise just how much I love this place, El Paredon and how connected I feel with the people who live here and those who are snooping it out as a place to live in the future. People who come to visit come back and a cool little community of outsiders is forming too – people who respect the community, who are not big party-ers and who can live a little rough to find peace.

At the moment I’m living with 6 dogs and three people and it is as ever exhausting, wonderful, challenging and joyful. Three of the dogs are tiny puppies made by Twiggy who Seth and Kate adopted when they lived here.

The people are Ben and Megs who started as interns and have made a massive visual impact on our organisation. Ben has made crazy-good films about the project and revamped our website. Megs has designed sample bag products and made beautiful artwork for the house. Photographer Garrett (check out his website) has just moved in too- who found my place on my air b and b listing and has already been roped in with DIY projects and photographing our products for our etsy shop. And we’ve had cool guys stay and build us a new sofa! So bring on the new year full of optimism, productivity and good health!

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