I agonised a fair bit over whether to put out the request for funding / donations for the compost loo. It feels a bit like begging, like asking friends who have already done so much for us this last couple of years for even more. All that hospitality, the generous leaving presents, the places to stay, the emergency packages of chocolate, kids trousers, teabags…
This week we have been watching Grand Designs with the kids. We watched the episode with the earthship inspired build in France and a couple of other eco-builds. We’ve also been thinking lots about our WWOOFing adventure as we head for the first anniversary of our last host. On Grand Designs Kevin was incredulous at the volunteer help or ‘slave labour’ as he termed it of willing hands helping to shovel earth into tyres for nothing other than a learning experience, cameraderie and being part of something amazing. I was reminded anew of similar opinions being aired about our WWOOFing – working hard? For nothing? Or on behalf of our WWOOF hosts – putting up four people for a few hours work a day? Feeding them and looking after them in exchange for a bit of unskilled labour.
So why are we asking for funding for our compost loo? Why have the people who have already donated done so? Why did we go WWOOFing and why do we get on average 5 emails a week from people interested in WWOOFing for us? Why are there hundreds of WWOOF hosts in the UK including ourselves? I think it’s about being part of something bigger than ourselves, something greater than the sum of it’s parts. A single violin, a drum, a trumpet can all sound impressive and beautiful when played alone but when all the instrument join together in a large orchestral performance there is a certain magic created. A lone voice shouting of injustice is easy to ignore yet a peaceful demonstration by a large crowd of protesters has impact. When we left Sussex and had a leaving party it only worked when friends arrives with music, food, drink, voices, laughter, people.
We knew when we took this great big leap of faith into moving to Rum, becoming crofters, building a new life and home and joining the community here that we couldn’t do it alone. We knew we would need friends, helpers, volunteers, we knew we’d need people. I can’t wait to reach the point where we can share this amazing place with others – start to fulfil our dream of creating somewhere to inspire, to educate, to learn. I can’t wait until we can show people our home and explain that yes, you really can live off grid, without being hooked up to mains water, gas, electricity. You really can grow lots of your own food, rear your own livestock, barter your produce for what you can’t grow or make yourself., live without a 24 hour supermarket.
We want to not only live our dream but demonstrate to others that it is a possibility. You may only want to dip in for the odd week here or there, or simply make a few small changes to your own lifestyle to get a bit closer to your ideal, or as one of our donators has told me ‘I’m happy to help you fund this so I don’t have to!’