What is your previous experience with Organic Agriculture and Sustainable Development?
I have worked on the Organic garden at Findhorn Foundation (part of the Global Ecovillage Network) during Experience Week, where I learned how to harvest many types of leafy greens, learned how to see potatoes and other starchy vegetables, learned how to make compost lasagne, and about natural water filtration systems. Aside from this I would be able to contribute the following skills: Mindfulness facilitation, NVC facilitation, TEFL Certified, Organic gardening, Business Modelling, Sales, Fundraising, Catering (Front of house), Handyman. Please read my bio below for more information about me.
What are your reasons for joining WWOOF Mexico?
Learning about sustainable living and agriculture, Getting to know Mexico better
What do you want the farms and fellow WWOOFers to know about you?
Hey, I'm Robbie :0) I will begin my journey 5 years ago, as this was when I started to seek a different path. (Skip to the last paragraph if all you want to know about are my skills) Around 5 years ago, I joined the Glasgow (Scotland) branch of a mindfulness community called 'Wake Up' (founded by the peace activist and zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh - aka Thay). At the time, I was working for an IT company in the commercial team. My cousin, who I lived with at the time, had been inviting me along for months but I had been politely declining his offers. The group then decided to organise a retreat, inviting a number of monks from Thay’s community in France called Plum Village to join in and help facilitate. We had a nice size apartment at the time so two of them ended up staying with us; one of whom I learned at a later date was one of Thay’s most highly regarded students. On the day of their arrival, my cousin developed a fever so it was up to me to entertain both monks. Curious about the monks and how they lived, I accepted the task enthusiastically, but nothing prepared me for that night. After dinner and while sipping tea, my curiosity began to peak and I remember asking lots of questions. Realising this, and to help answer my questions, the monk began a Dharma talk, which to this day I see as a major turning point in my life. As I sat there for around two hours, listening to this monk's story; of growing up and learning about different traditions, and practicing them (for 5, 10, 15 years at a time) I noticed my whole being relaxing and softening. What I learned from the monk that night was that what I thought I knew was just an idea, and that by opening up to a different realisation and way of life could lead to a far more fulfilled and connected experience. After that, I began attending Wake Up, getting involved in retreats, learning about mindfulness and wisdom traditions, sustainability and the myriad movements around the world, following links to other teachers and activists, like Charles Eisenstein, Marshall Rosenberg, Satish Kumar, and networks like the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), The Fellowship for Intentional Communities (FIC) and NuMundo. 5 years later, and after 3-4 job changes I decided to take the leap and extract myself from my current job and life situation, which although was now far more in line with what was true for me, still encouraged and supported old habits and ways of being. At the time of writing (Aug ‘17) I am about to set off for CA, where I will spend around 6 weeks attending courses and events, then will travel into Mexico where I will begin volunteering using the networks above, plus Workaway and WWOOF. I have a rough plan to be in Costa Rica for the new year, but am leaving it open for any synchronicities along the way. In terms of skills that I offer, I spent a week at Findhorn Foundation in Scotland earlier this year, learning and working in the community - with most time spent in Killearn organic gardens, where I learned the basics of harvesting, planting (potatoes mostly) and composting. I am able to share the practices of Mindfulness and Nonviolent Communication (NVC), as well as help in service roles (having worked in hospitality for around 10 years). I am also an experienced Marketeer, and although this is the type of work I am leaving behind, I would be happy to share these skills with groups and organisations with intentions for the world and humanity such as mine. Finally, I am a qualified TEFL teacher and will be sharing these skills in both work-trade settings as well as on a freelance basis online, as and when the need for funds arises. The best way to get to know me though is of course to have a quick chat, which I’d be happy to do via any medium (Skype, Whatsapp, Google Hangouts etc.) Until then! Nurturing home within ourselves.
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