It’s been quite a while since we’ve updated the world on the progress of the cottage, but we’ve just been so busy! It’s pouring down rain today, and it has been for the last few days, which is why I have time to write this. We are currently working on installing the earthen floor in the cottage, and it’s a game of musical foam boards and floats, and we can’t all play at the same time.
A lot has happened since you last heard from us. We plastered the entire outside and inside of the cottage, including the ceiling! We’ve hosted several Saturday work parties, and our friends just stop by to help us when they can, even their kiddos get in on plastering and sifting dirt. We have even begun work installing the slate roof and the earthen floor.
Each of us took time to prepare and present plans for our lives after this apprenticeship. We all have big ideas, and now we have plans to back them up. Victoria Garza has started a community-based women’s natural building collective called, Tierra y Libertad Collective. Look it up on Facebook! Virginia Costilla is planning on returning to her parents’ land in the Rio Grande Valley and working to make improvements and additions to the house and land for herself, her family, and her neighborhood. I am planning on using natural building in therapeutic settings to help women with eating disorders, troubled youth, and people who struggle with addiction. Britt Nielsen, a life mentor of Live Your True Nature, in Vermont, guides seekers of sacred space through a process of perceiving, knowing and Being. Her guided exploration helps others connect to the land and themselves through environmental design which is beautiful, grounding, and spiritual. Mary Spicer is working to organize awesome resources for current and future WASI women and has started Terra Madre Builders and will share what she has learned with her local community upon her return to Vermont. Kate Farrington has plans to design affordable and accessible housing and intentional communities for low-income neighborhoods. Kelley Rustine has made a catalog of interchangeable timber-framed structures, like a shed, outhouse, shower, sleeping room, etc. Katie Gerber hopes to build cob ovens for people and communities and share her extensive knowledge of baking in wood-fired ovens with others.
These last four months have changed us. We are stronger, more powerful, and conscious women. Perhaps we were always all of those things, but we have come to know them better through this incredible experience. We love each other, and we’ve learned to love natural building. It’s difficult to think about life after this, but we know we will go and share with others the love and knowledge we’ve gained here, and they will share it, and this movement will keep on keepin’ on.