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Excitingly boring journey

For the upcoming vacation in Bárcena, a lot of work is planned. We want to install electricity and water. Of course, we need the necessary materials and tools for this. We're ordering a large part of it in Spain, but we're taking some from the Netherlands ourselves. Hence the idea was born to buy a trailer and drive it to Spain. After some searching and bidding on Marktplaats, I found a good and affordable trailer. We could pick it up from an older couple who received us very kindly. We walked through their yellow, smoke-filled house; they both had a cigarette between their fingers, to the garden where the trailer was parked. They used it for the flee market, but they've stopped doing that now. It looked fine, except the floor plate needed replacing, which we did. They gave us a net, a lock, and a homemade tarp against the rain. The only thing missing was a spare wheel and a lamp for the license plate. We hung up the spare wheel, but we didn't have time for the lamp, so
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Offgrid Center

Bárcena de Bureba has been deserted because it wasn't connected to the power grid 100 years ago. Initially, the residents found it too scary; your hair stands on end, and you could even die Barcena it. Later, the younger generation raised funds, but someone ran off with the money. Long story short, a village without electricity, and the last resident left 40 years ago. We want to make the village inhabitable again, but in a better way with a smaller ecological footprint. With current technology, solar panels will form the basis of our energy generation. We asked The Hague University of Applied Sciences to conduct a study to see if this is feasible. After six months of work, they delivered an initial version of the report, indicating that it's possible, but support will be needed during the winter months. This support was initially based on biofuel. Hopefully, we can avoid this; we're not looking forward to burning wood, especially if 50 houses are all doing it. To gain expe

Radio NPO `Geld of je leven`

After the articles in the newspaper, we were approached by quite a few TV channels to make a program. This is, of course, very exciting but also intense. We made a list and will take some time to think about how we want to approach this.   When we received a message from the radio, we thought let's start with that. It's only fifteen minutes, so nice and manageable. After some back and forth calls and pre-discussions, we were invited to come on Monday, March 4th. This, of course, unless there would suddenly be really important news. Maaike and I took the train to Hilversum, near where we live. But it's still exciting. It's a live broadcast, so being late is not an option. We were greeted by friendly staff, sat down in a beautiful space with microphones and cameras. First, there was a serious topic about medicines going through long approval processes, which could even lead to fatalities. Then it was our turn. We talked about our project, that we want to improve the world

Friendly Neighbors

Because we have been in the local newspaper several times now, people are starting to recognize us. And that leads to nice conversations. Some people greet us briefly, but others come over for a chat. They find it an interesting project and want to know more about it. We were also approached by people who want to work with us or help out. For example, we went to a café nearby. It's like the living room of the village. Even before we could enter, we were approached by a man who kept bees. He wants to help and gave us a jar of honey. Once inside, Maaike was handed a phone against her head. The owner of the phone said, "Talk." It was his niece who is married to a Dutchman. She follows our project and wants to come visit sometime. We handed out some flyers, and people looked at our project on their phones. The bartender was very friendly, and we could see her thinking. We played a card game, and one of the men joined us. It was very cozy. When the bar was closing, the bartend

Furnishing the container

Now that we have the container, we naturally want to use it right away. We don't have much stuff yet, so we went straight to the store to buy some tools. Since we don't have electricity, we rely on a hammer with nails and a handsaw. Also, some gardening tools.  The children consider swimming one of the most enjoyable activities. Therefore, we must go swimming every holiday. Here in Spain, a swim cap is mandatory, as well as slippers. So far, we got away with the excuse that we were foreigners and didn't have slippers with us. But they are starting to recognize us, so now we weren't allowed in anymore. That's why we bought slippers and were able to store them safely and neatly in the container. To lock the container, we started with a simple lock. Next time, we'll buy an official container lock.  

Container stress

Because there is no house in Bárcena that has a door, let alone a lock, we cannot leave any belongings behind. Before we could get a house to that point, we first need a place to store tools. To solve this chicken and egg problem, we ordered a container. Naturally, we asked if it could be delivered to Bárcena and at the time when we would be there. That was confirmed, so we paid the invoice. They said they could come by on Monday or Tuesday. We responded but didn't hear anything more. Since we heard nothing, we asked Luuk to call on Monday morning to find out when it would come. This caused quite a bit of confusion. They had to find the final transporter, and they could come on Tuesday or maybe not. And they didn't actually know if they could even come into the village. We found out it was a truck of 10 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. At the tightest turn, we checked if it would fit. It seemed narrow, so we removed as much soil as possible to make the turn wider. Furthermore,

Visit a school in Briviesca

Today we visited one of the two schools for kids Trisa and Riva's age in Briviesca. Before we went to the school Trisa prepared some questions like what time the school starts and ends and if the children get lunch at school. But she was too shy to ask so we first started talking to the staff. It was a very nice visit. Two people from the staff told us about what a school day looks like in the school (and probably in general in Spain) They also told that they are working more and more in group projects and also want to mix more ages, two things we like a lot in Trisa's and Riva's current school. As they can learn from older kids by copying them and from younger kids teaching them. But the best news is school starts at 9.30 an hour later than in the Netherlands! After that we got a tour through the school. It is a big building, with nice yellow and green walls. In the halls there are nice corners for chilling to play. We visited the classes where Trisa and Riva will be in, i