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Showing posts from August, 2022

Meeting the Mayor

So that afternoon after interesting conversations in the car - first with Ruben and then with Marjolein - we arrived at the peña to meet with the mayor (Amparo) and the representative of Barcená (Juan-Carlos). The idea was that I would do the introduction, Yasmin the questions that we had prepared and Marjolein the questions she would come up with during our conversation. Although I think that during the rehearsal moment it went better, this all went well. We got all the information we needed and even more. For example, we got to know that the brother of Juan-Carlos is the owner of one of the lands that were listed by Marcelino (list of lands we would be able to buy). In their eyes, the most difficult part would be the access to water, although we know that there are a lot of possibilities out there that we could implement. When we asked our final (and maybe most important question), ‘What did they think about the project?’, the answer meant mostly ‘bears on the road’ (Dutch saying, me

The Festival

So I left on Friday the 8th of July to Spain, together with Yasmin and her son Leonardo. Unfortunately the night train to Hendaye had a delay, which caused us to miss the scenic train route to Espinosa de los Monteros and even worse we couldn't find another way to get there with the public transport. Luckily we were able to take a taxi. And so we arrived at the festival. A tent with a bar and tables for eating and theatre. Near a river (with a natural swimming pool!), between the trees, a place for camping. No courses yet during the day on Sunday, but there were other activities: a hike in the mountains and theatre in the village. I went for the hike and Yasmin for the theatre. For me the hike was the first trial for speaking Spanish all day, which went alright. Talked to an English lady who had been living in Spain for 10 years. We spoke Spanish but I could ask her for words if I didn't know them. And I even spoke with another data scientist. In the beginning of the evening wa

Back home

Back home, our normal lives went on, with work, kids and yoga. Besides that, we worked with the parents of Maaike to build them a new home. So time went by fast.  And we continued with Ardbol. Together with Yasmin we created a presentation. Making more clear what the goals of Ardbol are. I will add a copy to this site soon. In short: we want to create a place, built around trees, where all what humans need, comes together. Instead of the specialized world we usually live in; where work, leisure, food, energy creations, nature, healthcare and sport is all in different places. We want to combine them with the tree as the basis.  Marcelino, the owner of the village Barcena, talked to land owners and found about 6ha of land around the village. He sent us an image with some black crosses, for which we assumed that this is the land we could buy.  With this addition it became an interesting option. So we started the price negotiations with Rafael, the real estate agent. The houses were first

Los holandeses

In Poza de la Sal we went to a tiny tourist office. There we met Sergio for which we are very grateful as he connected us to the Artim festival and to some Dutch people living in the area who are also interested in helping the environment. Some lived in small empty villages as well.  Nowadays getting into contact is as simple as adding the phone nr and sending a WhatsApp message. So we did. We had contact with Eva which unfortunately was in Holland at that time but connected us with Marjolein and Ruben. They responded enthusiastic and we could visit them for lunch.  We went on a site seeing tour and did a nice hike from Oña.      A bit later than expected but still welcome we arrived at the nice house of Marjolein and Ruben.  As luck goes they were really friendly and studied water management in Wageningen (Holland). They also had a lot of experience in empty villages and are working in regenerating soil. A perfect match! We were really looking forward to work together with them on a f