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Showing posts from February, 2024

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

El primer habitante

Today we met the first resident of Bárcena. Carlos bought the large corner house in Bárcena 40 years ago. Since the purchase, he has hardly ever used the house, until recently. Thanks to his retirement, he can now live in the house full-time. Carlos had seen our sign and contacted us. Since then, we have had some email correspondence. We are very happy with each other. He finds our project a great initiative, and we are happy to have a permanent resident. Not only does it create a cozy atmosphere, but it also helps a lot against theft or vandalism. He speaks Spanish clearly, and therefore we (Maaike) had a pleasant conversation during our picnic. The nice thing is that he is knowledgeable about technology because he worked as a technology teacher. Additionally, he has a plot of land nearby where he grows red fruits ecologically, which nicely complements our food forest. In the last image you can zoom in to find the first solar panel on Carlos roof. That to is a good start!

Interview with diario de burgos

Today we met Sylvia, the reporter of the Diario de Burgos, who started writing about Bárcena de Bureba and our project. We met her in de village together with the photographer. It was a nice sunny day, so a good day for an interview with nice pictures. She asked a lot of questions about what we were going to do, why we were going to do it there, if it was the only abandoned village we visited. They were interested which houses we were going to build first end what future do we see for our daughters. They thought that we already started in one of the houses, but that was not one of ours. Carlos lives there now (see next blog) So they also interviewed Carlos, which was interesting for us as well, since we did not know him yet, and she clearly was good in asking questions and getting information from people. We are curious about the result, as soon as it will be online we will add the link here.

Alfredo once lived in Bárcena

Finally, it's vacation time again. We're going to Briviesca for a week, a village about half an hour's drive from Bárcena. Our first appointment for renting a house in Lences is rescheduled, but the second appointment with former resident Alfredo is still on. Just before eleven o'clock, we drive to our village, followed by a small car behind us all the way to Bárcena. Five people get out of the car: an elderly couple, two middle-aged individuals, and one younger person. The man turns out to be Alfredo, the 85-year-old former resident who wants to sell his property. Together with his wife and two daughters and his grandson. He has four ruins and a piece of land, the latter of which nicely connects to our village. We all walk through the village together as he points out and explains things. He indicates where the school used to be, but his wife interrupts him, saying no, it was over there. He's also still upset that money once collected to connect the village to the