Another incredible week has gone by. And I’ve just signed up for an Online Permaculture Design Course with Geoff Lawton (http://www.geofflawton.com/), having just made a significant investment into studying that course. A lot has happened in between and there’s a few things I want to reflect on.
I was in a real travel mood on Sunday. I couldn’t wait to go somewhere else and vary my routine a bit with travelling. Along with my standard travelling gear, I packed my basketball and my saxophone as well as some textiles for my aunt to sow. I had a vague plan of where I was going to go, but in reality, I was just going with the flow and trusted my instincts and judgment… and also perhaps a higher power than myself.
It was my dad’s birthday on Monday, and I Skyped with him as he is situated in Thailand. He just turned 50 which is relatively young to the age of most of my peers’ parents. That day, I also Skyped with an old school friend who now lives in Japan. That was a very warming experience.
I was free to travel since my exams were done and I have free student travel during the weekdays. I decided to pay a visit to my old school in Hilversum. It looks very different to how it was when I was there, but the teachers are still the same. That was a magical moment getting that connection back after 4 years (although I showed up in between as an ambassador for my study as well). I’m planning to stay in touch with the school now through Mr.Keyes’ Aikido and perhaps some saxophone lessons as well. (I’m planning to go there tomorrow so I’m very excited for that!)
It was apparently career fairs day the day I visited the school and coincidentally, I met some old colleagues of mine from IBA. Both doing a Masters in Finance, both with very different experiences. I was chatting with the ambassadors from other studies as well, and ended up sharing a moment with a Cultural Studies student on the train since it was jam packed and we decided to stay out in the hallway. Had some good vibes from my business partner and friend, Menno, who called me on the train to talk about some exciting new developments he was making, also catching up on each other’s trajectory with our work.
After getting off at Rotterdam Centraal, I made myself comfortable and determined a next series of action. I ended up eating dinner at the Groene Passage in Rotterdam where they have this really nice buffet where you pay according to the weight of your food. I think all the food was organic as well. What a fantastic concept. I sparked up a conversation with a lady who worked in rehabilitative psychology and I ended up helping her plan her trip to Thailand where she wanted to volunteer at an elephant conservatory and do yoga.
After dinner I went to the jam session soon after they opened and started warming up the people and the microphone. There were only a few people in the beginning but it’s always fun messing around with the microphones and doing voices. I was doing some nice RHCP acapella stuff with another lady which we connected really well on. I also messed around with my saxophone and did some backup vocals to some later songs, and we finished the night off with this amazing guy named Emanuele Conte who played some exceptional music, although he was missing a part of his sound when he was playing because his band wasn’t there. He had a great feeling that he brought with the music though, and I look forward to seeing his things develop! I see a lot of growth potential in a lot of these people who show up for jam sessions. It’s sometimes even a bit intimidating.
After the jam session I stayed over at a friend’s house in Rotterdam where I couch surfed in my sleeping bag. Thankfully, I still have friends there 🙂
On Tuesday morning I called my grandparents to ask if I could spend the day there, and my grandma was very welcoming over the phone. Going to see family was a good move as well. They brought me on a good path and are my roots. They gave some ideas for further development as well which means I’m going to look at a project called Metabolic soon which is based in Amsterdam. It’s basically a sustainable living concept.
It’s very pleasant being at my grandparents’ house. I can work on my research in a nice atmosphere and also benefit from the knowledge my grandparents keep up to date with. Especially my grandpa who was probably one of the first few computer technicians to be employed. For fun, he likes to program algorithms in order to solve complex sudoku problems, called ‘samurai’.
During my stay there, I also played some basketball with kids from the street. They all seemed to be surprised when I said I just played basketball for fun 😛 it’s always fun laughing and playing with kids. The most simple things can make a child happy… but getting chased by a dog must be very terrifying, although kind of funny to bystanders.
On Wednesday I was supposed to meet an old school friend and also my aunt in Tilburg. It was good catching up with my friend over lunch who is studying econometrics and also active in the education sector as a tutor for International Baccalaureate Maths. He seemed to be doing well and we shared some laughs.
After lunch, I skated to my aunt’s house so we could see what was to be done about my damaged clothing. We fixed most of it, and I also ended up helping her with my cousin’s bike to bring it to the shop for repairs.
Back at home, I spent most of the time with my 14 year old cousin who I played some football and basketball with, as well as a board game and some PlayStation3. We closed the day off with a nice meal and a movie before I went to bed.
On Thursday I was supposed to meet some people at the garden so left Tilburg in the morning to drop my gear off in Diemen, eat some lunch, then head out again to Amsterdam to meet people from Seedsavers.nl.
I think I can gain from the knowledge and experience the seedsavers.nl members have (although now I’m completely stoked on learning from Geoff Lawton in my online course) so we’ll see how we go with that.
Coming back home, my sister arrived shortly after as she was flying off to Costa Rica the next day for an all expense paid trip by Contiki Storytellers which she won after competing in a competition. Her winning entry was accompanied with music which me and Menno made, who also showed up later as we were planning to eat dinner and jam.
Friday morning, I had gardening duties at the ACTA garden but was involving myself more with administration than gardening. I feel like I can have a lot of impact due to my knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes, and since it is a relatively small and informal setup. I’ve taken a lot of initiative within the organization and look forward to seeing my seeds grow (literally and metaphorically). Practiced my saxophone (and really improved in only a few days) and worked on some administration that night. I ended up relaxing with way too many stroopwafels and Assassins Creed: Blackflag. It’s really amazing how far you can immerse yourself in these virtual worlds. It’s definitely one way to use a completely different part of your brain, and almost like reading a book when you pay attention to the storylines, characters and other details. It definitely starts to mess with your head a bit.
On Saturday morning, after a really weird night’s sleep, I decided to get out of bed just after 4:00am, and continue the administrative tasks I was working on. Being up this early really feels like you have more time in a day. It also gave me time to work on some enterprise ideas and relax a little before I decided to study my new course in Supply Chain Management at the local library. I have that and Financial Accounting, and in 3 months, I should be graduating which seems to be the current trajectory.
After studying, I skated around and pushed myself hard before having some oven cooked vegetables, cheese and wine for dinner… but the biggest thing is probably the $997.00 (US) I paid for the online Permaculture design course I’m starting on April 5th. Wow. I’m excited by what I’m going to be able to do with this knowledge afterwards. It beats doing a Masters in my opinion, and it’s a fraction of the cost. I have a friend who was taught from the actual guy teaching the course (Geoff Lawton) as he is generally known as one of the best. Geoff Lawton is by far the most professional from what I’ve seen out there in terms of Permaculture, and being able to be taught by the master from any location in the world… that is the power of the internet, and an opportunity that can’t be missed. I signed up the day enrolments opened.
The power of the internet is immense. All of a sudden, I’m able to join my faraway traveling friends and family from pretty much any location in the world. I can catch bits and pieces off the adventures of my fellow travelers and realize them as my own victories. The human experience means being able to find joy in each others’ unique experiences and I’m thankful for the freedom of the internet to allow for such expression. It’s been a really long blog because I’ve had a lot of things I needed to get off my chest and now it’s done, uploaded into cyberspace infinity. Viva la internet revolution! Viva la Green Revolution! Let’s make it happen 🙂