Catherine

  • Tanzania
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Super Workawayer
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Profile information

  • My status

    Travelling

  • Description

    From 2012 until February 2020 I was living in Tanzania (East Africa), enjoying being involved in traditional music (playing marimba, mbira and drums), and being involved with 3 small NGOs; a social/community centre, one with environment issues, and one with women's empowerment. It's been an enormous education, very wonderful and at times very challenging!

    Now I want to come back to Europe, and would like to settle in south-west France. At the same time I'm working toward the Diploma in Applied Permaculture, through the UK Permaculture Association. My purpose in being on Workaway is to do two things: one, to find out about living in France, visiting a number of different parts of the south west, hopefully to discover my new home :), and to re-learn the language; and secondly to gain experience and learn new skills that can help me on my diploma learning pathway, and to find opportunities to do permaculture designs for my portfolio. Permaculture design can be applied to many situations, not only land-based projects. It can also be used to design a physical space (a new design for your kitchen?), a social project, or something very personal (one of my designs is about how I can live healthily and happily into old age).

    I have certificates in counselling, ecology and permaculture. Over the years I've been involved in the green movement, peace movement, and co-operative movement. I started a Transition initiative in my home town in England, working with that for a few years before moving to Africa, and for much of my life I have been involved in environmental work of one sort or another, starting in my early 20s with a job with Friends of the Earth. I was a member of a housing coop for many years, and later a workers' coop running a wholefood shop. I was also closely involved in my children's school both as a classroom helper and on the board of governors, and have worked in parenting education. I am a Vipassana meditator and sometime yoga practitioner.

    Last year (2020) I took an inspiring 8 week online course called Surviving the Future, based on the work of David Fleming. It was mostly about the necessity of moving away from our globalised market economy towards a localised economy, and a main takeaway for me was that a local economy can only work with the support of true community. So in this new life that I want to create I'm definitely looking for community, not isolation. It could be an intentional community, or just plenty of involvement in my local village or town. And it must involve growing vegetables!

    I have experience in gardening, and some theoretical knowledge of natural building: a couple of years ago I started designing a natural earth house but couldn't finish the project for various reasons. I'd love to know more about that.

    I'm very happy to join in with pretty much any sort of work including indoor or outdoor physical work, although I cannot do anything really heavy.

    My favourite activities (not in any particular order): being involved in something worthwhile with other people; a good live gig, especially African music; meaningful conversation; playing my instruments; a walk in the forest; teaching stuff I know about; learning something new; daily meditation and not quite daily yoga.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Skills and knowledge I'd like to share or learn

    I'm interested in:  

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Life at a Farmstay
    Animal Care
    Art Projects

    Some knowledge of:  

    Gardening
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Eco Projects
    Helping around the house
    Teaching

    Able to teach about:  

    Language practice
  • More details about your skills

    I have organised a national march and rally; done administration for various organisations; written books to accompany parenting skills courses; led parenting skills courses; co founded a transition group; led workshops on a range of topics (climate change, public speaking, designing a nature garden, introduction to permaculture and more), been a leading member of a workers cooperative; been chair of a school governing body.
    I can: work in a garden; write good English; edit written English; do permaculture design; teach the basics of permaculture; use a computer (but not in an advanced way!); plant trees; cook (but not meat); help around the house; be polite and friendly with guests and visitors :); learn systems and other stuff quickly; teach music theory; feed the animals. And I've just built a garden path (with steps) out of old floor tiles; I'm willing to try most things!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Swahili (Kiswahili): Fluent
    French: Beginner

    More details about my language interests
    Hoping to become fluent in French, needing practice!

    Find a language buddy

  • Age

    67

  • Some more information

    • Smoker

    • Driver's licence

    • Allergies

    • Special dietary requirements
      Vegetarian plus fish. I don't tolerate much sugar and prefer not to eat much dairy.

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