I’ve been recording one-second video clips every day since 2014. This has been a great way to preserve those memories from all of our travels. I highly recommend the 1 Second Everyday app to do the same! You will enjoy looking back at those videos. There is something beautiful to capture every single day, no matter how mundane. Check out my other One Second Every Day video clips!
April 2017 was a wonderful four weeks (out of the six) that we did a Help Exchange at Murundaka Co-housing Community in Melbourne, Australia. Experiencing life in an intentional community was something that I had wanted to do for a long time. About forty people from ages 1 to 70 live on the compound. Every family has an individual apartment, so it isn’t like a share-house that one may imagine and can get sticky when living with such a large group. There is a large dining room and kitchen for weekly group dinners where Adam and I did most of our cooking. Instead of each apartment having its own laundry unit, there are three to share for everyone as well as other supplies to share such as vacuums, jars, reusable shopping bags, etc.
The whole compound is designed based on permaculture principles – solar panels, rainwater capture, a thriving garden, compost, chickens for manure and eggs. Their weekly trash is quite small for the amount of people, but they are working on producing zero waste by 2020.
Adam and I worked for two hours a day in exchange for accommodation – most of that work revolved around the garden where I thrive anyway. We had the opportunity to meet such a diverse group of people. Many residents invited us to their apartments for tea or a meal, so we got to know them on a more intimate level as well as group dinners and barbecues. Communal living doesn’t go without its challenges, but I found that there were more benefits than challenges. The kids always had friends to play with and there were always adults around so it felt safer for them to roam around. The space also hosted workshops that we attended and helped prepare such as the chicken rearing workshop.
One woman in particular, Mikoto, changed my life. Her unapologetic obsession with permaculture seeped into my blood. She took us dumpster driving where we salvaged 17kg of bananas, cold beers, and other perfectly good food items that we put to good use. She taught me about beeswax wraps instead of plastic wrap. We attended an art gallery opening for one of the residents, veggie swaps, community garden events, festivals, and a host of other events to help us integrate into the neighborhood.
While we could have spent a fortune at a backpackers hostel in Melbourne and only visit the trendy places, we had a unique and inspiring experience at Murundaka.