Sunday, 23 July 2017

Construction and remodeling at Estrella de Sauce.

Thanks to all who have recently sent us donations for our 2017 fundraiser, also to Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners in Germany who have forwarded some generous funding from their WOW-day program for some much needed improvements and upgrades to our Estrella de Sauce facility.

We are currently raising the level of the bathroom floor to see if this will help avoid the flooding that plagues us during heavy tropical rainstorms and we are adding one more classroom area for woodworking and other crafts as well as a new metal back door set in a brick wall that will replace the previous wood fence.

In order to raise the bathroom floor level we had to put in all these rocks and add pipe extensions to the floor drains.

After that Maestro Simon (the best building contractor in Sauce and our personal friend) levelled the whole floor with red-died concrete and re-installed the toilet and wash basin.

Thank you Marnie Muller of Asheville NC, USA

Marnie has kindly sent us a large quantity of her book "Borning In and Borning Out" which is an imaginative and artistic approach to the deep questions of life and death, where do we come from and where where are we going, for all ages.  Fortunately she has come out with a Spanish edition called "Naciendo Afuera y Naciendo Adentro".

Marnie's project "The Borning Project" is sponsered by The Spiritual Growth Foundation in North Carolina which is willing to receive tax-deductible contributions so these books can be widely distributed.  THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE MADE A CONTRIBUTION TO THIS EFFORT!

As well as having copies available for the children and youth who attend our Estrella de Sauce Waldorf educational outreach program Lourdes recently gave away copies to all of the grandmothers who attend our Friday afternoon get-togethers.

Green lyre for the Blue Jungle Waldorf school in Tarapoto, Peru

I keep experimenting with different designs for the 7-string pentatonic lyres I make in my workshop in Sauce, Peru.  I decided to tint this one using blue/green Stockmar water color paint followed by a beeswax coating.  The wood is a dense and heavy local hardwood called ana.  It will be used to create background music for storytelling in the kindergarten class at the new Selva Azul Waldorf school in Tarapoto.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Festival of St John at new Waldorf school 'Selva Azul' in Tarapoto

Lourdes has been helping a group of parents and teachers to get a new Waldorf school in our nearby city of Tarapoto up and running.  It now has 27 children with 10 in the kindergarten,  In grades 1-2 there are five and in 4-6 grade there are twelve.

After much wrangling with corrupt officials who wanted cash payoffs (such is life in Peru) the official permission to operate was granted a few days ago.  Lourdes used sweet talk, pursuasion and her many contacts to get the licence made legal without resorting to bribes, thereby proving it can be done.  In Peru the corruption happens at the kindergarten level - all very obvious.  In the USA and elsewhere it's more like PhD level - covert and harder to spot.

Yesterday we celebrated the Festival of Saint John which is also a solstice celebration and happens in all the 1000+ Waldorf schools worldwide. Usually it involves a huge bonfire but here in the Amazon that would be too hot so in general the people celebrate St John's day by going to the river.  In this part of the Amazon basin St John's day is a big deal, everyone celebrates it and there is even a special food item called a "juane" which is seasoned rice, chicken, olives and egg all wrapped up and cooked inside a particular large leaf which inparts a delicious flavor.  In our case at the new Waldorf school we planted a new banana tree in the center of the lawn and decorated it with hanging gifts as well as decorating the whole of the school and playground.

A traditional Amazonian band consisting of two drummers and a 'clarin' -a small clarinet- was hired from Sauce and parents. teachers and children all danced around the tree for hours wearing typical Amazonian native outfits.  In the case of Mercedes the first and second grade teacher who is from the Shipibo tribe it is her normal everyday dress.  No dressing-up necessary.  That's Mercedes in the purple top.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Chavin Revisited

El Lanzon at Chavin

Although I find it a place way too cold to think about living there, my favorite place in Peru is Chavin de Huantar.  For me it is the spiritual center of Peru and the 4000 year old carved stone diety known as El Lanzon is a local representative of the Godhead in physical form.

I always get an inspirational spiritual charge whenever I get to go back to spend time at the Chavin temple complex.  Just a few days back I returned from almost two weeks up at Chavin and had a really great trip.

To see more about Chavin go to my new blog:

I went on a solo hike up the east side of the Mosna river valley to get this photo of the 3,800 year old Chavin temple complex.  The ceremonial plaza can be seen in the foreground with the various truncated pyramids behind.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Easter in the Amazon jungle

In our Waldorf educational project located in the community of Sauce, Peru we celebrate the different festivals throughout the year.  For this Easter celebration Lourdes decided to have the children make butterflies as symbols of new life, transformation and regeneration rather than traditional easter eggs. We have lots of butterflies here and easter eggs are not really part of the culture. No bunnies either for that matter.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Balcony finish carpentry

 Maestro Victor and his crew have been helping me get the facade of our house in Sauce moved along towards completion.  The next step will be to install bug-proof screening which will make both balconies pleasant places to hang out in a hammock. I plan to put a horizontal wire on the facade to see if I can get the bougainvillea to grow along it.

 I have also been working on getting a second guest bedroom completed.  Stay tuned for upcoming photos of that.