In June 2012 I completed secondary school in Germany with the aim of studying architecture at university. Although I already knew what I want to study I decided to take off a “gap year” in order to experience different cultures and lifestyles.
I came to Sunseed almost straight after having returned from India, where I spent 4 months working in a social project and living with an Indian family.
During my first days I learnt the “basics” of the daily life here. I cooked lunch together with my lovely “mentora” Ana, I attended the different tours through the village and the area and I met great people. Whenever I needed help people didn’t hesitate to show me around.
Soon I got more and more integrated into the community and after having been here for more than six weeks I feel very comfortable with everybody and I think I have already found great friends.
I am especially happy with my roommates: Roberto and Fosca from Italy and Irina from Russia. Together we stay in the big dorm for long-term volunteers in Gaye’s house. We started hanging out, going for hikes and soon grew very close, so now we are fondly call ourselves “La Famiglia”.
I don’t only enjoy the people here, but also the work. Since I want to become an architect I mostly work in the Eco-Construction Department, where I learn a lot about constructing and renovating houses with natural materials. It is very pleasant to work with Johann (the ECM assistant) and Leo (the coordinator). They teach me a lot about working on the exterior and interior of houses e.g. plastering, rendering or constructing furniture. Leo always plays music from his portable speaker which converts rendering the wall into a party or a meditation, depending on the genre of music.
Although eco-construction is my favourite field I occasionally work in other departments as well, for example in the AT department with Paco. At the moment we experiment and research on biomass-gassifiers which can be used to cook, especially in developing countries, where there is a lack of fuel. This is a very interesting project and will be featured in a separate article.
As we are in the middle of May now, it is getting hotter and soon we are going to switch to the summer working times. This will give us some siesta during the hottest time of the day, and we will have the opportunity to jump in the natural pools of the river, right in front of our backyard.
Sunseed is all about learning. Its main aim is learning how to live ecologically, how to treat wastewater, how to grow organic food etc. But there is another level of learning. Its sharing talents and teaching each other. You can practice your English (even slang and weird London or Yorkshire accents) and your Spanish with people around. Once a week we have a seminar, where we share and discuss upon topics concerning the society. On Thursday Martin offers free guitar lessons to everybody who is interested and Mohammed from Yemen has started teaching Arabic.
Sunseed is the perfect place, if you are open to learn and experience new things.
This weekend some of us have organised a trip to Granada and quite a lot have joined in. We can almost say that we are organising a “Sunseed on tour” as more than 10 people will be there to enjoy this pre-summer weekend in such a beautiful town. I am especially excited, since I’m turning 21 this Friday and we are going to celebrate in Granada.
To conclude, I can just say: I am happy and grateful to be here, to work, learn, experiment, experience and share with everybody.