Volunteer Stories

Interview with Sunseed short-term volunteer, Skye Lei

Skye Lei, 28, Macau (China) and California (USA).

I’m an engineer specialised in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industry.

I’m at Sunseed for approximately 4 weeks. 

I came across this project through online research of ecological and educational communities in Europe.

My decision to volunteer with Sunseed was rooted in several objectives:

  • To creatively explore a sustainable lifestyle with lower impact that at the same time offers inspiration and stronger spiritual fulfilment.
  • To learn about technologies and methodologies for minimising external resources and maximising local energy and food production
  • To heal from personal struggles and reconnect with nature.
  • To live in a community setting with like-minded individuals from different countries and cultures, consequently creating unforgettable and life-changing memories
Volunteers with Solar Panel

I joined a project in the Appropriate Technology Department to build a Solar Energy Demonstration System, which consists of solar photovoltaic, battery storage and inverter components. With guidance from our department mentor, I collaborated with two other volunteers to design and build the system using reclaimed materials. We’ll use it for educational purposes, but it also has the capacity to be a small device charging station!

I also plan to assist with the improvement of the bicycle washing machine that is about 90% complete (there is room for improvement to further secure its mechanical stability and usability). When the machine is reliably usable, we’ll be able to enjoy a healthy exercise while dealing with laundry!

There’s way too much I love about Sunseed, but to name a handful of my favourites, they would definitely be the vegetarian diet, the permaculture way of life, the fruits and veggies from the gardens, the dedication of the volunteers, the pizza parties, the homemade/cultural dishes, the Friday reflection moments, the haybox and solar cookers, and of course, the compost toilets! It’s my absolute fortune to have met so many bright minds and beautiful souls at Sunseed.