What's the farm doing?
I feel like we only have one pace: crazy. HA.
We have a bunch of different projects going on right now:
- Fertilising the Lamyai Orchard
- Cutting the endless grass (thank goodness rainy season is almost over)
- Building Nakong's house
- Weeding and fertilising our 10,000 pineapple plant (yikes)
- Starting on our house and extra accomodation
- Building a new pig pen with a more secure free range area
- John is going to a attend a Natural Agriculture Workshop
- I (Heidi) is going to attend an Avocado Tree Workshop in Chiang Mai
So things are busy and we are juggling a bunch of jobs, but the place is looking better all the time.
So the boys are doing mostly ok. We had to send one home for a few weeks for some attitude adjustment. It worked and it didn't. He came back worse, but after a few chats it looks like he will do anything to not go back home. We are trying to encourage open communication, and are really focussing on the whole "truth is good" aspect. Right now its more like "I'll tell you whatever comes into my head first". It has been a hard road, and has been tough on John and my relationship, but we are working through things and know that God is in control. I have been introducing "forced fun" activities to encourage FUN outside the farm. We have taken them tandem bicycling, to sunset picnics, had some fun BBQ's and even taken them to a friend's birthday party. I really love these times, and I'm hoping everyone else will build stronger relationships and start to feel more like a family as time goes on.
Nakong's house is our second attempt at an earth home. We really wanted to try an Earth Ship, but after getting the advice of a few people who have tried sustainable building, we opted with an easier structure that uses much less labour. The house has cement posts, steel roof frames and large roof tiles. For the walls we are using bamboo, glass bottles and mud with steel inner supports (see pics). So the overall structure is incredibly strong, durable and will maintain a cool interior during the hot summers here. That's the plan anyway. so far so good though!
We are looking at taking more World Race teams next year. Our experience with them this year was awesome. They were such a blessing to us, our kids, the farm and the community that we would love to keep having them come and help in the future. We are also looking at becoming a WWOOF host this year as well. That means we open up the farm to travelling volunteers. They get free accomodation and food in exchange for their help on the farm. This is ideal for us, as we really need the labour at the farm right now. We are just hoping we can get some accomodation up and running ASAP. When we registered for WWOOF, they also contacted us separately wanting to send a team of volunteers in January to help us set up solar power for charging phones etc.. I was completely blown away, as I didn't even know that the organisation did that! It would be absolutely incredible to be able to have some solar power here. We have looked into solar power a number of times, but it was way beyond our budget, and running home to charge stuff has been working fine.
- that John and I make wise choices in regards to the farm and parenting the boys
- that the farm prospers and starts to make a profit
- that God is glorified in our community and His love shines through us.
Love you all
John, Heidi, Charlie, Lijoo, Bon, Nakong & Ben