October Update

Blog post written by Moab Fall 2017 intern, Maya Fohrman.




What a perfectly adorable group we are. (I’m the one with my eyes closed.)
This is not the most up-to-date picture, but I haven’t been taking my camera to site. (You ought to picture three straw bale houses behind us coated in clay slip, fully-roofed with some interior wall framing, an array of electrical wires and plumping pipes, a rusty bedspring-style sifter, and the occasional lightly-treacherous trench covered by a few 2x4sor6s and some plywood.)

Sunday October 1st, 2017

A beautiful and blustery fall (or “autumn”) has thoroughly settled in here in Moab. The last intern for our Fall 2017 crew, Jazelle, has been painfully assimilated lovingly accepted into our ranks and the straw bales in our houses are well on their way to being the insulative walls they were born to be. A new lead builder from the Hopi Permaculture Institute, Kurt, has also come to work with us (and live in a sandbag hobbit house) for the rest of the semester!

Personally, I miss the hot sweaty summer days, but I’m welcoming the change of season as long as our neighbors the Moab Rim, the La Sal Mountains, the Sand Flats, the Colorado River, and the stars aren’t going anywhere. We’ve just got to start bundling up.

This past week was fall break for people who didn’t have hours to make up due to vacations/personal excuses excursions earlier in the semester. I missed a week in August so I was on-site this past week. I quite enjoyed working over break finishing up the roofs, working on a little venting, and stuffing and slipping the exterior walls of the homes.

According to our intern curriculum, October should include a lot of slipping and plastering, pouring countertops, setting kitchens and bath vanities, prepping the showers for Tadelakt, and a Permaculture Workshop. (–And then a fabulous Halloween Party produced by Maggie.)

In the past couple of months, I’ve gotten to some degree of comfort using so many tools that I had never touched before, learning from the ever-patient lead builders and other interns. I’m still feeling like I want to learn so much more about all different types of natural building techniques that are being used, have been used, and are being conceptualize of around the world but I think I’m going to have to go on more of a pointed personal quest to go deep into this.

I’m one of the many interns who doesn’t know what she/they/he want(s) to do after the internship program. I feel like I am currently reaping some generous benefits from really valuing settling into the NOW, but I am eager to start generating some future plans. The world is wide.

This living in the NOW business is being made so much more attainable by the fact that I live in a house with such warm and supportive people. What is so special about the social experience as a part of Community Rebuilds is that I feel I am seeing myself/my interest/my values reflected in the people around me more than I ever have before and that reassurance of belonging is very precious and comforting.

This is a community with which it is an honor to be tangled up in household chores, work-site challenges and fruitful conversations. Every single person in the program can spark a special joy in me when I’m clear minded enough to recognize it. These are some of the inspirational qualities that stand out for me related to the other interns and builders:

Maggie: prioritizing family and friendship

Solona: bravery and foresight

Gary: presence and kindness

Lena: power and serenity

Linnea: acceptance and dancing

Aran: attention and affection

Dylan: humor and sincerity

Melissa: humility and self-possession

Curt: vanity and arrogance patience and anti-egotism

Marcus: openness and action

Sera: honesty and selflessness

Aileena: ultra-questioning and confidence

Jordan: can-do-ness and unapologetic-ness

Jazelle: observation and Grover

Cory: philosophy and imagination

Henry: simplicity and peace

Mia: fun and justice

Emily: intentionality and independence

Lauren: sisterhood and freedom

Jason: knowledge sharing and grounded-ness

Holli: agelessness and creativity

Nelly: sweetness and spunkiness

Serah: community-support and kind-eyes

Gabe: right-prioritization and realfood!

Alex: uniqueness and work ethic

Claire: organization and energy

Rikki: dedication and generosity

Honorable Mention

Elaine: non-judgment and gentleness

Sam: seeking and support

*Any additional fear-based personal qualities that I have observed are just the pain-body (see Eckhart Tolle).

That’s all I have to say for now, but I am so happy that I get to be here for the next couple of months!

PS. Thanks for all of the rides Cory, Emily, Linnea, Lauren, Jordan, Lena, Gary and now Jazelle.


PPS. Thank you to the last remaining black mountain bike for being my size and highly functional.

PPPS. Thanks to all of the volunteers who have come and helped out on-site.

slipcoat party 3

PPPPS. Thanks, Claire, for not rushing me in writing this. 🙂

Afterward: “Now the very blustery night turned into a very rainy night. And Pooh kept his lonely vigil, hour after hour – until at last… Pooh fell fast asleep – and began to dream.”

–Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) 😉



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