September came and continued to bring warm days, good harvests in the garden and good energies for everyone.
New volunteer arrival (02/09)
The month started with the arrival of a new volunteer, Pedro, a portuguese guy that will stay in the project for 9 months and which main goal will be improving the garden design using permaculture principles in order to have more biodiversity (plants, animals, fungus, bacterias, …), more water retention, larger harvests, including the Human in the system as a cooperating and moderating element.
He has some knowledge in these subjects because he has a personal garden at home, near Lisbon, where he lives, and he is part of a volunteering project called HortaFCUL (website and facebook page) in Lisbon that is an urban community garden created by faculty students (but open to everyone that could be interested) that uses permaculture principles and wants to make the city greener, however he is excited to get a lot more knowledge about permaculture during his stay in Open Mind.
Green Association (01/09 – 04/09)
The day before Pedro arrival, Green Association (website and facebook page) came to help in our project for 3 days and sleeping in tents in some free spaces in our garden, so the house was full of diversity for that period of time (around 20 lovely persons from Bulgaria, France, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, Turkey with different experiences, stories and knowledge to share with us).
The main goal of Green Association is to protect and improve the environment with non-standard solutions. The volunteers were part of a short term ESC project coordinated by Green Association that met with other organizations all over Bulgaria to offer precious help in the period of 2 months.
During their stay in Shipka they put a lot of energy in the organization and cleaning of the Chitalishte (community centre), helped with some changes in the chicken area at our home, we had good moments with some music around the fire, they cooked amazing food, always with positive and contagious energy.
In the last night we went to the megalith in Kazanlak (must see place in Kazanlak) for the goodbye celebration.
Play without borders (10/09)
In this day, in the afternoon, it was organized by us an event called Play without borders, which main intention was to share one game from our childhood to the local children. We had Chinese jump rope, La Tomate, Origami, etc.
In the end it was successful, children liked the games and helped us to strengthen the relationship between everyone.
World Cleanup day (14/09)
In order to engage in the World Cleanup day, a program aimed to combat the solid waste that threatens, directly or indirectly, all the ecosystems, we created an event in Shipka in order to clean as much as possible between the Ethnographic Museum in Shipka and the Shipka Monument.
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday, with good people that want to make the world a better place to live. In the end, we were happy to see the improvements but all the bags we brought with us were not enough to collect all the trash we saw in the trails. So we promised to come back to some points again, as soon as possible, to finish the job.
Primary School in Kazanlak (15/09)
The day after Ophélie and Pedro went to a primary school in Kazanlak to do some artistic work on its playground area. With Kalinka (one of the school teachers) we painted three new games (Twister, Mirror me and other inspired in Hopscotch) on the floor.
Even before the school starts, some kids came to help cleaning the floor before painting and were very happy to see their teacher. All of them were very interested in us and in our paintings and, after all, we met some of those friendly kids we showed them, with a chalk drawing in the floor, where our countries (France and Portugal) and other countries are located in Europe.
Grey Water System
In order to give a good use to the output water in the washing machine, we designed a way of using it for watering purposes near our bigger fig tree in the garden, which loves a constant input of water. The conditions of this system are: the pipe needs some inclination (at least 5 degrees from the horizontal line) and we should only use organic detergent to not contaminate the soil.
It’s a process that will take some time, but we will share the beginning by now.
In the other days, we spent our time doing some maintenance in Chitalishte, Museum and some changes in the garden, as well.