Finally at rest…

The Happy, simply home, and I, are now at rest…

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It has felt like a lifetime but this time a month ago we had just bought the boat trailer and decided that we would go ahead with the project after the original location pulled out at the last minute of hosting the Happy, simply home.

what do we do with this...?

what do we do with this…?

Since then we have scratched around for materials, people, places and faced every kind of challenge but as of today the Happy, simply home is now moved and set in place at its new location in Paekakariki!

Final resting place for home and me!

Final resting place for home and me!

It has been a tremendous effort from all involved and we have relied so heavily on luck, commitment, hard work, persistence and finally creativity to get over each and every hurdle (of which there have been so many). Having said how wonderful we are it is only because of community that there is now a self-sufficient and sustainable home built into the slope of the front section on Wellington Rd, Paekakariki.

vol team day 3With out the support of community, sponsors, favours, donations, VOLUNTEERS and anyone or everyone who contributed in some way we would have absolutely nothing. As the proverb goes – ‘it takes a town to build a purple home’ (I think that is it?).

 

And so from the reality to the inspiration… it is only now that I can fully comprehend the experience and the incredible gathering of ideas, people, skills, learning and sharing. Many lessons learnt, grey hair multiplied and stress at all-time highs but vision realised and now to my expertise, which is to share the learning and model as an education project so others can interact with it, learn from it and take thought and action from it.

I’m totally overjoyed and cant really believe that from today I will live in the dream I have had for a long time, where I can be in my element of simplicity, self-sufficiency and sustainability – being more connected and integrated with community and nature. The best thing is that I will only do it for three weeks and then it is over to anyone who wants a taste of the simple life and experience a small home, solar power, water capture, bio compostable toilet, edible garden and a happy, simply way of life!

Very Happy, finally simply.

d’Arcy.

Oh to be stress and pressure free and be at rest – time to go for a run!

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Volunteers are rich

Happy, simply. is a community project not just a housing project. The inclusive way the home gets built is just as if not more important than the final product – especially if it doen’t get finished!

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I am unable to thank the volunteers and contributors enough for this project. It has been a huge undertaking (not so much for me on the building side) for all involved. Let me show you what this project is about by me looking through one of our volunteers, Linley.

Linley is a friend of mine from my hometown in Adelaide and she saw I was building a small house as a part of the Happy, simply project. She said she would come over for the project (which was meant to be 10 days) to help out and learn!

Since arriving Linley has not only worked each day on the build-site from 8am to at least 6pm EVERYDAY but also then done all the background stuff like preparing food for meals, organising materials and other countless and thankless jobs.

online article photo

Credit: Randall Walker/Kapiti Observer

How can you ever pay someone like this who does something like that! However… in the 10 days Linley has been building she has gone from an active observer to training others, doing independent projects and adding ideas and advice to the build. Linley heads back to Adelaide tomorrow – thank you for all and happy sharing your experiences and now building knowledge and skills!

Tim from SHAC and I - to original brain childs of the Happy, simply home...

Tim from SHAC and I – to original brain childs of the Happy, simply home…

We also said farewell to Tim today from SHAC – Sustainable HAbitat Challenge http://www.shac.org.nz/ who was one of the very early brain-child’s of the project, especially in the housing front, and also put Javi and Mireia in touch with me for them to design and build the amazing-boat-trailer-home!

The not-so brain-childs of the Happy, simply home

The not-so brain-childs of the Happy, simply home

Oh so many people to thank and not enough blogs to do – plus thank-you’s are usually pretty boring unless you know the people so my point in this blog is really about active citizenship, community participation and the ‘richness’ of volunteering – not only for those who receiving the volunteering but those who do it.

Here’s to volunteers and volunteering!

Happy, simply.

d’Arcy.

PS. I do have a cool one-pager on the richness of volunteering that I will have to share someday…

A community-BUILDING project

While I have spent most of the past 24 hours away from the build site it doesn’t mean I haven’t been contributing… (well I haven’t in the build and only put in my token 3 screws and cut some wood).

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A project like this needs relationships. My main role has been to beg, borrow, sleaze  con and coerce anything and everything from people, not really and nicely put it is communication and relationships. With an interesting and altruistic concept you have to build the image and make it of worth to others. The poster, the pdf, the emails, the phone calls, the text messages… they are all as much of the project and build as the actual physical components to it.

All Good bananas - happy and simple of course

All Good bananas – happy and simple of course

The beautiful thing is that people are good, kind, helping and generous. Basically all I have to do is create a space for them to put those atributes into something for ultimately my gain but also for their self worth and purpose. We love helping people no matter who we are and when given opportunities to help we more often than not cherish them.

I am completely overwhelmed each and every time anyone has contributed to this project. Already it is a huge list of people who have added to this in some shape or form… I am trying my best to capture all of this generosity but honestly it is difficult as it pours in from everywhere. Just a couple of examples – we have building supply places giving us things, local cafes giving their end of the day goodies, the volunteers of course, people who know people, expertise, accommodation, support and never ending goodwill and encouragement – a very privileged but slightly scary position to be in when other do so much for you.

A proper and decent thank you will happen but for now I am just in awe of how wonderful and fantastic so many people have been and we haven’t even got walls on our home yet (but half the skeletons have been made!).Javi teaching the ways

Many, kind, heart-felt thanks and gratitude to those so far with a lot more humbled thanks to come!

Happy, simply.

 

d’Arcy.

A little list of thanks thus far without thanking individuals yet (as that is a whole other long list…): Sustainability Trust, Habitat for Humanity, Bunnings Porirua, Pro Clima, Dulux, Cycling Advocacy Network, Paekakariki Woodoven Cafe, Nullok Windows and Doors, Kennett Brothers, Radio@ctive, Kiwa House, Chalkle, Paekakariki weavers group, All Good bananas and Karma Cola, builders, communities, citizens, Paekakariki and massively the volunteers…

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Nice progress and a TED talk video on housing and why Happy, simply. makes sense…

A wonderful community get-together last night in Paekakariki to see if anyone is keen to host Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.

I think people could see I wasn’t selling a pyramid scheme as I am the only one who can lose out (and that is only financially which a. I don’t care and b. the learning I will get will be worth it all!).

With the concept understood and tested amongst the attendees the mood was bright and stirring. People are very keen for the model but the restrictions and council regulations are the hard part to make sure it is all within the rules – but something that is for the benefit of the project and ultimately the council and the community. To be continued on that one.

Is this the future spot for Happy, simply.?

Is this the future spot for Happy, simply.?

So at this stage it looks like we have some wonderful options for locations as well as a couple of design options – on wheels, transportable by a truck and crane, flat pack ikea style or something else. But all of these things should be resolved by the end of the week and the game of council approval can begin!

Thank you to those who came out last night and lost of listening and learning for me. With the sun out and a beautiful evening it really was the warm welcome to a community I hope to base myself in for the coming future and beyond!

And now for a video… this is a great TED talk from Dan Phillips on creative houses from reclaimed stuff. He looks at the common sense approach of using stuff around the place and this really makes me feel good and supports the ideology I am trying to make a reality with Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project.
http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_phillips_creative_houses_from_reclaimed_stuff.html

Big cheers from Paekakariki, Aotearoa New Zealand!

Paekakariki sunrise

Happy, simply. Community Get-together in Paekakariki

Happy, simply. banner

Dear Wonderful Community of Paekakariki,

It was this time last year that I fell in love with your community. Not just the amazing views but in particular the warm and progressive sense of this community that cares and shares together.

I’m a teacher by trade but I primarily work in international aid and development and from doing this for the past 12 years I have learnt that the best things in life are not things.

In February a portable temporary studio for – Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project will be constructed accompanied with a workshop on how to build small dwellings. I would love, and I am still trying to find, a wee spot in Paekakariki to run and house the project for the build in February and then till April.

In collaboration with Tim Bishop from SHAC – Sustainable HAbitat Challenge, we plan to build a simple 10mstudio that will showcase a simple, happy and sustainable way of living. Please see the attached poster, more detailed PDF of the proposal for the project and https://happysimply.wordpress.com/

I’m keen to share this idea with the community where I would love for this idea to grow roots on a wee patch of mother earth in Paekakariki. I am also very keen to listen and learn of the initiatives in the community where the concept, project or components might support existing ideas. One suggestion from the KCDC is that it might help with the Greenest Streets competition or maybe along with public submissions for the old dog training park land.

In order for me to listen and learn and share my ideas I warmly invite you to please come along to a get-together Tuesday 22 January (next Tuesday!). I will share more about the model, the construction of the studio, the community engagement and educational potential of Happy, simply!

Details:

Date: Tuesday 22 January

Time: 7-8pm

Location: Paekakariki hall – St Peters on Beach Rd

Contact if you want: d’Arcy Lunn, lunny06@yahoo.com.au 

Many Thanks

d’Arcy.


Australian Mobile No: +61 428 416 765; Skype: lunny06;
Teacher, Global Poverty Project Presenter and Volunteer, Nomad and lover of life.
Happy, s
imply – healthy, happy, with lots of friends and debt free! https://happysimply.wordpress.com/
 
Engaging, awareness raising and advocating in Aotearoa New Zealand till April for The End of Polio http://www.theendofpolio.com
Happy, simply. poster

Happy Simply Lovingly Looking for a School…

Please see below a cascade of information that I have made for a school newsletter. The idea for Happy Simply is to incorporate a school in the organising, building, maintaining and education of the project – hence a life model and education project…

This is pitched at the Te Ra Waldorf School on the Kapati Coast (north of Wellington) but really the idea could be for anywhere… Any takers?!

The snapshot little newsletter spot:

Happy Simply wanting input from Te Ra School and Community

Happy Simply – sustainable lifestyle model and education project. Debt free – healthy, happy and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things. You get it…

Importantly I want to include the community and especially a school in the planning, building and management of this project, offering a great learning experience.

I would love to hear from the Te Ra community so please let me know your thoughts – darcy@globalpovertyproject.com. I have a more detailed proposal if you wish to see.

For reference please see my blog: https://happysimply.wordpress.com .

Many Thanks, d’Arcy.

Education – for us all!

The middle-sized newsletter piece:

Happy Simply wanting input from Te Ra School and Community

Happy Simply – sustainable lifestyle model and education project. Debt free – healthy, happy and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things. You get it…

The idea is a living model where just enough is plenty and being an active, engaged and happy citizen. Specifically the holistic approach to this life model would include: a simple dwelling (10m²); renewable energy source; bio-compostable toilet; rainwater capture; edible garden; transport – cycling and public transport (train to Wellington); and volunteering in the local community.

Importantly I want to include the community and especially a school in the planning, building and management of this project, offering a great learning experience.

So… what I am looking for from the Te Ra Waldorf School community is:

  • consent, inclusion and shared ownership of this idea and project
  • possibly land to house the project – 50-100m² and best if near the school, Paekakariki or within 3km of a train station on the Kapati Coast
  • possible contacts and information on each of the components of the project – housing, food, transport, volunteering, etc
  • thoughts, ideas, suggestions and feedback!

I am happy to finance this project as much as it needs but any in-kind support would be greatly appreciated. I will be back in Aotearoa New Zealand in January till April and would love to turn this opportunity into a reality. Once functional it would be an open door policy and as a teacher I’m passionate to share the model far and wide.

I would love to hear from the Te Ra community so please let me know your thoughts – darcy@globalpovertyproject.com. I have a more detailed proposal if you wish to see.

For reference please see my blog: https://happysimply.wordpress.com or my other blog including my time here currently in Pakistan – learning and advocating about the culture and life in positive way: http://lunny06.wordpress.com.

Many Thanks, d’Arcy.

Friend family community – easy to feel rich in life!

And finally the full-page detailed article!

Happy Simply wanting input from Te Ra School and Community

Happy Simply – sustainable lifestyle model and education project. Debt free – healthy, happy and with lots of friends. Where the best things in life are not things. You get it…

The idea is a living model where just enough is plenty and being an active, engaged and happy citizen. Specifically the holistic approach to this life model would include:

  • a 10m² house from recycled materials with the SHAC (Sustainable HAbitat Challenge) not-for-profit org, based in NZ – http://www.shac.org.nz/
  • renewable energy source, bio-compostable toilet, rainwater capture – off all grids
  • edible organic garden for as much food needs as possible 10-15 m²
  • transport – cycling and public transport (train to Wellington)
  • volunteering in the local community

This is not really something new or that unique and it is not for everyone to take on everything in the model. What I hope to do is show others what is possible and offer any of the components that can be integrated into their daily lives.

Importantly I want to include the community and especially a school and students in the planning, developing, building and management of this project. I know it will offer a great learning experience and then become a part of the community.

So… what I am looking for from the Te Ra Waldorf School community is:

  • consent, inclusion and shared ownership of this idea and project
  • possibly land to house the project – 50-100m² and best if near the school, Paekakariki or within 3km of a train station on the Kapati Coast
  • possible contacts and information on each of the components of the project – housing, food, transport, volunteering, etc
  • thoughts, ideas, suggestions and feedback!

Who the hell am I?

I’m a teacher and perpetual volunteer. I work for environmental, global and social justice as an educator, presenter, advocate and learner. I want to not only work in this field but live it full-time. In over 11 years and 58 countries of experiences I’ve never been to spot more suitable to offer this project than the Kapati Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.

I am happy to finance as much as is needed for this project but ideally it would be great to have in-kind support where possible. I would plan to live in the dwelling and live the model life however I’m only around 2-10 months of the year at the moment while I work in international aid and development (currently writing to you from Pakistan on polio eradication advocacy work). It would always be an open door policy and as a teacher I am passionate to share the learning that comes from the process and the final product.

I would love to hear from the Te Ra community so please let me know your thoughts – darcy@globalpovertyproject.com.

For reference please see my blog: https://happysimply.wordpress.com or my personal blog including my time here in Pakistan – http://lunny06.wordpress.com. I will be back in Aotearoa New Zealand from January to April next year and would love to turn this opportunity into a reality.

Many Thanks

d’Arcy.

Participation is Education!