Back on line… we have now settled in Bolivia!

Posted on 29 August 2012

It’s been a long time, hey?

Well, Carly and I have had many (nice!) changes in our life lately… We are actually writing this post from La Paz, in  Bolivia, where we’ve moved in to our new home. So after more than two years of living from a couple of backpacks, we’ve now settled down for few years… These last two years have been beautiful though, and certainly worth every penny! Spending time with family and friends, building cob houses and natural building in Southern France, volunteering in a farm in Palestine, learning permaculture in Jordan, working in Yemen, Haiti and Central America, hang gliding in Grenoble, celebrating a friend’s wedding in Honfleur, hiking and camping around Switzerland… We feel so grateful for this amazing year and all the incredible people we have met along the way :).

“Great, you may say, but why settling down in Bolivia?”.

Bolivia is one of these enigmatic countries we’ve been wanting to see for a long time now, like Ethiopia, Yemen, Mongolia or Costa Rica… I was offered a job for an international NGO and although I’m overseeing our programmes in the whole of the Andean region, my office is located in La Paz, Bolivia. Given that the minimum wage is around 120 USD per month, and given that 50% of the population lives below the moderate poverty line (less than 2 USD a day…), aid work is unfortunately still necessary in Bolivia…

We arrived three months ago, and are now pretty much settled. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford to rent a house (we wanted a garden…), so we moved in to an old but cosy apartment, located few blocks away from my office. If you are regular readers of this blog, you know that we do try, as much as realistically possible, to live by our values, so we’ve decided to take the situation as it is, and start practicing permaculture in our flat. We’ve also heard there is a small permaculture community, which we will join as soon as Carly’s level of Spanish allows for it. There is no organised recycling here (although many poor people ensure anything useful isn’t really wasted); no proper waste management; little energy savings awareness; little urban farming; the source of the food found on the local markets isn’t clear; the country is heavily dependent on its natural gas exports and mining sector; etc, so there is little doubt that living sustainably is as much of a challenge here as elsewhere.  We’ll make sure to update you about our progresses, and please, do share your ideas and comments on the topic! 🙂


2 responses to Back on line… we have now settled in Bolivia!

  • betsy says:

    I am going crazy reading about an amazing Bolivian and her work, Ingrid Vaca Diez. She has built 10 PET bottle homes for the poor – do you know her and her work? just found your blog – loving it. researching for a book on global women’s tech, “low tech high impact”.


    Making Sense of Things Reply:

    Hi Betsy… I haven’t heard of her… sounds great!! Looking forward to hearing more about your book too 🙂


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