It’s a soggy Sunday keeping me indoors. This has been one of the wettest January I have recorded since arriving here 18 years ago. Nearly 300mm of rain which is half of our annual rainfall! Greenery is abundant and the grass and weed growth is phenomenal. It feels as if things grow as you look at them. This does mean there is plenty of fresh fruit and veg to harvest from the various gardens.


It was good to have retreat activity over the Xmas/ New Year period. Thanks to Choden for offering his inspiring guidance. This year in December we will hopefully have Donal Creedon back with us – keep an eye out for that.

Once again, after a hiatus, we have the input of energetic volunteers. Elina from Sweden is working hard on the permaculture site, and a lovely Polish family settling in and helping after their covid delayed travel plans.

Activities are building up at the permaculture site under the guidance of Alhyrian. It’s an ongoing challenge for the team to keep up with all the gardening needs.

The Tirisano crèche reopened after their long Xmas break in mid-January. There are currently 19 children attending but more are expected. Wet weather does affect attendance as families are unable to do their children’s laundry. The 2 small corrugated iron classrooms are crowded when playtime in the playground is challenged by rain. Luckily with the gas stove cooking is easier than when daily wood had to be collected.

The 2021 year ended with a fun outing to an unusually full Riekerts Dam on the Marico River where the kids enjoyed the space, ran around in the water, played in the sand, climbed the accessible trees, and enjoyed their party food. On behalf of the staff and kids heartfelt thanks to those who contributed funds for the outing.

There are changes pending on neighbouring farms.  The Stantons, our long-standing neighbours close to the main site are in the process of trying to sell their large farm. Zuiverfontein, the even bigger farm on our northern border is also on the market, and 2 other farms on smaller portions of our shared land are changing hands. It will be interesting to see who buys them, as particularly the Stanton’s farm does impact our activities.

On the larger local environment, the Marico River biosphere activities continue with hopefully increasing the areas of “protected area” and trying to promote more tourist activity. Locally, we are trying to get the dirt roads to TRC graded to improve access, but the roads department is cash strapped, and very difficult to communicate with.

As restrictions ease, we hope more people will visit to partake in activities offered, or just to enjoy the healing energy of the valley.


January 2022