Before I left Lost Valley at the end of the month, I planned a few excursions in the area and around Portland, Oregon.
There was a SquareOne Village tiny house community, Emerald Village Eugene, grand opening for the public in Eugene, and I was really looking forward to seeing it! Most of the houses onsite were finished in terms of their exteriors, and several already had residents living in them. It was great to see a city supported, experimental community for the chronically homeless. The model they operated on was that after a rigorous interview process for residency, community members were given a fully furnished space and were required to pay a percentage of their personal income to cover costs. Many of the current residents relied on bicycles and public transportation for travel to their jobs, and some of them were married and dual incomes that helped them financially afford to get back on their feet.
December came quickly, and brought with it the cold, dreary and overcast Pacific Northwest weather. Not something I had gotten used to coming from hot and sunny/unpredictable weather of Texas!
In preparation of going back to Texas for Christmas and the New Year, I had the brilliant idea to make tie-dyed bandanas for the family for this year’s gifts. This idea also inspired Rich and Avery to tag along and make colorful Christmas gifts of their own too.
With the end of the Holistic Sustainability Semester program, many of the students left and went on their own separate journeys, and a handful of us stayed. I made the decision to stay and pursue residency to see community from a different perspective while serving as the marketing manager/outreach coordinator, and for the opportunity to practice permaculture and community building.
Saying goodbye to the other students wasn’t easy, as most of us became good friends having bonded through the program and extra-curricular adventures. And as they left, the community decreased in size and some of the energy left with them too. But that didn’t stop me from going head-first into this new chapter of life!