It’s been a looooooong road since Day 1 (December 9, 2014)…..

It’s been a year since I wrote the last COBlog, or more. Interesting. The last year of the
Globalcobtrotter Ride went quickly though not without many an event to keep this Cob Queen
busy. Today I sit by an oceanview window in the tiny end-of-the-world village by the name of
Mosteiros (Monasteries) on the Azorean island of São Miguel. And ponder the last 4 years of

Riding like the wind down the Bahian coast of Brazil…struggling breathlessly up the unpleasant
climbs of Colombia… succeeding the highest peaks of the Pyrenées on my tiny-wheeled foldable
Bike Friday while the racers flew by and cheered…and chilling in a hammock for four days on the
Amazon River while my bike took a break too. Clearly the memories are endless and colorful and
have been and will be recorded and edited in book form and, with much new learning and help,
movie format. The material is too good to keep for myself.

My journey was dual, as those of you who have followed me know. I wanted to bike around the
world (glad I even got to do the 15 countries I did) and teach international intercultural cob
workshops along the way for the good of the planet and the people. I did not know how I would do
the latter and had an idea of how I would do the former, as I had already lived abroad and always
with my bike.

As all of you who commune with Great Spirit know, when you are clear and intent on manifesting
your Heart’s Calling, nothing is an obstacle, only a new learning experience faced with excitement
and even some healthy fear. This adventure had everything to keep me entertained, including a
couple of robberies with happy endings. I could not have asked for more support from the
Universe. I am utterly grateful and blissful that I am in good health, good shape, a better person,
more knowledgeable about a variety of places and cultures, more experienced in social relations,
got to share good times with my boyz along the way, and even have more money in the bank than
when I started!!!! (That was the plan)

SInce the last Blog entry there have been 5 cob workshops: Austin, Texas…Carrancas, Brazil…
Guatapé, Colombia…Trinidad, Colorado…and Faial, Azores. Oh and the first CruzinCobGlobal
oven workshop taught by my students Krystal and Bea. They were a combination of 3 month-long
complete builds (the roof is always a wild card), an oven/bench combo, and a 3-week wall
workshop. My intent for 2018 was to hold 4 month-long workshops and I managed 2. Brazil was
cancelled due to organizational difficulties and Morocco was cancelled due to cultural confusions
and my own tired self!

With each workshop it seemed the students were more productive and were able to build faster
and more. Even the Wild Woman workshop in Faial, which did not quite turn out as I had
imagined, started with a 2-story building with a 50cm wide foundation and bottom of wall which
took a week and a half, and was still able to complete the walls, sculpting and plaster in only 2.5

Each workshop has taught me something and grown me. Whether it was about including more
Circle Time and extracurricular activities like yoga, dance and salsa, or joining the students on a
field trip to Taos for the weekend, or letting go completely of my plans for the morning and sitting
and processing personal issues all together instead, I always received something from each
workshop and each student. And I know that each student took away alot more than just a new skill
and knowledge of how to build themselves a house. Even if that was all they took away, hallelujah!
But CruzinCobGlobal is definitely fulfilling its vision and mission of spreading the COB throughout
the Planet while giving students a memorable intercultural experience in each country.

Often it is a challenge for Cob Instructors to sustain themselves teaching in Third World countries
where people have less or no funds to pay for a workshop, which is why the international format
succeeds by allowing the students who can pay for a workshop to subsidize the possibility for the
ones who can’t. In the end we all need each other to build a house, a village, raise a family, live,
learn and grow. Cob workshops are a microcosm of a Happy Planet, with its ups and downs,
different personalities, celebrations, joy, difficult moments, rituals, playfulness, hard work, good
shared meals and all in all an opportunity to connect with the Earth and People in an intense new
way. You are guaranteed to come out transformed and with new ideas.

For me personally, as a solo lone wolf mama, the upcoming workshops are always exciting to look
forward to, to try new things and meet another new set of students. Working with new hosts I have
never yet met in person has proven to be a challenge alot of the time and for that reason I have
decided to only work with hosts I know or have had a chance to meet with in person. Yes there is
nothing like feeling out each other’s energy and getting a real take on your ability to work intimately
with someone for a month and their ability to host successfully. After 14 years of organizing
workshops I know what it takes to host. It is no small feat and most people underestimate the work
they need to do before and during to make it work well on all fronts. With all the documents I
provide, and photos and videos online, and conversations…just like childbirth…you just don’t get it
until you do it!

Nonetheless the workshops have been separated by wonderful journeys from one to the next
through lands I have wanted to bike through, which was my intent in designing my route and
finding hosting opportunities along the way. Who knows how many kiometers or miles were
pedaled..ALOT!!!!! My legs know, my arms and wrists know and my back and eyes know. Some
of the people I met along the way who were biking or who hosted me are now still on the road and
a small part of me wants to join them! Small! Cause I dont know if this body wants to keep going
and sleep outside night after night in a new spot with new sounds, new things to be aware of, new
foods, new adventures. I’m a bit tired though short month-long journeys I can see in the near
future. Once a bike traveller always a bike traveller!

For now…I am trying to adjust to incorporating this vision I had of myself gracefully sliding into
settled living and finding the land, the partner and the community with ease. Yeah, right? Did
anyone remind me that I would also unbeknownst to me gracefully slip into emotional postnomadic
withdrawal symptoms and depression? Noooo! I am freakin’ out! I was hoping that if I
just quietly made a call to live in the Azores and shipped all my belongings (54 boxes) by boat for
$3800 from Oakland, CA to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, posted it publicly on FB and and told all
the important people in my life….that all would unfold perfectly. NOOOOT!

I have been on and off crying for the last 5 weeks, feeling quite restless and bored as fuck (not my
usual MO) and wondering what the fuck made me think that a fun and easy free-flowin’ bike ride
around this island for two weeks 2 years ago, camping everywhere and feeling free, would qualify
this place as my future ideal home. Did I even think of the people aspect? Hello!!! Society,
friends, music, salsa dancing, good restaurants, organic farms, Black culture, art life, and a culture
that stays up past 10pm and opens their windows to the world??? Heavy Heavy.

Well after 3 retracted way-too-fast offers for land and weird old tear-down houses that woke me up
to the reality of “You will be based here for a whiiiile…if you put that money down”…and woke the
real estate agents up to the confused foreign woman who you should stay away from….I’m pullin’
back, chillin’ out, and even if my worldly and emotional possessions are on a boat on their way
here after travelling for 2 months through hurricanes and the Panama Canal…I’m cool now. As my
son Viva says, “ Just take this sacred time for yourself Mom. Be with yourself. Love yourself. Make
your scrapbooks you’ve been wanting to do. Read a book. Don’t do anything. Just BE!”
And yes that is the word I’m hearing from on high too. Just relax now. Stop tryin’ to make things
happen. Stop pushing forward with the next plan and the next to-do-list. Man it’s hard. The first
thing I do when my eyes open in the morning, actually before they open as it is what make them
open, is think about my to-do-list. But my happy to-do list. My exciting to-do-list. Not the one with
“Call the IRS” on it. The endless creative development one. Still, it’s a to-do-list. And what I really
need to do is just be now. Smell the flowers. Save the poor juvenile endangered cagarro birds
walking the village streets at night because they fall from being blinded by the street lights and get
disoriented and need humans to take them to the beach. Talk to my neighbor Tania about the
weather and the figs on her tree that she downt want. Watch the endless flow of tourists park their
shiny little cars and get out with their 8” long lenses to take a few sunset photos, walk on the sand,
see the Beauty, and get back in to head to the next stop. Watch the teenaged boys, just like
anywhere in the world, huddled up in their hangout spot under the trees, smokin’ cigs or joints, and
checkin’ out the white bulbous female bodies they will never have an exchange with. Watch the
short, older well-wrinkled fishermen also huddled together lookin’ at the same white bulbous bodies
they will never have an exchange with.

The only life in this village is the kids and the elementary school. That is the saving grace of
Cecilia, my landlady. The youth keeps her sane and motivated. Like everywhere in the world,
right? The pre-10 year olds that haven’t been corrupted by much of the world happenings and
technology yet. Maybe. Anyway here at the end of the island it’s still a safe place. Safety,
security…THOSE are the key things that stuck with me about this island actually. That I could
sleep openly on any unoccupied field and noone would care or try to rob me or bother me. The
locals are shy that way. That there were no “Camping Prohibited” signs along the way. That I had
alot of space to just be. Of course that was after travelling through Africa and Morocco. It’s all
about contrast. We learn what we value and what is a priority for us when we don’t have it. The
key is to find the middle point where we don’t need to be in extremes all the time. I guess that’s it.
What’s my middle point that I can live with with my greatest needs met and my not so great needs
partially or not met. Greatest needs: my children nearby, mom close by, healthy environment,
moist climate, good drinking water, healthy agriculture, ocean nearby, cool, progressive society
with Afro-based dance and music, community vibes, ease to build and create…. and economical!
Not too much to ask for and probably most people I know’s greatest needs list too.

It’s funny. So many people are wandering on Earth looking for “home” right now, like the Jews of
yonder, of which I am a descendant. Only we self-chosen nomads are very fortunate to be free,
have some money-making skills, know how to create our income while being mobile (thanks to
those devices), and how to live without a home base. We get very good at it. We recognize each
other and commune easily. For a while. And then we are gone again on a plane, a boat, a train, a
car ride, a bike, our feet, away from here and going there. Cause we heard sopme good things
about it. Got some good referrals for housing and food.

And then there are the temporary nomads that after having saved up their income opportunities
and had minimal expenses for years on end, are ready to stop and buy land and create their
Permaculture Homestead with a bungalow or two to rent out and a food forest, some goats for milk
and cheese, and maybe room for a few friends. That is what I am finding here on São Miguel too.
Perhaps it is the budding next mecca that will take over the traditional island culture. And create its
own new culture with some contributions from the old guard that also knew how to thrive here in a
different way. But the squared-up white concrete block or rock-covered-with-cement houses all
lined up and facing each other with a few windows facing the street and the rest of the innards
hidden from the ocean will then be replaced because the New Generation of Azoreans have other
ideas. They want to face the ocean, see the sunrise and sunset, ride the waves, feel the wind,
work the land productively and naturally, many people together, grow as many fruit trees as
possible, repopulate the island with juicy joy, music, dance, parties, festivals, communities,
gatherings playfulness, and electric geothermal-generated transportation. Maybe the people who
came here years ago had to escape, run, and then kept going to the Americas and Canada and
saw this place as harsh, scary, overwhelming. And so that is how they built their homes. To protect
them and hide them from the elements outside.

So there is change in the air. Many lands are being sold to the newcomers for a hefty price. But it
is allowing a slow takeover and transition. Maybe that is what I was attracted to. The possibilities
inherent in this place. I didn’t think of the people because I didnt feel connected to them, as the
others here also feel. And this is cause for a strange feeling to be here and not connect with the
people who have lived here for a long time. When I say the people I mean more the villagers who
are a tighter-knit community because they are the ones who remain here year in and year out, who
rarely leave to visit other parts of the island even. One woman here, my landlady, goes to town
once a month and has never been to some other parts of the island I asked her about. What a
funny contrast with the nomads of the world who can’t sit still!! This village, Mosteiros, really puts it
right in your face. Maybe it’s not all boring here. It just is. And we have been too overstimulated
with our phones, computers, ipods, even books and movies, etc. Maybe just being with what is is
happening right here right now, all around me, and I can’t escape. Mosteiros, Monasteries, an
enlightenment immersion, if you so wish to embrace it. May the Force of Self-Love be with you!