We look back at 2016 with pride!
During this morning’s staff meeting we reviewed the past year and made a list of our achievements as a team.
It was a very challenging year but with immense satisfaction for all of us at Old Joe’s Kaia. We harnessed the enthusiasm, strength and energy of numerous volunteers from all over the world to come and help us pull the heavy wagon through the drift, and we came out on the other side cheering and ecstatic at our successes. Here goes:
We switched to a vegan lifestyle
On 1 February 2016 we turned our kitchen into a full vegan operation. Visitors love what we do, they come back for more and they keep sending and referring more people, buying vouchers for friends, treating loved ones to special occasions. On 25 December we also presented our first Vegan Feast to a table of 30 guests. The response has been overwhelming! We present Alternative Cooking Workshops for those who would like to explore this way of meal preparation. Click here for the next workshop.
We cleared the dams
The two dams below the conference room had been totally invaded by papyrus reed. So much so that it had to be dug out at a level far deeper than the original dam in order to remove the invasive roots. The ‘new dams’ are now much deeper and with the latest rains, are almost full. Thank you to the many volunteers who are now masters at the use of pangas and bush cutters. Watch this space for an update soon!
We built an off-the-grid house for Dale with tremendous support from volunteers. The house building started in February and by July the occupants moved in. Built out of bamboo, mud, straw sludge and plastic bottles the walls went up, the reclaimed wooden window frames were positioned and the floor was thrown.
We re-netted the vegetable tunnel and built a herb spiral
We discovered that the plastic (which we received with the second-hand tunnel) was far too hot for our climate. We replaced it with a shade cloth specifically suited for our purposes. What a pleasure working in there, what a pleasure seeing the plants rejoice at the gentle treatment as well!
We built banana circles and swales
We decided to harness the grey water from the laundry to flow into a banana circle which we built just below the Kaia rooms. In between we dug interleading swales that have proven very effective during the last rains – water is being ‘planted’ rather than just flooding down the road into the next-door property.
Reception area and Memory Shop
This space also got a lift early in 2016 to make our guests’ entrance more welcoming and inviting.
With the help of volunteers we also re-threaded riempie chairs with cotton string and gave our bar stools a coat of paint.
We beautified our spare blankets
The volunteers covered the spare blankets in the bedrooms with beautiful fabrics and hand embroidered lovely patterns onto them. Their work is certainly a lovely reminder of their enthusiasm!
We have set the bar really high with our 2016 achievements, but we are positive that 2017 will be just as awesome! We wish you the best wherever you may be and whatever resolutions you may have!