EcoShow Full On

Full On: (expression) Intense

We are back in Wanganui after a full-on week at the Eco Show in Taupo. We are more than a little exhausted after long work days and minimal sleep. The EcoShow is a national event that pulls together eco-conscious vendors, speakers, exhibitors, and the occasional by-stander. One such by-stander was our fellow volunteer, Jess, who is now my best New Zealand friend. I’ve heard that times of crisis bring people together. Although I could write pages about the events leading up to and during the show, Jess may be one of the few people on the planet who can understand what I mean when I say that this year’s EcoShow was a bit of a free-for-all. But, despite our many moments spent flabergasted, annoyed, or in all-out despair, I think I walk away from the week with more good memories than bad. I’ll share those ones with you.

First, off was the many cool exhibits and speakers that we got to see. It is really powerful to be surrounded by so many people doing really amazing things. I went to talks about alternative economic systems, food consumption and the environment, and using permaculture as a model for community development. Here are our (new) friends Neil and James building a shelter out of sandbags. Once done and sealed with plaster these homes are strong timber-free economical housing options. (Does James remind anyone of a certain Lord of The Rings Character?).Some of the workshops were held inside yurts, built in just a few hours on-site. They were beautiful spaces to learn in. Almost as beautiful as the pizza oven built in the shape as a dragon. I’m always food-biased.

We also got to see pretty much all of our New Zealand friends together in one place. New Zealand really is a small country and it turns out that most of our friends already knew one another. Weird.

Our new friend Jess, however didn’t know anyone, being new to the eco scene. Don’t worry, we quickly indoctrinated her into the perma-CULT and by the end of the weekend she was a full-fledged eco-princess/warrior/goddess. There aren’t too many people who you can spend 5-days with and not dislike at some point, but Jess is one of those people who makes everyone around her happier. Must be her fab British sense of humor, although sometimes it was hard to translate what she was saying. (Why can’t everyone just speak American?). So many opportunities for humor were just thrown in our lap this weekend… Like a past-his-prime lounge singer and way-too-into her prime hippy interpretive dancer. There are a short list of people who would’ve so thoroughly enjoyed these moments as much as Jess and I did, and to you: Ian Hamlet, Megan Hardie, Tom Morgan, Joe Poulan, and Steven P. Gallo (Nick Jr.), I dedicate the final two pictures from Eco Show.

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