Thursday, 6 August 2009

My Thoughts:A Year in Green Tea and Tuk Tuks: My Unlikely Year Creating an Eco Farm in Sri Lanka by Rory Spowers

Sri Lanaka is always one of the top places that I'd just love to visit - if I could ever get the money together - so I love reading about it, rather than another fiction book I thought I'd try some non-fiction.
Rory Spowers is a determined bloke, he travels the world to discover new ways to save the planet and reduce his families carbon footprint. He also reads a stack of books gathering ideas for living without the pollutants of modern life.
As a teenager he walks through Africa and then again through India, knowing that to live the life he wants he will need to live abroad. He and his wife first visit Barbados, a place they consider living until they see the devestation caused by tourism and the Western world. But in Barbados they meet Doc Man, the creator of an eco garden which provides for his family but is also used as an educational tool to teach local children about the local plants and fruits. From this his dream to create an eco farm unfolds.
Rory and his wife and two small children move to Sri Lanka and start searching out a new home and a place to build the eco farm, they consider many enviromental issues in their search for the perfect place. Eventually they discover the '60 acres' an old tea farm which had laid empty for years.
Work then starts to transform this place into a 'bio-versity' a place not only to cultivate local and rare fruits and wildlife, but also a place to teach others about this form of farming. Rory recounts not only the farming of this land and the creation of Samakanda, but also the trials and tribultions with the local people. He is honest about his moods, his families struggles in this new country.
In the middle of his creation the tsunami arrives, impacting on everyone he knows in Sri Lanka and he is quickly involved in working with friends to create new homes for those who lost theres.
This book was a great read, Samakanda is now open to visitors and looks great, he also is a founder of The Web of HopeChallenges:
Non-Fiction 5
World Citizen Challenge
999 (non-fiction)


Vivienne said...

Definitely one to go on my list. I love these style of travel journals where the author has a mission or purpose on his journey. I would love to have the get up and go to live like this.

katrina said...

Would be great to go live a completely different style of life somewhere else - no supermarkets, debts, traffic etc