Trip Start Aug 10, 2006
Trip End Feb 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday. Here we are at an Internet cafe in town (a small stretch of about 15 stores, most unmarked), a 20 minute walk along a dirt road from Lothlorien. This is our first time using the Internet since Wednesday, and it feels nice yet slightly awkward reconnecting to civilization.

Lothlorien is snuggled amongst mountains and rivers. It is the first intentional community we visited thus far in our film project. Sonia, our main host and the only English speaker, is one of the founders of the community. Lothlorien focuses on natural medicine, vegetarian cooking, unconditional love towards its guests and members, and yoga and meditation at 7AM every day. (We are now on an early to bed, early to rise schedule, and participate in the morning rituals.) It costs R12,00 (about $5) for each of us a night, includes an amazing lunch, but with that cost we also have to work in the gardens and flower beds for about 3 hours a day. The first 2 days we weeded. Yesterday we made paper.

In prior years, Lothlorien has had about 15 people living here. Sonia explains how it continues to expand and contract, and now its residents are Sonia and her brother Carlos Although there are also plenty of guests dropping in and out, such as ourselves, and some on longer term stays (like the three Chilean girls and a 4 year old boy).

Cockroches, giant red ants, ants with huge pincers, ants that look like spiders, spiders that look like dinosaurs, mosquitos that look like 747s...

Susan´s new saying is, You never know who´s going to crawl over or drop in...

Big pink mosquito net, our new savior, amen... It has a lacey, lattice design on it, as if its designer meant to make attractive decor, but really it looks like someone´s giant hoop skirt is hanging over the bed.

Crazy, tumultuous winds that sweep through the valley, making the clay shingles shudder...

Clean clean air, warm, sunny days and cold nights...

We have become very introspective here. The place fosters that kind of energy. There is also a detox effect, as caffeine, white sugar, alcohol, and drugs are not allowed. In addition, we are at a 1000 meter high elevation, which for the first few days made us a bit dizzy and sleepy. We've come to like walking into town, buying juice grown from local gardens, and stepping away for breaks from the deep meditation of Lothlorien.

Locals give their neighbors the thumbs up whenever they pass each other on the street.

Last night, Matt and Susan wandered down the hill of Lothlorien with flashlights to the local school (its name has crystal in it but we´re forgetting the actual name). Sonia and Lothlorien founders helped build the school. It was bingo night. At least 75 people, the whole town perhaps, congregated. Dozens and dozens of ninos crowded into an outdoor covered seating area to play bingo, while a tall curly haired 20 something announced the numbers jubilantly into a microphone and loudspeaker. The ninos would scream in delight when winning numbers were called. As bingo waned, live music followed - a three person band playing Brazilian folk music late into the night. Also sold were the most delicious, moist cakes, sweets and cheese bread.
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