Grassroots and Beetroot Juice
'Always try something before you judge'. This is the motto I need to repeat to myself throughout the program. On day twenty we departed from the Blue Mountains and drove many hours to arrive at The Crossing. Completely blind to what The Crossing would encompass, we arrived to a canoe loading port on the side of the road to see a man and woman named Dean and Annette. They quickly briefed us on canoe safety, then we hit the water. Windy; that's a great word to describe the water conditions, it looked intimidating. Many of us were finding it difficult to go forward until we joined all of our canoes and took the water on as one big boat. Teamwork and communication have been essential to these past 4 weeks.
A few hours after our canoe trip we arrived to a blissful and thought-provoking sanctuary. Dean and Annette created The Crossing with the help of over 3,000 people over 19 years. The Crossing is an organic farm created to help grow and connect the minds of young people. It is completely powered by solar panels and they collect their own rain water. Everything here has so much thought put into it, all expressed through the principles of permaculture.
Three minute showers. I thought I couldn't do it, but I could. I now urge everyone to take 3 minute showers, it's so much better to conserve our earth's clean water. Before I took this trip I would describe myself as a picky eater and also not the healthiest. But Annette made the most delicious organic food everyday using veggies she grew herself and I loved every meal! Also, we only had meat in one of our dinners. I might try becoming a vegetarian.
On the fourth day at The Crossing, the team headed out on our first backpacking trip. I'd never been backpacking and was a little worried about carrying a huge pack for hours. The trip was only 2 days and one night but it was my favorite part of the whole trip. We all sang songs, asked each other bizarre questions and truly enjoyed the beautiful nature around us. On day one we stopped for an hour to make our own pieces of artwork out of anything we could find in the natural creek bed. After we had completed our masterpieces Jess remembered we had beetroot juice. She quickly got her hands messy and squeezed all the juice out of the beetroot. Then we began drawing designs down each others arms and faces. We probably looked a little wild, but we didn't mind because we were stuck in the bush for another day.
To wrap up our stay at The Crossing we watched a slide show of the pictures taken throughout our stay. I left the sweet sanctuary feeling enlightened and refreshed. I look forward to focusing on the principles of permaculture and conservation in the future!