Its the 6th of July 2017, I sit in the bamboo bar of the happiness association working my shift. My morning consisted of a sunrise wake and a breakfast cook up. I count myself lucky to be waking up again in Tojeiro for there is truly a magic mystic floating threw the air….
Being around so many people from different cultures, experiences and traditions i find myself intrigued. Personally, when travelling and working in such environments like this i find the most exciting quality is the opportunity to meet new people and discover. My best friend told me her motto ‘Never stop being Curious’ . In a sense, Tojeiro sparks the curiosity flame in my belly and i wait and sit at this bar to ask one question…
‘If you could go back to a place in history, where would you go?’
This question always seems to spark interesting conversation with people that i meet. I think because for me, history consists of so many lessons, expressions and wonder.. What better place to ask this question than the happiness association?
Reta from Portugal- Reta has been in Tojeiro for five months. She first came two years ago to the pizza party and wanted to come back every since. Radiating a beaming smile, the same smile which picked me up in Periera. She tells me how special this place is and how like so many people here, she loves to dance! In response to my question she says…
‘I would go to Ancient Pantanal in the Amazon because i love green!! When i go to these places, the energy is so powerful and positive. It makes me feel very good’
I hadn’t heard of Pantanal until Reta told me. If you dont know of it, i would type it into google. Boom the beauty of discovery.
Rudi-Rudi moved to this spot of paradise in the rolling hills around seven years ago, he says the place came to him somehow and he has been organizing pizza partys for five out of seven years since. Rudi is the anchor of this Earth ship, grounding the path of this roaring community. He responds…
‘I would live in the Stone Age because people lived in communities in a natural way. Working, living and finding solutions in harmony. Now we live in cities, which for me is not natural or the organic way that we should live on this planet’
His answer reflects like a mirror to his land in the bright Portugal sun.
Steph from London. Steph came to Tojeiro in April for a small period of time and has found his way back to the association. He sleeps in the front on a converted waffle making, face painting truck behind the first stage. ‘I would go to Genghis Khan Mungo empire because mighty warriors and strength and depth of his empire.’
Micheal from Scotland- Micheal first came here also in April and left and returned once more. He has been here for two months now. ‘ I would go to America during the beat generation because it was a time when youth culture bubbled over into an explosion of creativity, freedom, celebration and enjoyment of life’
His answer also seems to symbolise his vibrant creative energy that bounces around the farm.
Tim from Germany- Within the first ten minutes of meeting Tim, we sat at the Bamboo Bar and wrote a poem together which lead to the best laughs. I will never forget the joy on his face when i offered him some face paint and glitter. He has been here only four days, experiencing Tojeiro for the pizza partys previously. On the lower back of his ankle lies a tattoo of the farms logo.
‘ I would go to the day the east Berlin wall fell. It must have been such a accomplishment and celebration!’
Babs from Switzerland- Babs arrived from Switzerland two weeks ago. She had just finished a bachelor in Anthropology and geography before embarking on her travel adventure. ‘ I would go to the First manisfestation of womans right in America in the 1970’s. So many women of all ages and races came together in solidarity. To feel such freedom and their voices heard for the first time must have felt amazing’
Marteen from Holland- Marteen arrived in Tojeiro 8 months ago. He was one of the first people i met here two nights ago. He shared with me his travelling tales sparking such wanderlust. When i asked him the question at first he said he diddnt want to go back. This isn’t the first time someone answered in such a refreshing way. I find something so lovely from being so presently happy you do not even want to ‘hypothetically’ go back in time. Although i still push for an answer…’ I would go to medival times of knights and battles. I admire the architecture of castles, the way of physical training with swords.’
Jo from Nigeria- Jo has been here for 7 months. He gave me a grand tour of the land with welcome when i first arrived. ‘I would like to go back to have conversation with scientists in history. Times like that when man would bring an idea and they would discover and understand it. For me, they searched for answers making everything a question’
Nico from Germany- Nico has been here for one week. He found Tojeiro, by chance from a recommendation from two travelers in Lisbon. In his response he said ‘ I would go to Kasachstan, I lived there untill i was seven years old. It is so far away, i would love the chance to go back there.’
Branislav from Slavakia- Branislay has been in Tojeiro for one week, he studied film and worked within marketing. ‘I would go to the roman empire, i would like to be part of the senate and fight for the republic. Almost everything we have in society now was established then political and social systems’ He perches on the bamboo bar like a beaded bird as i try to imagine his answer.
Camillo from Germany- Camillo has been on the farm for 8 months from passed information from a friend, he booked a flight straight away. He said I would want to meet Heinz Erhardt the german poet and artist. He’s my idol. I would have breakfast with him.’
This is only a handful of the people here, others are busy gardening, constructing or preparing food for the friday night party. This buzzing hive of creativity, productivity and joy buzzes away throughout the day. I sit in the bamboo bar observing as a write my answer; I would go back to Woodstock festival, to be apart of a huge collective of unity and peace spreading the message of love against odds.
Essentially being here, it is a similar concept. We all work our jobs given that morning, and the sound of laughter echoes threw the hills. There is harmony within this environment.
Thankyou Happiness Association. Never stop being curious.