Author Archives: SOLpub

Volunteering on Lesvos: Week 2

In January 2016, Jane traveled to the Greek island of Lesvos to help in with the refugees arriving by boat from Turkey. She worked with the organization Lighthouse Refugee Relief — visit their website to find out how you can help with the refugee crisis. Below are Jane’s thoughts from her second week on Lesvos. Click here to read about week 1.

Day 8  |  Wednesday, January 20
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Lifejackets headed for the lifejacket graveyard. Those lifejackets were from our camp alone.

Chaos today, though some like to call it organized chaos. 8-9 boats within a very short period of time this morning (I lost count). 39 degrees. Rain started just as the last boat arrived. Tragedy struck: A baby died of hypothermia. A near-tragedy also struck: A four-year-old boy was trampled by others trying to get off a boat. He stopped breathing, but was resuscitated. I sat with him, and his very upset mother, until an ambulance could come to take him to the hospital. He will be fine, I think.

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Volunteering on Lesvos: Week 1

In January 2016, Jane traveled to the Greek island of Lesvos to help in with the refugees arriving by boat from Turkey. She worked with the organization Lighthouse Refugee Relief — visit their website to find out how you can help with the refugee crisis. Below are Jane’s thoughts from her first week on Lesvos.

Day 2  |  Thursday, January 14, 2016

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Refugees arriving on the rocky beach.

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Children’s “lifejackets.”

Six boats arrived this morning between 9:30 and 11 a.m. (more came earlier, in the wee hours). It’s a beautiful day today, the last one for at least 10 days. Rain, wind and cold temps to come. The whole thing is hard to describe — sopping wet people of all ages, packed into flimsy boats, and with flimsier lifejackets. (Would you head across a three-mile span of open ocean with your child in water wings or a Disney princess swim jacket?) Grateful, thankful people, touching their hearts and smiling at us, speaking thanks in their language, hugging and shaking hands. I said “welcome” more times this morning than I have in my whole life. Continue reading

Our 648-square-foot tall tiny house

Post-Katrina, my partner, Sky, and I headed to New Orleans to offer our carpentry skills to help rebuilding in the area. After spending a couple of months doing all kinds of things, meeting great people, and loving the city and her culture, we decided to buy property and move here.

Getting Our Land and Designing Our House

We purchased a 30′ x 100′ city lot where a building destroyed during the flood had been torn down, and set about designing our house. We wanted to raise as much food as possible in such a small space, so we knew our house had to be unique so as to not take up too much of the footprint. We also wanted to design something that would be energy-efficient in the hot and humid climate.

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Six Months in the Tiny House: What’s Good, What’s Not-So-Good

We’ve travelled 2,500 miles in our Tiny House in the last six months, staying put anywhere from one day to three months. It’s been a great adventure, and we’re getting ready to head north again as the weather changes. It’s hard to think that we’ve got to learn how to pack up for travel again, and slog slowly along the highway. Good thing gas prices are lower than they were last winter.

While it’s been mostly wonderful living in the Tiny House, there certainly have been challenges. Here are a few: Continue reading