Monday, October 27, 2008

First Few Days in the Carolinas

Thursday, October 23rd
P'Nok flew into Atlanta and arrived in South Carolina after a long flight, it was a struggle for her to stay awake, but I (Allyn) kept her up by stopping a few times to catch some fresh air. We took a look at one of the area's major reservoirs, Lake Hartwell, which helped P'Nok get a sense of the area's prolonged drought. 

Before heading to Glendale to drop off P'Nok's bags, we stopped by Inman, SC, to pick up some food for the coming days from Farmer Fran Davis' Windmill Hill Farm (the farm where ENGAGEr Stephanie Teatro worked this past summer while working with SEAC). Fran's farm was an ideal place to save some money and introduce  P'Nok to a small-scale producer in the States. 

Later that night, we chowed down at PK's, a local Soul Food joint that serves up fried fish and bad rice. Afterwards, P'Nok snoozed some at a community viewing of "King Corn," a documentary on industrial corn production in America. Before heading to bed, P'Nok received a massage from Bill Taylor, who is my landlord and a community member of Glendale. 

Friday, October 24th 
P'Nok spent the morning catching up on some sleep before waking up to torrential rain. Lindy Bunch, Wofford student and Spartanburg Intercollegiate Green Alliance leader, spent the late morning and early afternoon with P'Nok on a tour of Wofford College. They also scored some nice rain boots and a rain jacket. 

Later that evening, Amanda Alman arrived in Charlotte and made it back to Glendale just in time for a community exchange with Glendale residents, Wofford students, and the chaplain of Wofford College. The group formally welcomed P'Nok to the Carolinas over dinner, and P'Nok participated in the first exchange between Wooford students and staff and Glendale residents. The conversation's topics ranged from P'Nok's work in Thailand to the emerging understanding between Wofford representatives and Glendale residents regarding the development of a community garden. 

Sadly, I don;t have photos for her first town days in the States. 

Saturday October 25th 
Saturday took us out of Spartanburg and into North Carolina. Take a look at the photos below to catch a few glimpses of P'Nok and some representatives from Glendale and Clifton (anther mill community) at Earthaven Ecovillage's First Annual Harvest Festival, where P'Nok gave her first formal presentation to approximately 15 Earthaven villagers. As luck would have it, one of the audience members, Leon Birstein,  was eager to show his nearby farm. As an off-the-gird, solar powered, organic farm, Leon's experiences as a self-sufficient farmer in an eco-communtiy brought up some interesting questions about how to create similar "havens" out of conventional communities.  

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