Thank you so greatly to everyone who has supported this mission of mine to pursue this fellowship with The DO School and become a better educator, entrepreneur, artist, ecological designer, musician, and holistic scientist. I have been celebrating my 6 1/2th birthday here in Brooklyn for the last two days and today I was filled with such an excitement for the gift of being alive and having so much to share with my community. I am so stoked to be here in the face of so much opportunity with you all, and with my new-found fellows from all over the world – 18 young change-makers from 16 different countries and chosen from more than 1000 people who applied.
The work that I started in South Africa has taken on a mind and life of it’s own, what with people like Nicola Vernon and Candice Mostert at the reins of ongoing efforts to radically upcycle the village of Greyton into a center of transition, reconciliation and deep ecological consciousness. I brought the idea of the eco-brick with me two years ago when I traveled there and shared it through the Trash to Treasure Festivals and since then several people have taken the concept and started stuffing with it in their unique communities and contexts around South Africa. These people include Ian George Dommisse, the founder of The Eco-brick Exchange in Port Elizabeth, as well as Elize Harmony Korevaar who helped to set up a program called Wish Brix.
Two days ago was marked by a milestone for Greyton and South Africa – the laying of the first layers of eco-bricks in the first substantial eco-brick construction in South Africa (aside from our composting pooper panels). The crew there is building a rondavel at the festival grounds (Greyton Green Park) for this years festival which is set to take place on April 12th. Although I wish I could be there to make rehabilitation a celebration with them this year, I am glad to give Candice and the others the opportunity to do it all themselves.
The deepest of thanks to the people of Greyton for welcoming me into their home and having the courage to trust my intuitions and drive. I look forward with a ferocity to be back in South Africa with all of the new-found knowledge, goodness and determination brought about through this fellowship in Brooklyn.
– Joseph Stodgel 3/1/14