South America

Rincon del mar

Rincon del mar is a sweet caribbean paradise in the north of Colombia.
There’s no buses that arrive directly there; so from Monteria it took us three hours in a freezing bus to San Onofre where we had to ask some local guys to take us with their motorcycles!
And after thirty minutes on a “moto-taxi”, with the road full of water and mud, trying not to fall, trying to avoid baby pigs and chickens, we finally arrived in the little place of this fishermen village.

There are just two dirt roads but we’ve discovered that the village has almost 4000 inhabitants, big family inside the houses and hidden houses reachable only by patios behind the two roads.
People are smiling and greeting all the time and the best meal you can find is the one your neighbour can prepare you for few pesos.
Children are playing in the road with sticks and old tires.
The sea is warm, the place is safe, on weekends people come from the surrounding and there’s music and it’s a little bit more crowded but during the week is calm and peaceful.

We were supposed to spend a week just relaxing and, sometimes, working a little bit but we’ve started with a chain of misfortunes, connection problems, storms and a 48 hours long blackout that “forced” us to sleep, read books, eat, swim and drink beers.


Geraldton – Drylands permaculture farm


The Drylands foundation is a permaculture project in semi-arid climate, in Geraldton, 400 km north from Perth in Western Australia and it is run by Julie, the creator of the project, and John .

As first thing, I wanted to ask Julie if she could teach me something about bees. I haven’t even had time to ask: one of the first things she said to me, just when I arrived, was – the hives are full, do you wanna give me a hand to empty them ? –
And so I’ve discovered the secret life of bees and I’ve fallen in love with them, their society, the way they reproduce, the uselessness of the male who sits there all day doing nothing, waiting for a queen to be fertilized.

I’ve learned how to collect honey, remove the layer of wax and let it drip nectar, or eat it like chewing gum, sucking the honey and chewing the wax.
I have learned to separate the honey from the cells, I learned that if a bee stings you must immediately put honey on the sting. And it works, despite the pain my two bites didn’t even swollen.

On the field there are a lot of animals, chickens, some roosters to sacrifice, geese, two emus (one of them really cuddly), a cat and many bobtail lizards, my new favorite lizard.
In the middle of my staying two new volunteers arrived: Alex , australian and Fleur, belgian, together we harvested tomatoes, learned to save seeds. We cooked. A lot. We grounded wheat to make flour, used our own vegetables, used the solar oven, prepared the dough with the eggs of the ducks. We learned to dry the leaves of henna and I taught them the absurd mix  that I usually use in my head (henna, olive oil-or coconut oil or almond oil-, yogurt, black tea), we spent our Friday night with a head full of mud and female chitchat.
We learned how to prepare orders for the sale of seeds, that is the main activities of the project .
We’ve learned to dig under the sun, to change some pipes, we swam in the ocean, we have prepared a banquet for the market and sold honey, eggs, seeds and stevia plants and drumstick trees .
We have learned to recognize the different ways wild plants germinate and produce seeds, and how to collect them.
We have helped to prepare the ground for a workshop on seedsaving and walked into the wild to see the plants in their natural environment.

So three fantastic weeks where I felt at home, in an environment that, I know, is what I would like to have around me one day. A truly inspirational project that made me understand a little better what my goal is.
I leave a little bit sad thinking that I have to leave this little oasis of paradise, but happy for what I have experienced and with the desire to get back on the road .


The beginning of everything


I’ve already lived at least three lives. 

I’ve spent most of my life in Italy, a quite regular life, family, friends, university and finally a real job.

Then I decided to press a restart button, I’ve filled two suitcases, take a plane and start again from zero. In Paris.

I had become a perfect parisian in no time, with all that this implies: a well payed job, a lot of stress, running from one side of the city to the other all day long, spending too much time in the subway.

But I’ve loved Paris as you could love a member of your familiy. Paris has been my sister and my whore, a very expensive whore but in the same time so beautiful.

Then I’ve pushed the restart button again, I’ve left my job, filled a backpack this time and started exploring the world with a crazy gipsy guy. After many miles and many countries, our paths separated and I’ve continued alone since. 2012 was, for me, a year to discover myself again, to enter in contact with a different me. I’ve discovered I prefer a simpler life, more in contact in nature. I’ve discovered I love to put my hands in the ground, planting seeds, seeing the world with different eyes. I’ve discovered I love the community life. I’ve discovered permaculture.

Then sometimes life puts you ahead of some choices to be made: I decided to get back to Paris for a while. 

That was in the same time great and disappointing: in a year everything had changed, some friendships were, in some way, lost, Paris wasn’t the same anymore, neither was I. 

So it was time to build things again, realising that Paris wasn’t my home anymore. I haven’t yet find a place I can call home.
Home is my backpack and the world is my playground.
And my camera is my diary.