Here we are, already one week into our stay on Hopi land, and already it seems we have been here for a lot longer. Since arriving here a week ago we have been getting are hands dirty, or rather muddy, working on a natural building project at the Hopi Tutskwa permaculture. Lilian and Jacobo, the founders and caretakers of this project,  are building a new house on their land and using cob building techniques using only local materials such as sand, clay, and straw. The project is run by Lilian and Jacobo and with their four beautiful children. Through their work they wish to be an exemplary model of what a natural and sustainable lifestyle can be for the surrounding communities. Besides being practically proficient and hard workers, they are a hell of a lot of fun to be around.  Lilian is always cracking jokes and getting people to laugh, whether she is joking about the hazards of twerking or teasing you while plastering the walls together . The work days have been long and full but just as equally satisfying and fun.

To learn more about them check out their website: www.hopitutskwapermaculture.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hopi-Tutskwa-Permaculture/152816334745755

And here an article written by the Fire Green Times: http://greenfiretimes.com/2010/08/hopi-tutskwa-permaculture-care-for-the-people-care-for-mother-earth-respect-for-the-future/#.UkkNFoasidk

Out of respect for the Hopi, we have taken their request to heart and have not taken pictures of the beautiful desert landscapes or local people we have not directly asked permission from. We are surrounded by orange mesas and rock formations. Blue skies during the day and incredibly clear stars at night. When we first arrived we were able to witness traditional Hopi dances, the last of this season that are open to non-Natives. Again, out of respect we did not take photos of the people moving together in traditional dress and dance for a good harvest. Saturday morning we visited the humble Tuba City farmers market and at night time some of us had a night on the town and went country dancing with locals. Sunday we visited Old Oraibi, considered the oldest inhabited city in the US, dating back over 900 years, and then Dawa park, a cliff area filled with ancient rock art carvings from an unknown past.

Check out the photos below we have to help paint the picture of our time here. We still have one more week here working with the Hopi Tutskwa permaculture project. We will make sure to post another blog before we head eastward to learn more about the Dine (Navajo) people.

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 A few upgrades to the Road Whale which carries us from place to place.

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D-Jane and Sir Erich making the plaster mix together.

And below so does Benji.

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The art of plastering ain’t that easy,  but is necessary for the finer finish on these inner walls of the cob housse that last years IAM group worked on with Lilian, Jacobo, their children, and their apprentices.

Below is Tom “Bombadil” trying his hand.

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As does Angie…
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Other jobs around the project includes grinding eggshells on a converted bicycle-grinder to add calcium to the tomato plants in their greenhouse:

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And seed saving for propagating preferred plants and herbs:

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