What more can I say? They can be your best friends or your worst enemies. Over the years you see their kids growing up. When working with volunteers one must learn with them and adapt. I tried to create a centre for self-development and autonomy but no-one really wanted to pick up the reins after me. It was I who initiated everything about SLP and I was getting too stretched. Hence I had to self-destruct if I wanted to complete my studies and earn a living. But this is a good lesson learnt for it means I don't go forward as an individual again if I want to share a project. I must needs a group there in the beginning and if the signs are not availing then I can only progress on my self-development. One thing you understand about project management is the limitations of individuals - you cannot expect them to know or be able to do as much as you. Secondly, they don't have the same motivational responses. Thirdly, many peoples lifestyles are tied up with raising families and keeping the books balanced. I set myself some rules in order to deal with volunteers. Firstly, give them brief instructions and see if they can learn to do it. Secondly, don't interfere too much but keep an eye on them. Thirdly, never undo their work because they probably won't come back. Fourthly, feed them or give them something back to remember or think over. This last point is very important because a true indigenous culture thrives on gift exchange. This may mean a bit of personal tuition, something they specially gained from the experience. Lastly, it becomes apparent that having intimate relations with a volunteer can go badly. Your skill is to balance up everything, like a football manager never knowing who is going to be available until the last hours before a match. It is an incredible experience of learning and one should not shy away from it. I used the opportunity to get closer to children since I don't have any myself. But this proved to be too much for others to handle, especially if the opposite sex shows affection to you, leading to jealousy and suspicion. But children are the best to work with since one tends to be more forgiving of them, and adults just come over as victims of culture.

Here you are then, in no particular order; you may find you are in there somewhere.


Guerilla gardening
Backgarden permaculture
Spanish permaculture
Cob building
Green wood
Gathering centres
Habitat surveying