When life gives you a pandemic crisis….

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Take it as an adventure….  

I for sure did NOT do that for a very long time. In the beginning it was very stressful for me to stay at home. Now it is day 74 in the state of alarm in Spain, because of the pandemic, and it was not until day 35 that I started really relaxing and enjoying the time “I was given”, at home. Not really how I would choose spent it though, if it was up to me. And it was not until day 43 that I finally realised and accepted that international tourism is not really gonna happen in Spain this year, or at least at a minimum. So, the great green guide business I was enrolling, is just not happening. At least not in 2020, if I don’t want it to be a struggle. And if I thought that the job competition in Cádiz was tough before the crisis, then you can only take a wild guess of how the situation is now.

What then?

When life gives you a pandemic crisis
From a morning walk

What is the plan?

I January this year, when travelling with train from Denmark to Spain, I met this lovely Danish young girl who was travelling to Spain, going on adventure. She was going to do a permaculture course here, for a year. Close to Cádiz actually. I felt a bit jealous and it awoke a feeling in me, that I would like to do something similar. I have been wanting to learn about permaculture and organic agriculture for a while now. I just thought I would do it “when I get my own piece of land, some day”. But who knew that NOW is already “SOME DAY”? I have decided to go on adventure in Spain and I am overly excited about it.

Moving out and around

To not have any expenses, I will give up my flat in Cádiz from mid-June. From then on, I will go working and learning on organic farms and projects in Spain, volunteering. In this way I will only have expenses for transport and pocket money, because the volunteer work is payed for with food and accommodation. I will do this as long as it feels right. And until tourism is blossoming again. I really don’t want to have a year of struggles to find work and to worry about money and how to survive. I want positive energy and flow in my life.

Beach of Cádiz
Beach of Cádiz

I want to be around positive energy, and not fear and worries. I want to be in nature and see things grow. To learn about how to make things grow. To meet new people and to share and feel the loving energy for all the green stuff and Mother Earth. To create and to be creative. I would also like to explore Spain, new areas and nature. My first working experience will be in Vejer de la Frontera. One of my favorite white villages in the province of Cádiz, just 55 km from Cádiz city. Here I will spend seven weeks with a lovely Spanish couple from Seville. I went and saw the place their place 10 days ago and what a paradise they have. The work will be all sorts, from fixing up the caravan where I will live, garden and tree work, to clean, to bake, cook and so on. And most importantly, to play and walk their two sweet Golden retrievers. I can’t wait to do physical work (my body also needs it, to lose a bit weight, haha) and to be in quiet beautiful surroundings. I also look forward to getting to know the village even more.

Plaza de España in Vejer
Plaza de España in Vejer

After this, I will probably go to Estepona, 8 km outside of the city. It is a permaculture project in a small community. Since 1st of August is still a bit far away, I will make further arrangements with them end of June. But I already have spoken with them on the phone and both parts are interested. I can stay there up to three months. After that, it is open. I would like to go to the Granada area, and I have seen an interesting project on Ibiza, and Galicia. It is so exciting, and it gives me butterflies in my stomach. I think it is the freedom and that I will get to learn so many new things, that makes it so exiting. When I am done travelling, it is my plan to return to the province of Cádiz, where it feels like my home. At least it does now.

My Cádiz - the cathedral
My Cádiz – the cathedral

Update

So, what have I been up to the last seven weeks? A few days after my last blog post, I finally got contacted about doing volunteer work here in Cádiz. To work with homeless people who have been housed in a sailing club, where they also have rooms and beds. I started on the 15th of April, working four days a week, four hours at the time. My choirs are helping to heat and serve the dinner and to interact and make activities with the people living there temporary. I offered to teach English and I have four students, on and off, though two students showing up every time. It feels great to be able to come out and do something useful.

Playing Domino with the users
Playing Domino with the users

I must admit that it was indeed for selfish reasons that I started the volunteer work, to be able to get out and to do something. But it is a win-win situation for me and the people there, at least I hope they see that too. And it just makes so much sense to be there. I have a lot of fun with the people living there and my colleagues are wonderful, warm hearted people, and we have a lot of fun too. The English classes are quite fun too, and I enjoy making all the materials myself, because I have no white board or anything. It brings out my creativity.  

Some of my teaching materials
Some of my teaching materials

Starting the volunteer work has helped me to relax more and to enjoy myself. I am one of those people who get energy from spending it. And because I could finally relax more in this new situation, I could start thinking about what to make of this situation. What I would like to do, and hence the countryside adventure.

Now I also get to see my friends and get out a lot more, it is just wonderful to be able to do that. I have missed being social, drinking wine in the sun and just chill. I will enjoy every bit of it before I leave Cádiz.

One of the many roof tops in Cádiz
One of the many roof tops in Cádiz
No words needed
No words needed

The situation in Spain.

I also want to give you an update, on the situation in Spain at the moment. We are starting to open up the country again, slowly. In 4 phases. Phase 0 was from 26th of April and up until the 10th of May. Until the 3rd of May, only children below 14 were allowed to go out and play, with a parent for one hour. From the 3rd of May everybody was allowed to go out doing exercise one hour a day, at a specific hour, depending on your age.

From Phase 1 the 10th of May (phase 1 is only happening in the provinces of Spain where the contamination is low, some provinces stayed in phase 0), cafés with outdoor seating could open, with a 50% capacity. It was a pity for them that it rained for 6 days straight those days, here in Cádiz. Also Museums, very small businesses, the library, hotels, active nature tourism, travelling within the province, going to friends and families houses with gathering maximum 10 people were allowed. All with some kind of guidelines of how to. From the 20th of May masks in public spaces are mandatory in all of Spain. The police will give you a fine if you don’t. You can also not enter shops without a mask.  

Getting a haircut - new times
Getting a hair cut in the name of God

Phase 2 happened on the 25th of May (and still only in the provinces where the contamination is low). That is when big shops and shopping centers open with a 30% capacity, you can now use the inside restaurants, cinemas, theaters, concerts, exhibition, you can meet up 15 people, you can go to the beach, do individual sport in centers, kindergartens, weddings. Here in Cádiz they have decided that you can go to the beach but no swimming until the 1st of June. I still haven’t really understood why!! In beginning of May they disinfected a beach (in the province of Cádiz) with bleach before people were allowed to walk on it. And now there is talk about that Cádiz will to the same to its beaches. How crazy is that and killing all the microorganisms and contaminating the ocean. I don’t get it. There is no virus in nature. Human beings are the virus to nature.

Please take good care of nature
Please take good care of nature

Phase 3 is supposedly from the 8th of June, and still only in the provinces that has low contamination. Here the state of alarm is supposedly ending (not if the prime minister can decide) and all things should be able to open, but with some restrictions and lower capacity. You should be allowed to move freely. The country is opening for international tourism from 1st of July.

This whole process has been and is very confusing for everybody. Nothing is very clear, and changes are being made all the time. The Spanish government is somewhat a circus and a kindergarten. The politicians are cooperating poorly and there was a need to put up a congress in order them to be able to make decisions.

The way the Spanish government has handled the whole situation, is in my opinion very invasive regarding to our freedom. It could have been handled in so many other ways than this, by treating the people as adults and more respect. Giving them more responsibility and more liberty to leave the house some hours during the day, with precautions and distance. Instead, we have been treated like children. And what happens when you give people restrictions, prohibit them things and take away their freedom and autonomy completely? They will protest and find a way anyway. Inside I am protesting too, for not having my freedom intact. I will come back to that in my next blogpost.

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