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...from Pioneering Adventure to Wild Family Lifestyle

Updated: Feb 13

It has been a long time since writing a blog post. We are now returning after taking some time out to grow into becoming a family, with a story about the evolution of Ekawa: from pioneering adventure to wild family lifestyle.

Back in 2018, a wild adventure into rainforest living began. Imagine two architects dreaming of a lifestyle beyond creativity via a computer screen and the sense of 'work' as a means of getting by. An opportunity arose which ignited the process of our dream becoming a reality, and the expedition into the rainforest began.

For the first year and a half we slept in a tree tent, with a daily experience of a complete immersion in nature, magnificent sunrises, intense rainfalls, physical exhaustion and at the same time, we felt deeply exhilarated by the quality of this new life. It was an experience of minimalism, in the sense that we had very few of our physical belongings with us, and at the same time, the luxury of freedom, of sensing our inner wild and of embodied creativity all day long.

Over the months we met many incredibly talented local people with whom we combined energies and began to build many bamboo structures. Each one has been an experiment in it's own way - an experiment into sculptural structures, local materials and the influence of space on lifestyle. Our time of living in a tree tent had a profound effect on the way we began to create architecture and soon we were living in an open-air bamboo sculptural structure that we called home. Creativity was in full flow and the team dynamic emerged between our design ideas and a local material wisdom. Creation after creation, participants from near and far continued to join in.

The next phase came in the way of a feeling around the potential of community. We felt the distance from the cultures we grew up in, as well as our families, and at the same time were beginning to "re-imagine what the act of living could become". 'Co-creation' and 'meaningful action' became very important realities which started to shape our ideals, our intentions, our imagination of what the future could become. Soon the adventure which we had called 'Dwelling in Symbiosis' became a vision that was much bigger than our personal exploration, and inspired by a local birdsong, the name 'Ekawa' came into being.

Our creative journey had expanded, not only in relation to the project but also because we were expecting a baby. Preparations began and it was clear that this being would be birthed into the world here in the rainforest. The months that followed revolved around growing our garden, planting food, building 'Golden Threads' (a separate bedroom structure), research into 'Freebirth', expanding the construction team and finally creating the boundaries to be able to retreat into our nest space. The experience of birth took our love of re-wilding to the next level and after a magical moon-lit night, our baby was born.

She is now a year and a half old and between dips in the stream, family trips to the construction site, getting to know all the different types plants, and going for walks with the dogs, we are bringing our focus once again into the project 'Ekawa'. We continue to build, to dream, to create but now a family lifestyle inspires the growth of the project, with our daughter and her grandmother now being fundamental aspects of life here. It has become the shaping of a Bamboo Village, through the creative process of the Bamboo Lab, and an experience of rainforest life through the Bamboo Sanctuary.

Ideas around alternative education, children's spaces, family experiences of connecting with nature are evolving and as other families begin to grow roots in the valley of San Blas we are very excited about what the future will bring!

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