Perhaps it is an unusual story that a psychotherapist from the USA and a veterinarian from The Netherlands chose to leave their careers and follow another path toward simple living in a small rural village in Romania.
How it all began …
Provision began as an experiment in food sovereignty; we wanted to see how close we could get to being responsible for our food as were the original builders and occupants of the house we have come to call home…
Founded in 2009 – an enormous life transition. Robyn coming from the cities of New York and Atlanta and Lars from the Dutch culture. We were born into different stories and different lives than the one we decided to immigrate to.
Finding Village Life. Our journey involved all the elements you might expect: travel to distant lands and cultures, discovery, heartbreak, devastation, joy, determination, etc… There are so many gratitudes, even for those who stood in our way and tried to stop us, for this is how we came to learn about nonviolence. And we want to give a great deal of credit to the place where we found the most inspiration of all the ecovillages and lands we have visited over 4 continents and 12 years: La Borie Noble, the original Communauté de L’Arche in France which was founded by Lanza del Vasto who was a student of Gandhi. This is where we found friends with whom we are connected by a path and a purpose greater than all of our individual stories. This is where we collected the seeds that would grow into Provision.
Building family and farm. When we first arrived to Alunisu/Magyarokereke or “Hazel Village” as we sometimes call it (since this are the meanings of both the Romanian and Hungarian names, the two main local ethnicities) we thought that we were still on our pilgrimage and believed that we would be here only long enough to have our archetypal journey to wisdom and then go back home…. We spent the first years settling, creating gardens, learning and practicing. Then our son Carsten was born and also more animals came – Daisy, our first goat (so that Carsten had enough milk to drink), and Roybu, our first draft horse…. We thought that we would be here for 3, maybe as many as 5 years. During year 6, we forced ourselves to leave for 9 months only to find that we were…homesick. For Transylvania and our life in this village, and Provision, the life-project that we had begun.
Learning from the village. We have always recognised the natural wealth in this village; clean air, water from the mountains, common lands, gift economy and other systems for sharing, skills and knowledge… It was sometimes strange for us when we heard from people living in the village that they have considered themselves poor… True, they might not have had so much in the way of financial resources, yet they have a wealth of knowledge that allows them to live from the land and keep their animals warm and fed through the winter season. This stands in stark contrast to people living in inner cities who might have not even had the opportunity to step off the concrete and would not know how to live without industrialised food, clothing and shelter. We were more like that when we first arrived here…
Provision’s first course in 2012. Inspired by this place , we wanted to share the wealth – in all directions. By pulling people here and arranging for them to learn skills from people in the village, we could attract financial resources into the village while also letting the local people know that their knowledge and expertise is valuable. Our guests could leave with a more complete understanding of Regenerative living through food, food politics, agriculture, peasant culture and how life is supported through agroecology.
Provision is the door – the village is the school. One of the missions of Provision is to create the possibility of cultural exchanges between villagers and guests coming from all over the world. We believe that everyone can be enriched through diverse and respectful contacts and connections.
Small growth, finding its way “organically.” We came here not knowing that we would stay. Like seeds that have been blown in the wind, we feel that our roots have found fertile soil here. We have come here to offer our gifts to this place as well as to receive the gifts of being here. We find ourselves now part of the web of gifts that make up this community.
Our future dream
Our future dream is that places like Provision are not needed any longer, because everyone’s life is grounded in regeneration and nonviolence, that they are the basis of daily life, that we all rediscover our regenerative wisdom and nonviolent roots.
Though, as long as that is not the case, we will keep working towards that moment. We will continue to put our efforts in creating a place for being and learning, for sharing and living. In the ‘Retrospective and Future Vision’ document you can read about Provisions past activities and future plans.