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IPC10 Convergence: Travel day

"How do I document the IPC10 convergence?" was a thought that kept reeling in my head for days before I began the task of writing this blog post.

So many stimulating conversations, so much knowledge jam-packed into four days that passed faster than the blink of an eye.

Eventually I decided to start at the beginning, to give you a rundown of all the top points, links to the interviews, the presentations I covered and hopefully, this time it won’t be reams of pages long (but if it is, you’ll just have to forgive me in advance).

We departed for the IPC10 convergence (the day after the conference) in a tour bus destined for Wadi Rum. En-route we stopped at an 15th century abandoned hotel that demonstrated natural building techniques.

Natural stone building old fort

© Christopher List Photography

We marvelled at how the stone walls retained thermal mass, keeping it cool inside and warm at night, while their water storage and filtration methods also used vast reservoirs of natural stone.

natural building stone

© Christopher List Photography

I met Xavier San Giorgi, an architect who applies biomimicry in his work, explaining that “we need to reorganise how we live in cities, to bring ecology back”. During lunch I met Sharon Ferguson, an urban planner from Alaska. Over a discussion about applying permaculture in the relatively conventional state, she said “we have to change, soon there will be no choice” echoing the old adage that necessity is the mother of invention.

Rod Everett, a permaculture designer and teacher since 1985 from the UK, incredulously added that “common sense just isn’t common anymore”.

Returning to the bus we drove through desolate scenery scarcely broken with the rare sight of farms or the occasional town tenaciously fighting the relentless approach of the desert.

Jordanian town

The song “the wheels of the bus go round and round” repeating annoyingly in my head while most of the bus in peaceful repose, I was ecstatic to see the scenery begin to change.

As we drove through the gorges that mark the beginning of the Wadi, we stared awestruck at the dramatic vista around us. Picture massive sandstone and granite mountains weathered by sand, water and time, etched into deep crevasses and towering walls of unsurpassed beauty.

Wadi Rum granite boulders, Jordan

© Christopher List Photography

Wad Rum desert, Jordan

© Christopher List Photography

We stepped onto sand like spun gold, interspersed with swirls of red and brown in a pattern that immediately brought to mind the fractals of nature.

© Christopher List Photography

After getting settled in our large Bedouin-style tent set amidst a striking canyon, we and many others went out into the desert to climb up on one of the Wadi’s implacable boulders to watch the sun go down in a haze of molten beauty.

© Christopher List Photography

A massive buffet awaited us - replete with salads and a range of meat and non-meat items. I was thrilled to see three raw salads which I set to devouring with great enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, organic food was not provided nor clean drinking water, a pity given the nature of the convergence. I decided to drink the local tap water and hope for the best, though it smelled strongly of chlorine!

The night soon passed with more stimulating conversations, and after a long day of travel, we went to bed. In this desert of impenetrable silence under a sky of densely scattered stars, I fell asleep thinking of the vastness of our universe and how we are all connected, all one.

© Christopher List Photography

Join me at IPC10 Convergence Day 1 and learn about Permaculture in arid lands, a Global Permaculture Strategy, a case study of the Koanga Institute in New Zealand and it's heritage of seed saving, Desert Harvesters and Native Foods, a case study of Strawberry Fields Eco-lodge, Ethiopia and an introduction to Permaculture, water and life in rural East Africa with a video of Mara.

Return from IPC10 Convergence to Eco-friendly Africa Travel

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Hi, my name is Melissa and I created this site together with photographer Christopher List to help spread awareness about green lifestyles and travel, so everyone can learn how easy it is to live in a sustainable way. Enjoy!

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I wasn't sure what a permaculture design course was about, until I read through Melissa's fantastic blog! I've signed up and soon I'll be a PDC graduate too.

Kelly Richardson - Arizona

The link between personal responsibility and preserving our environment is becoming increasingly clear to me. Reading up on simple ways to be more eco-friendly in my life and travels has really helped me practice what I preach.

Dennis Howley - Namibia

I can't wait to follow Melissa and Chris' adventures in the Middle East and Africa. You guys inspire me!

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