Day 6 – Riverside Community (Part 1)

Over the last few days, we’ve had an amazing stay at the Riverside Community [website]. This is an alternative community near Nelson based on the ideas of pacifism and cooperative living. They have a property of about 200ha on which they raise animals, fruit, and vegetables, run a cafe, host events, plus other businesses. We were invited to stay in their community centre, and spent two days learning about the community, sharing in their day-to-day activities, and taking part in activities and games to develop our awareness of the centre’s goals. Here is a short summary of our first day there:

  • Greeting: We started by meeting many of the members, plus learning about the centre
  • Tour: We then went on a tour of the property, specifically stopping at the cafe for muffins and drinks, and going to the dairy farm to see cows being milked
  • Cheese making: We made 4 blocks of Paneer cheese (which we BBQed the next day – delicious!)
  • Dinner: One of the members prepared an Israeli meal (hummus, falafel, etc followed by apple crumble)… really yummy food!
  • Activities: We sang songs together and did some collaborative games in the centre
  • Free time: That evening, there was a gathering of many of the members and other guests around a fire in the courtyard. Lots of singing and dancing… Haru did an amazing fire dance!

Everyone finally went to bed around 2:30! The girls all slept together in a the large communal centre while Yoshi and I stayed in a lodge.