lmo 2013

im trying to collect some links to photos from the summer. i know people took photos. i know they did.


here are some:


photos of early days of the workshop:

photo site with contributions from various and sundry, initited and populated by jessy kate

some photos of the workshop from master instructor eva edleson


videos during the workshop

video of plastering (and a walk around the house) by james

video of edie’s mural on the (gandhian) toilet (palace) doors, (and a view of the house at the end)


pictures near the end of the summer

putting up roof trusses by brian heilman

attaching roof metal by tetsuo kaieda

finally some shots of the delicious curved front of the house (and mushrooms) by alex khamzang


big hearty sets of pictures crossing epochs

emily’s photos (and others) hosted on mangolandia in a really inconvenient gallery system

james’s photos on flicker

– ankur

one square = 25 cm in big picture
one square = 50 cm in small pictures

floorplan as of may 31, 2013
floorplan as of may 31, 2013

The Workshop:

For those who really want to learn how to build with cob, as part of the summer
building community experience, we are Honored to have her Clayness Eva
Edleson lead a Mud-Slinging Workshop. The dates are

August 8th to August 14th
(arrive on the 7th, leave on the 15th)

Participation will be limited to 20 people, first come, first serve.
subject to grovel. Respond to mangolandia@gmail.com with your
confirmation. I will shake you down for a monetary contribution for
the instructor. Lodging will be a mix of camping and indoor. Food is
vegetarian. Salmon are everywhere. From each according to their
ability, to each according to their need.

A bit about the instructor:

Eva Edleson is a professional natural builder, cook, gardener, and
craftswoman with over a decade of experience specializing in earthen
wall systems, wood-fired cooking and natural finishes including
plasters and paint. She has trained and worked with many of the
most-respected builders and permaculturists in the Americas.

More about the instructor at:



Signup here and send me an email:


dear friend (most likely) or welcome stranger (less likely).


you’re coming to sequim this summer. maybe you’ve been there before. maybe you are already familiar with my mom’s cooking and the mind-blowing parameters of her pantry. even so, things could be different this summer since we’re expecting 3-20 people at any given time, all working and building and being dirty together.



we have a couple of bedrooms available. priority probably goes to pregnant people and small babies if they’re around and are interested in having priority. the rest of us, when there are more than 5-6 people, will be sleeping outside. i will try to get some tents. it wont be cold but it’s not india and it’s never hot at night (like in new york) so a light sleeping bag is a good idea. we will try to furnish as much of these things as possible, so no worries, but if you have a tent or a sleeping bag and its not a hassle to bring it, do so. especially if you have an old sleeping you don’t necessarily want, you can bring it and leave it on-site for the next guy.


we will be building some outdoor shower facilities for our mud-scarred workers. in the non-dirty phases of construction (does that exist? unclear.) we can shower inside. the point of outside hygiene facilities is to keep my mom’s house clean and my mom happy. as such, it’s very important.


we will be building a couple of composting toilets so we can take _full_ advantage of your presence. there will be instructions. if you are not interested in nourishing the fruit trees of the future, and you are not covered with mud, you can poop inside.


men can pee on fruit trees. try to keep your hoohoos out of the neighbors’ site.

we will build ladies latrines so we can take advantage of their ammonia as well. try to separate peeing and pooping, most organisms are happier that way.


there is a proposed schedule when there a lot of us. otherwise, we can be more chill about it. but in general, lunch is on the back deck (which can get dirty) and dinner can be inside or outside, depending on how clean you are. everybody will help with the cooking and cleaning, and everyone will do their own dishes in some kind of three tub system.

food will be vegetarian the vast majority of the time.


there will be washing stations for you to wash your clothes, gandhi style. we can maybe negotiate with mom to get in on the washing machine once a week or so. bring clothing that can be destroyed, scarred, maimed, etc. we will provide soap that won’t mess with the plants who will be drinking the greywater

internet and telecom:

we have wireless and some little androidic tablette creatures dropped from the sky and will be sprinkled throughout the house we can have our fix. don’t sweet it. there’s generally no mobile networks available, but i think we have national long distance and there is always skype.


strict is not really the right word, but when we have a lot of people it will help to keep a schedule. this will be most important for the week of august 8-14, for Eva’s workshop, when the schedule will be Enforced. Here’s a draft.

what to bring:

– destructible clothing

– a durable water bottle

– a sleeping bag if you have one

– sunscreen if you need it

– shoes you can hike in

– a bathing suit

– dried fruits and nuts (in case it comes to that)

For the workshop she will conduct on August 8-14: (signup here)


I recommend:
One or more machetes, Pocket knife, Levels- 2′, 3′ 4′ (Nice to have a number of these on hand for builders), measuring tapes, Hand saw/s, Hammers and new nails and old nails, Screw Guns and screws,Plyers, Toe nail clipper, Stakes, Plumb bob, file, mattock or pick, rake, masons trowels, cold chisel and sledge, mason hoe or garden hoe, cobbers saws, garden hose with sprayer, rags, sponges, duct tape, twine, safety gear for eyes/ears/lungs/hands…
Please bring any of those if you have them and its not illegal to do so (like machetes on planes).

The following schedule and guidelines are proposed for when there are lots of people (6-20) in the house, to help us coordinate our efforts. Nothing is “mandatory”, but a lot of it will help make things easier for everybody:


Typical community day?

6h-8h : buffet breakfast

6h-7h: quiet time

8h-9h: silent work

9h-9h30: morning meeting and plan

9h30-11h30 : morning work

11h30-13h : brunch + chill

13h-17h30 : afternoon work

16h: snack time!

17h30-18h : clean-up!

18h-19h30 : supper + chill

19h30-21h: community activities?

21h30 : lights out


Guidelines for Practical Living: Everybody 

Does their own laundry.

Avoids bringing plastic and other waste onsite.

Takes their own waste materials with them.

Helps with preparation of some meals

Does their own dishes


If you’re on this page, you probably either know me, were forward-ed the Official Invite, or just have a magic engine somewhere in your destiny. All acceptable options.


this is what you have to do:

1. fill out the form, so we know you’re thinking about coming

2. engage in email (mangolandia at gmail point com) if you dont know me, or if you have any questions

3. determine your dates and send them to me

4. upon confirmation that those dates work for everone, arrange your travel

5. you might want to know where, exactly, we will be. here are the directions.


There are no deposits since there are no fees, but, you know, honesty and consistency help with not wasting food. So there’s that.

1. Get to Washington State, USA. There is an airport in Seattle (SEA). Some of you might need a Visa. Even Australians!

2. The address is

83 Lost Meadow Lane

Sequim, WA 98382

How about a map?

3. The options to get from Seattle to Sequim are:

– drive your vehicle (either around puget sound, or after taking a ferry across puget sound)

– hitchiking (easy and common during the summer months, and you meet great people — take the ferry to bainbridge and start from there)

– local buses (this only works if you can catch the 3:45pm ferry from seattle to bainbridge. check here and then catch the bus 8 to sequim from “4 corners”)

and — by far the easiest —

– coodinate with me to come get you by coming at the same time as some other people! if you’re coming, then we want to see you and we want to come get you. we just don’t want to spend 4 hours every day in the car, because we have a house to build….

4. Once you get to Sequim, call me or whatever and I’ll come get you. Or you can just skateboard. Uphill. For five miles.

In which I try to condense my thoughts and dreams into simple smarmy sentences. Here’s one attempt (not the last, captain, not the last):



* The Observatory is a space designed to facilitate self-knowledge and harmony.

* We welcome two kinds of activities: Individual sadhana and community-based healing practice

* We commit to provide a peaceful and warm environment, food prepared with love, and unconditional positive regard.

* We respect and seek to practice, through our thoughts and actions, the following four basic principles, and invite all of our guests to do the same :

– Fearlessness


– Humility

– Zero-waste



That’s the vision (click here for the latest updated version). The idea would then be that everyone who comes has a vision as well. Then we can see eye-to-eye (haha). I imagine a kind of choose-your-adventure-personal-contract, perhaps based on a template like this. The personal contract has some dates (it’s like your visa to audacious county of mangolandia) and maybe a wax seal and you can look at it in the morning and feel good about yourself (and, thus, everything).


If this feels like new or fancy to those of you who have known me forever and day, don’t worry. I’m just trying, imperfectly, to condense discipline and anarchy, focus and relaxation, liberty and alignment into one packed grapefruit pink (non-alcoholic) cocktail. Nothing is anything but what it is (It Is Everything). Edits welcome. Mainly in person. (smile)

The idea of having a sort of personal comtract (with, not against) is both an opportunity and a reminder. It’s an opportunity to mark some goals and points of focus for your time at the Observatory, which will then serve as a daily reminder of your purpose. It’s also a reminder for me that my role is to be Excellent and to a create a space for others to Excel and to puruse their dreams, in whatever way they want.


The format is kind of like vows, but temporary and combinatorial. The first seems like a good candidate for “mandatory”, and the rest just depends on why you want to come.


some sample comtracts:

(for everybody)

I, ___________________, acknowledge that I have read and am in the process of understanding the Observatory mission statement, and will direct my efforts and energies towards respecting the founding principles of the Observatory, for the duration of my stay.

signature: ___________________


(for people who want to meditate in a silent cave for a long time)

I, ___________________, undertake sadhana for the duration of my stay, and welcome the Observatory’s loving asssitance in maintaining the following commitments :




signature: ___________________


(for people who want to have some kind of group retreat)

I, ___________________, am here with a community, and commit to participate in community life and to respect community values.

signature: ___________________


(for people who are psyched about helping us build the damn thing to begin with)

I, ___________________, dedicate myself to cooperative effort towards the following projects for the duration of my stay :




signature: ___________________



Then at the end there’s some sort of expiration date and a fancy stamp or something…

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