Emancipator – Dusk till dawn

With only a day left at Barefoot College it is time for a recap. What have I done? What accomplished?

With no sense of time left what so ever it is hard to piece together the past two weeks. But I have the scratches and blisters to help me.


3 blisters on my right had from cutting plastic into pieces [Report #1]. 4 or 5 blisters on my left hand from chopping wood. Scratches and sting marks from setting up a compost. Coal dust still sticking under my nails from … well … making coal [Report #2]. Sun bleached hair, the pattern of my sandals dirt and sun burned in my feet. Plus countless burn marks from the experiments with the solar cooker. I barely noticed them in the end. Once I got so caught up in my experiment that I didn’t notice that my pants were set on fire by the concentrated sun rays. Good times.


I decided to put two of my reports on the blog in hope to receive more ideas for further development.

Barefoot asks everyone to name three things they learned, relearned and unlearned. So here I go:

l learned to be (more) inclusive in my thoughts, developments and experiments. In a community that is vital – especially if you want it to benefit the community. You can’t just make something and then expect everyone to understand or accept it. You won’t even get it done at all without including the community. At first it seems like including more people and their opinions is slowing down and frustrating the process. And it does – well kind of. It will take time to get to the next step but this prevents you from tunnel vision and shooting of in one direction. And when you let go and trust then you will be surprised. The shared responsibility gives you more rest in your head. Others will think of things you forgot. And there will be unexpected ideas given to you, with as bonus the joy of the givers when they see their idea accepted and implemented.

I relearned that the solutions and the technologies to solve our problems are all there. It is all possible. What lacks is the will, the environment, the mindset to implement them.

I unlearned to have a hot shower every day.


I learned how to do basic masonry and hindi.

I relearned to read a book with relish.

I unlearned to doubt my capabilities.


I learned to appreciate good and diverse food to an extend never known to me before. Try eating chapati, rice and daal with some veg three times a day for a couple weeks and then go somewhere else and have a four cheese pizza and a mint lemonade. Then you’ll fully understand what I mean.

I relearned to go with the flow.

I unlearned to eat meat (except chicken).


Tomorrow morning the train will take me to Jaipur. And from there I will go south. I won’t leave India just yet. But end of January I will, I have too. By now I have totally given up on my originally route to travel around the world. I just follow the possibilities to learn and see. So I travel around in the world.


All photos (except indicated differently) in this blog are my own and are not allowed to be used without my explicit permission.