Vlahi Nature School
Description: Vlahi Nature School is a long-term initiative, based on the principles of sustainable living, volunteering and environmental education. The Nature School is a real place, located in the village of Vlahi, Southwest Bulgaria. Over 12 years of mostly volunteer labour revived the old village school building, using traditional building techniques, combined with modern energy technologies (solar power) in order to create a demonstration and education centre for sustainable lifestyle practices and interaction with wildlife and the environment. The School features dry composting toilets, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation for the garden, integrating the principles of sustainability and permaculture in the design of the garden and all material cycles in and around the school.
Type of Work: The main goal of the workcamp is to renovate the fence around the garden. The volunteers will build a fence with wooden material , several holes for the main fence pillars will be dug. The work is expected to be hard physical work and will be 6 hours a day. As it could be very hot during the day the working schedule will be 4 hours before noon and then 2 hours after a long siesta. (Approximately like this 7.00-11.00 h and then from 17.00 -19.00h) The schedule will depend on the actual weather, but for health and safety it is best to have a mid-day siesta. Finally, we will be working in groups and rotating work, of course.
Study Theme: During the workcamp the volunteers can visit the educational center for large carnivores that is in the village and to meet in person the wolfs and the bears that are part of the center. ☺ Do not worry; the animals are living in an enclosure that is wide and close to the natural conditions of living. Also they can learn about permaculture and its principles.
Accommodation: Will be in I dorm with 14 beds, some of them bunk beds. Please, bring your own sleeping bag. The participants will rotate cooking for the group (please take some ideas or recipes from your national cuisine). Food will primarily be vegetarian. There is a shower available outside in the garden, the water is heated by solar collectors. It is also possible to take a bath in the river nearby.
Language: English, Bulgarian
Requirements: Motivated volunteers ready to live for 14 days in basic conditions and prepared for hard physical work.
Approximate Location: The village of Vlahi, municipality of Kresna, southwestern Bulgaria, at the foothills of the Pirin mountains.Vlahi village is very small and rural. Only 3 people are living permanently there, however many families have summer homes there and it is quite well visited due to other environmental projects happening in the village. It is 500-600 m. altitude; the climate is Continental-Mediterranean.
Notes: There is one-day excursion foreseen to Melnik and Rozhen Monastery, which is about one hour driving from Vlahi village. Rozhen Monastery is the biggest monastery in the Pirin Mountains in southwestern Bulgaria. It is one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries well preserved until today. There is a great view to the town of Melnik and its sand pyramids. Melnik has unique architecture and is known for its wine producing. For the connoisseurs wine degustation could be organized. The excursion will cost between 20-25 Euro.
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