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Friday, January 18, 2019

New year, new tack

It has been just over a year since I last posted. But, my new voiceover mentor, Randy Thomas, tells me I am a, "Fascinating, worldly woman," who, "Needs a regularly updated blog." Well the voice of The Academy Awards©, The Emmy Awards©, The SAG Awards©, and The AFI Awards©, to name a few, is probably best heeded. (Sometimes I cannot even believe the company I am allowed to keep these days.)

In the past thirteen months, I have:

Found my dream occupant of my orchard (after which this blog is named), Modie Pathfinder. Modie is a beekeeper from Egypt, and is producing honey on the land! My little farm project is now officially the United Nations of Ecuadorean agriculture. Modie hopes to one day buy the land from me. In the mean time, another trip down there in the next year or two is likely in order.
Met The Love of My Life, Jake, on bikes on a street corner in West Hollywood. Long, romantic story, but in short - my ($3500 custom-built) bike broke down, he rode by, I called for help, we fell in love. We celebrated our anniversary last month, Dec. 11 - we met on the birthday of my best friend, Mimi Moss.
Oh, sweet Mimi. When I started studying Death Midwifery w/ Sacred Crossings Death Midwives and hospice with The Twilight Brigade 4 years ago, I never imagined that my first client would be my best friend. After an intense 3-year struggle with breast cancer, we lost Mimi from this realm in May. I was with her up until minutes before she died, and it was hands-down the most sacred thing I have ever experienced.
~ After losing Mimi, LA just didn't feel the same. She was much of the reason I left Ecuador 2 years ago, and returned to the bustle of Hollywood. Jake never did much care for Los Angeles, and his job at UCLA had just ended, so we loaded up the truck and we moved to...
~ Minneapolis, where we bought an adorable house, where our monthly payments are less than Jake was paying for his one-room studio, in Miracle Mile.
Home Sweet Home
(We're also renting out our upstairs on AirBnB, if you know anyone heading to Minneapolis for a visit! Jake makes our guests a killer, restaurant-quality breakfast.)
~ Shortly after moving home, I enrolled in Adaptive Yoga training, through Mind Body Solutions. I'm now teaching adaptive, restorative and senior yoga at yoga studios around Minneapolis, including Svasti Yoga & Nokomis Healthy Seniors.

As for my VO career, 2018 was a slow year, since I was just getting my VO bearings back after South America, and then was homeless (studioless?) of sorts until we bought our place in August. Now, it is showing signs of a full recovery - especially since Jake helped me trick out a sweet home studio here in our new digs. I've got a lot of irons in many fires, and will report some of my most exciting bookings here over the coming months...


It can get a little lonely here in the home studio, so please feel free to write back with your updates. Better still, comment on the blog, below!


Finally, this is a painting of Mimi I commissioned a few years ago:

Doesn't do her beauty justice, but I'm glad I had it done. Love ya forever, li'l sister.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

We have aerial drone footage, y'all. Look how pretty!


Orchard is still on the market. All the info is here:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/TerraNovaDeCorazon/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1039505202800389

Shoot me a message here or at Cat(at)CatherineCampion.com for more information.
I offer a generous finders fee to anyone who brings me a buyer!

Monday, March 13, 2017

An interview on Expat Sandwich

For those of you who have been wondering, “What the heck happened down in Ecuador??,” here is a beautifully-crafted 20-minute interview that summarizes why I got the hell out of South America:  http://expatsandwich.com/episode-002-ecuador-catherine-camp…
(hint: it includes drugs, rapes, murders, broken bones, fire & earthquakes)

(Love that groovy graphic)

7 months later and the farm is still on the market. There have been a few viewings, but no offers.

Here's that listing: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TerraNovaDeCorazon/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1039505202800389
Happy to pay a commission to anyone who finds me a buyer. (Just don't let them listen to the podcast - ha!)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Packing up my cacao nibs and going home

What a loooooooong strange trip it's been.
After nearly 3 years of the adventure of owning my orchard down in Ecuador, I've decided to return to Europe - probably Ireland, but considering Spain (now that I speak Spanish!), England & The Netherlands - to continue my end-of-life care studies. I won't be able to focus on my masters program and manage the farm from thousands of miles away, so I'm selling and investing the funds into a few years of serious study. Considering a thesis on something along the lines of "Ancient Celtic traditions of death and dying," then incorporating them into my practice. Wouldn't you love to hear celtic harp, whistle and fiddle as you lie by your turf fire and transition to the other side? (or, we could offer a wailing banshee, if you prefer)
Feel free to message me if you want more deets on my schedule/plans/whereabouts for the next few months. (Which are, of course, ever evolving)
Thanks for all of your support, my amazing, loving, generous friends - especially those of you who made it down to Terra Nova de Corazón, to help me survive my first year of living here! I'm here through August, if anyone wants to experience it while you can...

Here's the listing, if you know anyone looking for a new adventure:
FINCA/ORCHARD FOR SALE IN MANGLARALTO
Terra Nova de Corazón
1.1 Hectare Orchard/Food Forest covered in dozens of varieties of Mature Fruit Trees in Manglaralto, Ecuador

11,000 m2 lot (just under 3 acres)
3 structures:
- 10x10m blue-roofed structure enclosed with bamboo and mosquito netting has kitchen/dining area with tile floor downstairs, and loft/bedroom/yoga studio with wood floor above;
- 2-story white concrete building has bathroom/shower downstairs, bedroom/office + bamboo loft upstairs;
- newly constructed 3-story/split- level bamboo "treehouse" has 3x3m floors, with high ceilings and gorgeous views.
Entirely new electrical system installed in 2016, including transformer
Private well with pump and pressure tank
2000 liter rainwater collection system
Riverfront Property
Over 20 varieties of mature fruit trees
Prepared garden beds
Chicken coop
4 km (2.5 mi) to Manglaralto beach
6 km to Montañita
$25/m2 $275,000 - FINANCING AVAILABLE
Please email me with questions: cat(at)catherinecampion.com

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Update from Ecuador, 3 days post earthquake

Since I have received dozens of concerned messages from friends and family around the globe, I figured I should let everyone know what is happening here on the ground. We had a massive 7.8 earthquake here (and several smaller), Saturday night. We at Terra Nova de Corazón are 5 hours south of the epicenter, but it took down buildings and highways 10 hours away. Ecuador hadn't seen a quake like this for 40 years.
We are safe here in Manglaralto, although all three of our buildings withstood some structural damage, which will need repair - including our new bamboo house* in the trees, scheduled to be completed this week. What Terra Nova is offering to the cause is *housing (hoping to find a family or two who needs a safe place until they can rebuild their lives) & some produce from our orchard. It occurs to me that if everyone in Ecuador who has a spare room or apartment could offer it to a family in need, everyone would be better off. I am slowed down by the broken foot I sustained while rescuing a small goat from the jaws of a street dog two weeks ago, but my support network is strong, and I will be eternally grateful to them.
In case your local news outlets are not showing the extent of the damage, I have included a photo album that depicts it quite well. This is a serious crisis for a country already hard hit by economic decline (due in no small part to declining oil prices and tourism). The annual income here is under $6k/year. Outdated and ill-maintained infrastructure leads to even greater suffering in a time of natural disaster. 
I'm a longtime member of Pachamama Alliance, so if you feel compelled to give financially, please do so here: http://www.pachamama.org/pa/ecuador-earthquake-relief (They've already met their goal, but I know all of the funds will make it to the relief effort.)
If you want to help me & Terra Nova personally, all we really need are hands. If any more (thank you, Amanda!) of my generous, skilled, hardworking friends want to take a working vacation in South America...now would be a great time. You know I'll feed you well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bamboo Treehouse workshops, commencing this month!

(Sorry to everyone who received a virtually illegible blog posting yesterday. I needed to make the letters light, to be read on the dark background of the blog, but I obviously went a few shades too far!)

BIG NEWS:

We are getting ready to host our first of many workshops on sustainable living. We soon have two architects (from Scotland and Italy) coming from 2 years of building with bamboo in Asia. This workshop will be bamboo TREEHOUSE building! Planning to start March 28, until we complete the build - probably 6-8 weeks. Join us for a week, or stay for the two months. Don't worry if you can't attend the entire time - our maestros will go over what you miss.
Building this tree house gives us the opportunity to learn about every stage of the design and building process from the ground up. The workshop won't just be a lesson on theory, but a chance to get practical hands on experience with the worlds most interesting species of grass. We will cover every aspect of the building process, from the foundation to the eaves of the roof. Through on-site lessons, we will learn to use the right tools to achieve both traditional and modern bamboo construction methods, while also learning the theory of these methods and why bamboo is such a sustainable building material.


Because we are a new community, building as we go, we don't yet have formal housing. Camping, hammocks, mattresses (with access to kitchen, toilet, shower, wifi, etc.) are available to participants. Vegetarian lunch will be prepared each work day and breakfast foods will be available to those staying on-site. Top-notch accommodations (A/C, wifi, pool, breakfast) can be had across the street at Hostería Arandú.

All of our classes, workshops, events, etc. will be donation/sliding-fee. We are asking just $150/week to cover participants meals and leaders' transportation. No one turned away for lack of funds. Because these architects don't speak much Spanish, this workshop will be conducted in English. Our next workshop, earth home construction (June/July), will be bilingual!

If you or anyone you know would like to join us, or if you have questions:
WhatsApp: +16129900046
Ecuador mobile: 0980096331
Cat@catherinecampion.com

Follow our more frequent updates here: https://www.facebook.com/TerraNovaDeCorazon

Monday, December 14, 2015

The thought of an end to all flight is unbearable.

Two years ago this week, I bought a one-way ticket to Ecuador, with my life savings standing by, and the intention to purchase a little piece of land, where I could grow some food, and learn about living closer to the earth, surrounded by nature. I didn't have a clear vision of what the place would become, but I simply felt compelled to work towards realizing this project.

Tomorrow, I leave for Ecuador, again with a one-way ticket, but no real plans to return to the US. Other than, maybe to get my kitty, Chimney Sweep, if no one is able to bring her to me.

I still have no clear idea of what purpose Terra Nova will serve in my new community near the coast, lined up and down with fishing/surfing towns. Just some imaginings...

I am feeling supremely supported by a bunch of angels on the ground in Ecuador:
my fiends, Chris & Johnny, who recently moved to Quito from LA, with their 95 year-old mother;
Philip Baker (and his beautiful family), a colleague of my sister, who grows/exports chiles;
Rebeca, a friend in Salinas my mother recently adopted into our big, extended family;
Todd, my hero in Olón, who has made several trips to the finca, taking photos & videos to keep me up to date with what is going on on my land;
Noelia, my Argentine real estate agent, without whom I would've never found Terra Nova;
My first four volunteers for setting up Terra Nova - Mark (my buddy in Hollywood), Ted (retired builder moving from Vermont to Ecuador today), Kelley (like me, a former Angelina who grew tired of the Hollywood grind), and Kasijani, whom we found on The Poosh, and who shares a birthday with me (stop by Terra Nova January 6, if you wanna celebrate with us!);
Monica Rivendiera, of Eagle Condor Farm;
and most of all, Diego, in Guayaquil, who has taken 3 weeks off work to be of service to Terra Nova - serving as translator, driver, host, moral support & dear friend.

To those of you following this blog down in Ecuador, please drop me a line. If you're ever on the coast, I'd love to meet you all. To those in the US (I imagine I know most of you personally), COME VISIT! Best ways to reach me (in descending order): WhatsApp, Skype, text my 612#, email, PM on FB, phoning my 612# (a little spendy).

Gotta get back to packing, weighing luggage, cuddling my kitty goodbye, etc. It's cold here in LA this week (lows in the 30s and damp), so I'm looking quite forward to more pleasant climes...


“Yes, it was too late, and Sabina knew she would leave Paris, move on, and on again, because were she to die here they would cover her up with a stone, and in the mind of a woman for whom no place is home the thought of an end to all flight is unbearable.” 
― Milan KunderaThe Unbearable Lightness of Being