This is how we spent the rest of the year...:
We hitchhiked from Twin Oaks into Charlottesville and took a train to Charlotte, North Carolina, to visit a family we had met online. They invited us to come stay for two weeks to just hang out and see if we liked each other. We had many things in common like being vegan, nursing older children (she was nursing a 3 1/2 year old and an 18-month old!), trying to live sustainably, wanting to live communally, etc. We spent our days playing with the children, checking out downtown Charlotte and the library. We (the grown ups, at least) got along well and discussed our many interests and inspirations for the future.
From Charlottesville we hitched a ride (and got many cash and religious pamphlet offers, though we accepted none) and spent two nights in Asheville in less-than-lovely motels just to check out the town we had heard was progressive. While walking around we saw one after another 'alternative' shops and their big food co-op. We looked at the 'for rent' signs at the co-op and made some phone calls, playing with the idea of sticking around, but nothing worked out. So since we had no reason to stick around any longer and had no cheap place to stay, we continued on our way.
Hitching a ride from Asheville and eventually into Knoxville we had to figure out where the youth hostel was. People on the street whom we asked kept wanting to give us directions to the mission. Eventually we got directions and made it to the cute little house-turned-hostel where we got a room full of bunk beds all for ourselves. We checked out all the tourist information, chatted with the woman who was managing the house, and went out to check out the nearby food co-op. Since the weather was dark and dreary we decided to leave the next day.
Our first night in Louisville started out a bit stressful because the hostel (a woman who rents out her basement) we had planned to stay at had been rented out, which we only found out after taking a bus all the way out there. So we took a city bus to the area that the bus driver said there would be many cheap motels and found a good deal for a weekly stay. During the week OfeK was able to work on his internet projects, while Momo and Erika explored Louisville. They found a few good thrift stores, bought some winter clothes, found a waterfront park to play in, and the library, and of course, the closest natural food store. Our week soon came to an end and we left on a one-car night train to Chicago, where we connected to Milwaukee and then took a bus to Appleton, Wisconsin.
Arriving at the Saraf's house we had a great feeling to finally be with family again. We were welcomed with open arms and felt right at home. For the next six weeks we became part of the family and had a grand time.
We went to a friend's house for a vegan Thanksgiving dinner with Moroccan Tangine being the centerpiece and had a backyard campfire afterwards.
We watched Shai and Moishik build an electric go-cart and OfeK directed a 9-minute movie about the process.
We all helped out with housework...
With lots of time left over for playing..
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