ISSN 1108-8931


Year 6 - Issue 62

Sponsored by: Zante Feast Holidays

Ranweli Holiday Village starts implementing ECOCLUB-sponsored project

As you know, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of ECOCLUB, we held our first annual Ecolodge project competition, the ECOCLUB Ecolodge Award 2004. Our Members chose the project by Ranweli Holiday Village of Sri Lanka, as the winner of our first Award. Ranweli proposed the creation of an organic vegetable plot and green house in school premises close to the Lodge. The all-girl school has over one thousand students. 

The project implementation is closely monitored, and details, including photos, is posted on-line at as soon as it is made available to ECOCLUB.

Progress so far is impressive. On the 20th of July 2004, Mr. Chandra de Silva, CEO/Director of Ranweli visited the School with project manager Mr Vijitha Nugegoda and a team of staff from Ranweli Holiday Village. They had a discussion with the principal and the school staff, and explained to them the rational of the project, declaring that "an important component of ecotourism is the welfare of the community", and that with this project they aimed "to reach the community through the children".

The following pictures are from that visit (click to enlarge):

Mr. Chandra de Silva CEO/Director and members of the project team discussing with the school principal. The school green house
(to be upgraded by the project) with the children who will assist the Ranweli team in the project .
The grounds on which the vegetable beds will be laid. The compost pit as it is at present.

Mr Chandra de Silva On the 29th of July, a one-day workshop for students from the school and other schools took place at the local Town Hall, attended by 570. Mr Chandra de Silva gave the keynote address on "Ecotourism, Organic Agriculture and the Community: the link". The workshop was followed by a traditional dance recital by the students of the school in appreciation of Ranweli's & ECOCLUB's sponsorship.


Pensão Gurué family grows!

Congratulations to Peter & Lourdes of Pensão Gurué (Ecolodge Members, Mozambique) on the birth of twins, Naomi and Mauro, born on June 26.


New Ecolodge Member in North Carolina

Cedar House Inn & Yurts is ideal as your base for exploring the North Georgia mountains, wineries, vineyards, and the Appalachian Trail. Choose between staying at the tasty two-story cedar structure or choose a Yurt for even more nature and privacy. The Inn is designed using passive solar principles and with many ecological features such as composting toilets, low-electricity lighting and bio-intensive techniques in the garden. The inn was a life-long dream for your hosts Fred and Mary Beth. Mary Beth is still teaching fourth grade at the local elementary school, but always finds time to make the better part of your home-cooked breakfast at the inn. Fred has now left his career in senior housing and serves as host, manager, and construction coordinator at the inn. He's looking forward to taking over some of the cooking responsibilities !


New Expert Member in Texas.

We welcome Mr Pablo Aguiar, Home Designer, based in San Antonio Texas, and head of Ecohut Home Designs. Mr Aguiar's expertise is in designing unique living or housing structures for the Coastal zone of Texas which are environmentally conscious thought sketches and final scaled working drawings, suitable for developing eco communities and Ecolodges in remote zones.


Making Headlines: Tree Tops Jungle Lodge

Jeremy Head in an article called 'Unforgettable', for Wanderlust Magazine, p. 87, August/September 2004, reviews Tree Tops Jungle Lodge (Ecolodge Members, Sri Lanka).
"One night the Intercontinental, the next a mud hut, drinking neat Black Label Scotch with Lars, the owner of Tree Tops. We were talking about wild elephants: there are 2500 of them in Sri Lanka these days, a fraction of the 12,000 found at the beginning of the 20th century. Although these remarkable beasts hold a special place in Sri Lankan culture, their future isn't assured. It's illegal to shoot elephants, but it happens. And if you'd mortgaged your house to buy seed and an elephant was eating your crops, what would you do? The very existence of the local people is threatened - and, in response, the lives of the elephants too. It was pitch black outside as a storm approached. Lars thought he heard an elephant so we immediately extinguished the lights in order not to frighten it. After a moment I heard branches breaking and a kind of chomping sound. Lightning forked across the tree tops and I tried to make out something - anything - in the instant of ultra-brightness. There was more crashing and whooshing…"


Making Headlines: Zante Feast Holidays

Marlene Spieler writing in the San Fransisco Chronicle in an article entitled "The Roving Feast" reviews Zante Feast Holidays (Sponsor Members, Greece) and Zante's thriving culinary traditions.

Excerpt: " The Greek-born Kitrilakis is devoted to Greek culinary traditions. A Bay Area resident for many years, he founded the Peloponnese product line, helping to introduce Northern California cooks to exquisite olives and olive oils. He and Jolley are now doing the same with Greek artisanal cheeses. Several times a year in their Zakynthos home, Kitrilakis and Jolley offer a week dedicated to traditional foods and sustainable agriculture - in other words, the everyday, every-season life of a Greek village. It is a project of the heart - a wonderful opportunity for guests to be welcomed into the kitchens and tables across the island...Traditional Greek village life is about more than the food, no matter how delicious it might be, or about its production, regardless of how sustainable. Traditional Greek village life is about sharing and sociability. By the time our island week was over, we couldn't walk down a street without seeing someone we had met, stopping for a few words, a nod, a smile. Combined with all that olive oil and garlic, I could live this way forever."



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