Gaarawè: Observing, connecting, learning

Posted in Blog, Comunità intenzionali ed ecovillaggi

Gaarawè: Observing, connecting, learning

By Mattia Confalonieri

Click here to read Italian version.


I arrive in Bangkok and in the air I notice a familiar perfume of incense. It reminds me of the one I used to burn in my bedroom when I was sixteen. The soup is an explosion of flavors, at every spoonful.

I am grateful for this life and to be able wherever I find myself to perceive its pure essence, the awareness of the moment. I observe the humble souls that fill the kingdom of Thailand. I share with Gaia the essence of what I am.

Interconnection and awareness move our way to more sustainable, more felt and engaged behaviors every moment.

What brings me to Thailand is Gaarawéecovillage community led by Lele and Touch, who with other friends and investors have decided to shape a project of self-sufficiency and sustainability into reality. I got to know it through the Numundo platform for which I cooperate, and surprised by the Italianity of the project, without thinking too much, I asked if they were willing to welcome me as a volunteer.

Not even two weeks and I’m greeted by Lele’s ever-evolving dream.


How everything started?

After a period of community life, observation and participation spent in Italy at Damanhur, living at the Elves Community (Elfi) on the Tuscan Apennines and then guests of the rural community of the Semi Bradi peasants, Lele’s research continues in Thailand where, with the companion Touch, they visit the community of Panya and Maejo-baan-din in Pun Pun. The aim is to help other communities, realities and to create, build harmony and bonds of brotherhood, sharing and helping each other mutually. Lele’s dream becomes reality when after extensive research and exploration of the natural beauty of Thailand he discovers the green oasis where Gaarawé is today situated.

Located in the heart of Khao Sok National Park, a wonderful park with majestic mountains and the oldest rainforest in the world, Gaarawé is nestled between the Thai city of Surat Thani and the well-known southern destinations of Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui.

Daily observationwork-interaction with nature, the study and research of synergy and permaculture techniques have shaped and transformed Gaarawé into a fascinating model of sustainability. The cooperation, the will and the knowledge of the many volunteerstravelersfriends, curious and experienced people have enabled the community to become a laboratory of ideas and self-sufficiency in continuous evolution.

A process of change in which one tries daily to create and develop new lawsand new rules, to the benefit of a system in which the old ones no longer work.


Community Living

The arrival at the village carries with it a breeze of fresh air. In addition to Lele and Touch, stable residents of the village, guests of the village at the time I have visited were Arthur, a French polihedral expert plumber who has been here for more than a month, Arthur and Chloe, a couple of motivated and sympathetic French guys, Pauline, exploring and volunteering around South East Asia. Maajid, another volunteer with Persian origins living in the States, is doing the same, reaching Gaarawè from India through the Workaway platform. There are also Mayra, a sweet and pure shining soul, Brazilian yoga teacher, and Anes, skilled blacksmith from Germany. At every breath I sense the presence of the jungle that reigns supreme at Gaarawé. There is something to learn in every gesture and every action. I observe mindful how the village lives and breath and I flow with it, going to help and assist where it is needed, now in the kitchen where Touch proves to be an excellent cook and coordinator, now in the gardens where I distribute compost where it serves. As the days pass by the initiative will takes over the observation and practice, a spontaneous transition.



After more than a year spent working crafting experience inside the office in Hanoi I’m glad to have come here. In addition to having reinvigorated mindand spirit, I am aware of a great inner peace reaching my self, and I feel a growing desire and pull for participatory community life. Each day allows you to try out different tasks, searching freely for what mirrors your self the most. Observing in contemplation this earthly paradise I realize the time needed by the mind to enter a new mental pattern. As soon as the connection with the new reality is perceived you becomes part of it.

The hectar of Gaarawé’s inclusive and participatory reality is in constant transformation. The interaction and participation of man with nature leads him to benefit from the abundant nutrition that it gives him. The daily goal here at the village is to create an ecologically healthy and economically prosperous human community that takes care of the land and people, sharing their fruits. They do Permaculture.

If someone came from another planet asking “What do you do here in Gaarawé?”, The spontaneous answer would be “creating alternatives for a more sustainable world”. “We believe in change, the constant and natural passage of time.”

Gaarawé is a conscious reality that works for the creation of sustainable development for the community and neighboring villages. The main objective is to create a self-sufficiency economy based on sharing and participation.

Nobody forces you to do something. Do not ask how to do it. Look, take action, get involved. Try again. Invent. Experiment and process.

The most important moments at the village I think are those of conversation, those of human contact. Being seated around the table, in the garden picking sugarcane, in the kitchen baking bread, they are able to create harmony and community connection, animating spirits. They are growthobservationparticipation and inspiration.

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Living alive in nature allows you to learn from her daily, increasing self-sufficiency, and awareness, of the all, and nothing.

In my opinion it is essential to integrate activities in gardenspermacultureand natural building courses with the study and development of technologiescreated and developed by man so that he and nature can coexist in harmony.


I’ll be back!

After having spent nearly a month living in Gaarawé I am immensely gratefulfor what I’ve learned and shared. I deeply thanks Lele for having been a community life father, giving me lectures on collective economy, science, permaculture, hospitality management, health, cooking and above all life, a multifaceted hearty soul. My gratitude also goes to Touch, whom with love prepares daily delicious food and cakes. In addition to being a cookie she is a professional Thai masseuse, one of the top 10 here in Thailand. I look forward to return and learn from her the art of Thai massage.

Each one of the people I met has handed me and taught me something, by observing you learn, from each gesture, every action. You designs, process and work together supporting each other. Another special thanks to Mayra for the serenity and inner peace scattered in every action and to all the other people met, adventure companions, to infuse my self vitality, spirit of participation and motivation.

I invite anyone interested in living a participativeeducational and community-based experience to not hesitate and come visit this corner of paradise.

See you soon Gaarawé!

We are different and diverse are the ways and forms in which we express ourselves. Within each one of us lies essential energy, within it lies everything we need to be happy and complete.

We are one in essence!