Herbalist meets Perma.Cuba

Be a part of the journey a young herbalist must take in order to change the world one plant at a time! Cuba has decided to open its "doors" to the world for the International Permaculture Convergence and I am flocking there! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience first hand how a community of people, no matter how large, can work together for the benefit of all. I am very much interested in conservation and the holistic well-being of the planet, the plants (as well as animals), and the people. One of the most authentic and innate ways to bring health into balance is through plants as food and as medicine. Attending the conference in Cuba will allow me to experience first hand how people can move a country into holistic health through food and healthcare which would then ripple out into the community in so many countless ways.

Several years ago when I was involved with the SRJC's sustainable ag department, I went to a movie night at a local coffee shop in Petaluma. It was about How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. I immediately fell in love with Cuba and with the idea that we too could make it without the heavy use of pesticides, chemicals, etc. That night sparked a love in my heart and a longing for Cuba.

Since then, my journey has carried me down many different paths, all so very rewarding. I have been so blessed to have always provided the opportunities to do the things my heart longs for. I have owned my own nursery. I have worked on farms. I have traveled to Costa Rica, Germany, and France.

This year has been a big year for me in the way that I have fulfilled another major aspiration/dream I've had for years and that is to be an Herbalist by way of the California School of Herbal Studies. Friday, November 8th, that dream was completed and has opened up a deeper understanding of the plant world I have chosen to be my main focused lens.

In the heat of summer, I met someone who is now a sweet friend and my travel companion for this trip, told me that there is a Permaculture Convergence happening in Cuba this year and the rest is herstory. ;)

I feel so blessed to have supported so many of the people in my life in so many different ways in living out their dreams and watching as those dreams ripple out to essentially change the world. It's an incredible process and I love living it and I love watching it lived in others. As much as I would have been proud of my Self for fully funding my dreams coming true, I realize that community support is necessary for each individual's success. One of the biggest lessons that has been presented to me the last year is to ask for help. So after much internal debate, here I am being bold, stretching out of my comfort zone, and asking for your help.

Here is where you come in: from now (11/11/13) until December 3rd, I will be accepting your generocity and will be presenting you with my presented exchange (according to your plant). I leave on NOVEMBER 21 and would like to have the majority of the money by then because I will need it for traveling, however, I will be using some of the money for expenses being incurred while I am away which I will need help with as well.

Thank you in advance for your loving support! Every bit counts and is MONUMENTAL. I am truely blessed to have such amazing people surrounding me.

Sondra Elyse
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Sondra Gilbert 
Santa Rosa, CA
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