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Internship, Jordan with Geoff and Nadia Lawton

Posted by Nadia Lawton about 12 years ago

The Dead Sea Valley Permaculture Project (aka Greening the Desert - the Sequel) Internship, Jordan2014

Starts Oct 19, 2014 and runs for 20 day(s).

This is a four week internship at the Dead Sea (or Jordan) Valley Permaculture Project (aka 'Greening the Desert - the Sequel') site. This small project is located in the village of Jawasari on less than 1 acre of ground.

Immerse yourself in a once in a lifetime experience. Come and join us, live and learn about permaculture in the lowest place on earth. 

Some of the subjects that we will cover will be:

- Home garden and school garden design and maintenance
- Food Forests
- Small animal systems
- Large grazing animal system
- Water harvesting
- Broad landscape rehabilitation
- constructing wicking beds
- Worm farms
- Grey water reed beds establishment
- Installing a solar system
- Rocket stove hot water
- Building rocket a rocket stove
- Solar hot water systems
- Fuel wood systems
- House design
- Straw bale mudbrick systems
- Compost production and compost tea
- Biological fertilizer
- Aquaponics
- Nursery systems
- Building a mandala garden

Students will be engaged in the development of the land as a demonstration site and education centre. It has established food forests that will be pruned, chopped and dropped and mulched for early winter maintenance. 

An alternative building on site will be maintained and extended in mud brick and straw bale. 

Small animal systems and natural fertility systems with compost, compost tea and soil pro-biotic systems using animal products, natural fermentation and anaerobic natural fertilizer will be developed.

There will be desert vegetable gardens, a nursery and shade house.

There will be lessons in creating minimum-fuel rocket stove heaters and cookers, rocket stove heaters for hot water and rocket stove kitchen cookers plus food solar dryers created during the project plus much more. 

This is an opportunity to experience a Permaculture Master Plan project in action during the establishment phase.

About the Teachers:

Course instructor: Geoff Lawton 

Geoff Lawton is an internationally-renowned Permaculture educator, consultant and practitioner. He emigrated from England to Australia and later studied Permaculture with Bill Mollison in Tasmania. He established the Permaculture Research Institute at Tagari Farm in New South Wales, Australia, a 147-acre farmstead previously developed by Mollison. PRI was eventually moved to Zaytuna Farm, in The Channon, where it continues today.

Since 1985, Geoff has designed and implemented Permaculture projects in 30 countries for private individuals and groups, communities, governments, aid organizations and multinational corporations. He has taught the Permaculture Design Certificate course and designed Permaculture projects in 30 countries.

Co-instructor: Nadia Lawton 

Nadia Lawton was born and raised in the Jordan Valley, in one of the lowest and driest places on earth. She completed her PDC with Geoff Lawton in Jordan and went on to complete a Permaculture Diploma in Education and Site Design. She regularly travels with her husband for aid project and Permaculture consulting work and assists in teaching Permaculture design courses.


Important information about this course

Requirements: Student must have completed a PDC and provide a certificate as proof.

About the Site

The site is located in the Al Jawfa area in western Jordan, Shouneh Janobieh (i.e., South Shouneh), in the Dead Sea Valley just 10km north of the Dead Sea and 6 km east of the Jordanian-Palestinian border, directly east of the West Bank. 

The local population is made up of traditional Bedouin tribes and long-term refugees stemming from displacement of local populations from within Palestine. The project site is typical of the area - a marginal arid-land low-income settlement. It is currently still under development and upon completion it will demonstrate energy-efficient appropriate housing with natural cooling systems and a plant nursery attachment, solar electricity, solar hot water, biological waste water treatment recycling, dry compost toilets, rain water harvesting earthworks and diverse interactive plant, animal and tree systems for local food production and processing. The demonstration house will function as a classroom and administration office for the project and local Permaculture group. 

Once established, the project will serve as a model that can be replicated within the village, throughout Jordan and other countries in the region.

 The project, started in 2008, has already seen significant progress. The first trees were planted and are growing well and the first garden is producing some vegetables. Now, the water tank needs to be expanded, the fence and gate improved and the rest of the project started. The current focus is to set up basic living accommodations for volunteers coming to work on the project. 

Directions to the Site

From the airport you have two options:

Airport/bus station pick-up: If you register your name with us ahead of time, we can arrange for someone to pick you up, at the airport for a fee of US$42. (This can be shared.)

Airport Taxi to the site: JD$40 approximately. Upon request, we can also email you written directions, in Arabic, so that you can print these off and give these directions to your driver.

Accommodation for the Course

Camping is included in the price of the course. Students must provide their own camping gear including tent, sleeping bag, toiletries, a torch etc. 

Alternative accommodation is in the farm house. It has a limited number of rooms available for rent during the duration of the course. There is one share room for $3JD a day per person. There are four couple rooms for $5JD per person per day. Fees for room renting are paid on arrival to the farm manger. Please per book with the education coordinator at education(at)permaculturenews.org as rooms are limited. 

The house includes a toilet, shower, lounge and kitchen for use by all students (camping or renting).

Catering: Morning/afternoon tea and lunch are supplied to all participants. Breakfast and dinner are self-catered. Students are welcome to use the house kitchen to self-cater. 

Days off - Fridays each week of the internship will be off. You should be prepared to self-cater for these days.

Dinner Shopping: There is a supermarket 5 minutes away by car. The cost for a one way trip to this supermarket is some JD$3-4.

Cultural Sensitivity

The Jordan Valley is home to an ancient and classical civilization that has had many cultures, traditions, and peoples cross through its land and also settle within. International students are requested to be culturally sensitive to the Islamic traditions and Muslim social protocol. A full orientation will be provided.

General Guidelines include:

- Open and receptive attitude toward cross cultural communication
- Willingness to ask questions whenever necessary
- Conservative attire is recommended
- Respecting cultural gender relations
- Sobriety at all times during the PDC course
- Respect for elders, religious traditions and practice, and community leaders
- Not photographing locals without permission, with cautionary emphasis on photographing local women and children

For men this would include:

- Respecting Muslim gender relation etiquette 
- Wearing long shorts at least to the knee
- Wearing shirts at all times
- Not touching or shaking hands of Muslim women without explicit permission
- Not displaying overly intimate affection in public with wife or partner

For ladies this would include:

- Showing respect for oneself 
- Respecting Muslim gender relation etiquette
- Long skirts or pants (Shorts considered offensive)
- Wearing shirts at all times
- Not displaying overly intimate affection in public with husband or partner

What You Will Need

The climate during the course will be dry and warm although the extreme heat of the summer will have passed. 

Recommended to bring:

- Sun Hat and sunglasses
- Good walking or working shoes
- Casual and comfortable clothing - natural fabrics recommended for coolness 
- Sunscreen 
- Water bottle 
- Flashlight/headlamp
- Your own bedding (sheets etc.)
- Ample supply of any needed medications 
- Tent if needed (depending on accommodation option)
- Sleeping bag and hiking mattress if needed
- Sandals 
- Personal toiletries

VISA requirements for entering Jordan

Please download this PDF for details on VISA requirements for Jordan.

For further information for this course please contact [email protected].


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PDC course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Jordan
Date: Dec 1999

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