Living in their van for months, Laurent and Audrey have already met with Transition groups in Berkeley, Port Townsend and other places. The plan was for them to stay in Pasadena for three weeks while they learned from us and documented our Transition ways and words to share with others on their website and maybe in a documentary. But first they wanted to get involved with our projects.
At our November Transition Pasadena Steering Committee meeting, we welcomed Laurent and Audrey with a potluck dinner. One member spoke about needing support with Transition Pasadena computer stuff. (HTML was mentioned!) Laurent said, “I can help you.” Another member, Michiko Lynch, asked if Laurent and Audrey could help with Green Circle on the first Wednesday in December; another, Ginko Lee, needed help with a Tiny House Party on December 10. The answer was always, “Yes.”
Talk about getting involved immediately!
Audrey and Laurent kept their promises. They helped us with our website problem and with putting our newsletter on new feet. At Green Circle at the Altadena Farmers’ Market, they helped set up chairs and tables, and Audrey, who is a musician, played her accordion. They went to the Altadena Library because Transition Pasadena member Peter Kalmus was talking about his new book, “Being the Change.” And at the Tiny House Party, Laurent took pictures and filmed while Audrey staffed the selfie station.
Laurent and Audrey work in the summer in Canada. Audrey was a community organizer in France. For a while, she also worked with disabled people. Having decided to travel a little around Canada, she discovered Quebec City and stayed six years. Why? Because she joined the Time Bank where she found a new way of living and met Laurent.
Laurent traveled for two years in South America, worked for a bank in Quebec, quit his job and volunteered at the Time Bank, which he loved doing. He started a local currency and continued, as he says, “to work less, have way less money but much more life.” A crowd-funding campaign allowed them to buy a laptop computer and the “works” on the roof of the van: room for storage, a solar oven, a dehydrator and a garden on the roof for food.
“Horizon Transition” is a huge undertaking. What inspired them? According to Laurent they were lacking information and resources in Quebec. They decided to visit other groups, to learn from them and to share what they were learning through articles and videos. Eventually, they want to create an online resource tool on their website and, maybe, a bigger documentary film.
We wish them bonne chance!
— Sylvia Holmes