Hi Family and friends! I wanted to give a short update on what I have been up to here in Paraguay! Today, a woman asked me, “Michelle, is Christmas the same day in America as it is here?” I wanted to just down right judge her and be like, is your birthday the same day in America and Africa? Of course and then I started thinking you know what Michelle, only God knows what day Baby Jesus really was born on. So, I have been getting caught up with so many facts that I totally missed the true reason why the World celebrates Christmas. We all have our own country traditions but we all celebrate for the same reason. As we are nearing Christmas and New Years I have been listening to good old Christmas music and have adorned my beautiful charlie brown tree with misfit ornaments because that is what I am used to. But when Christmas comes around I pray that we are all reminded of the birth of the greatest miracle, Christ, laying in a manger with smelly cows, goats and pigs praising the Savior of the World. (I think I count as one of the smelly, sweaty pigs =)
On a work note:
Because Bio-intensive, permaculture, sustainability and a well balanced life style is a lot of what we intend to learn, share and instill within the Paraguayan life style, I have been trying to think of ideas that I can also take back with me to the states.
For those of you that know me well, I am terrified of bee keeping, especially when they are called AFRICAN KILLER BEES. It just sounds terrifying but being out in the garden almost everyday has practically taught me to be more tranquilo around them because they serve a huge purpose aside from just my honey cravings. I have now graduated to helping harvest honey until the first person gets stung. For the summer harvest my contact gifted me the bee wax. Being apart of a sustainable cycle, the wax can be used for a number of household uses such as lip balm, soap making, preserving cheese and candles! So, I decided to take on the candle project and it has been a true success!
How I see this, as a sustainable project is that not only are you using the honey, the wax and the candle, but also as one is burning the candle the flame is burning negative ions are being emitted. Negative ions are attracted to positive ions, which hold things such as mold and dust. The polluted positive ions are now paired with negative ions leaving the positive ions heavy causing them to drop. In so doing, the air is filtered and cleaned! Happy candle making y’all!
~Various Glass Jars – Marmalada, café…
~Candle Wicks – May be found at the store where you buy Soap Making Products in ASU
~Clean Bee Wax
~ Cheese Cloth
~ 2 large pots (that you do not mind destroying)
~ 1 stick (for stirring)
~ A thermometer
1. Prepare your workspace; lay out newspapers, pots, cheesecloth, candlewicks and thermometer.
2. Tape wicks to the bottom of each container.
3. Melt down your wax but do not let it get hotter then 300 degrees F.
4. Using your cheesecloth to clean any debris in wax pour wax into designated jars, plastic cups, sand (with a prepared hollow center in the middle to pour wax into).
5. Wait for the wax to re-solidify while positioning the wick to be centered in the middle using sticks/ pencils on both sides of the wick.
6. Light your new organic creation and have peace of mind that while you are burning your candle it is a cleaner burn and is purifying the air at the same time! All at the same time take in the sweet smell of nectar from the flowers in the honeycomb and of course the smell of honey!