Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Friday, March 23, 2012


SANY1025 Tragedies happen, unfortunately, and this week saw one in our village.

One of the boys in Leo's class lost his father three years ago in a river flood. Last week his mother died too. There are four children now orphaned.

The kids have been taken into new homes. Three of them (aged 1 1/2, 8, 10) have moved in with relatives who have no children of their own. And Leo's friend (aged 6) is now living with a different relative (because they are particularly close), who has several other children. The two homes are near to each other, so it is almost like staying together.

SANY1028 Both families are very poor, so we all got together to see if we could help with the practicalities of a swelled household. The kinder garden moms went round all their neighbors asking for contributions. Our village consists of about 50 households, between two and thee hundred individuals. It is not a rich community, and yet people did not hesitate to give. The response was overwhelming. You can't really tell from the photo just how much food was given, but it filled bags and bags and bags. The picture of the back of my truck was just half of it, as everything was divided between the two households.

Abe posted this story on his facebook and was equally overwhelmed by people wanting to give. Mailing stuff to us is not an easy thing, but if you want to help, find someone locally that needs it (I'm sure there is no shortage, no matter where you live). The silver lining of this story, for us at least, is a deep pride in knowing that our community cares and will come together when the need arises. Hopefully that will count for something for these kids.

Monday, March 12, 2012


SANY0835 We had a visit at the beginning of the month from a few friends from where we used to live. Among them was our dearest friend, Cynta, the lady who in fact performed our marriage ceremony.

It was great seeing them all. Terlinguoids are the easiest of house guests. They are very low demand, bringing all their own bedding and happy with anything. It was a fun visit, and Leo of course loved the extra attention.


SANY0795 A couple of weeks ago we smoked the hams and bacon from the pig we butchered. They had been curing for 2 weeks and they came out absolutely delicious.

SANY0826 Abe made us a smoker beforehand. It is cut into a hill. The fire area is downhill, with bricks around it and backfilled with dirt. There is a piece of stovepipe that leads rom the back of the fire box to a levelled out area uphill. Over the top of the stove pipe is a metal barrel with top and bottom cut off. He made a rack for the meat that sits inside the barrel and a lid to cover it. The smoker worked great.

For photos of it's construction, click here.

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