Kia ora, I’m Amy Dodds, a 28-year-old from Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Like a typical New Zealander, I grew up camping in the bush, hiking in the forest, swimming in rivers and the ocean, and dancing around a bonfire. This is what made me the adventurous, nature-loving person I am today and given me the desire to protect the wilderness that belongs to the enviromental world.
I graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors in Anthropology and Media Studies and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Book Publishing. Anthropology fuelled my curiosity for what we can learn from other cultures and made me challenge our norms. Interested in how we communicate our cultural stories, I worked for four years in the book publishing industry, honing my critical lens and ability to look at detail.
A few years ago, I put my career in books on the shelf to pursue a journey into self-discovery. I travelled to Thailand and India, and within my own country, visiting permaculture farms and studying yoga and meditation. This experience allowed me to see the connection between permaculture and mindfulness: they encouraged me to take the time to be still, to observe, interact and ultimately appreciate that we are inseparable from nature.
My travels reinforced community living as a long-term project. Two years ago, I helped create a communal home, where I lived with 10 like-minded friends. Here I have experienced the power that a sense of belonging has on personal growth. At Rancho Mastatal I hope to explore and experience new ways of living in a loving community.
I have come to Rancho Mastatal to pull the threads of my learnings and weave them together. I want to live in harmony with the environment and respect its limits. I am hoping to absorb new knowledge and experiences to become a change-maker in my own community.