Notes from Windward: #66

the Pioneer Log, April 14, 2006

Student earns internship in intentional community

by Wendy Dwyer

     As the school semester comes to an end and many seniors are scrambling for jobs and career opportunities, one senior at least has a head start on what they want to do after college. Sarah Mackay ('07), a foreign languages major, has been accepted for a Windward Center Sustainable Living Internship when she graduates.

Sarah Mackay ('07) has been accepted for a Windward Center Sustainable Living Internship where she'll be working on solar cooking equipment that can be used in third world countries

     Windward is an intentional community in South Central Washington, close to the Columbia River and 80 miles from Portland. This summer they are accepting five or six interns with Mackay being one of the first three chosen.

     It's a small, largely sustainable community that is committed to building working models of a variety of sustainable systems in order to show that appropriate technology is viable, affordable and practical.

     When they are living off their own resources, they find ways to make money in interesting ways. "Windward hosts hippy weddings, Norse weddings, and things like that to earn money for the community," confessed Mackay.

     Mackay found out about the program over the Lewis & Clark Environmental Studies website. She found the application process very easy and informal. "They just want people to be real," she said. At the first meeting, they were very friendly and excited about her application. Most applicants are male, and they strive for a diverse group of people. Once accepted they now include her in the process of choosing the other interns.

Sarah Mackay ('07) in the Dominican Republic in 2005

     When asked why she decided to live on a commune right out of college, she answered readily on how it will help obtain her long term goals. "I would like to know the hands-on skills sustainable living provides. My goal is to go into the Peace Corps and those kinds of skills are useful for that kind of stuff."

     She is very excited for her experience. "It's not your ordinary type of thing. There is such a variety of things to do; such flexibility," Mackay said.

     While at Windward, one of Mackay's focuses is looking at solar cooking equipment that can be used in third world countries. She'll be developing solar ovens that don't require wood so less of natural resources are used.

     Mackay and other interns of 2006 will be arriving at Windward's 131-acre site in the high-lands above the Klickitat River in south-central Washington in June to begin 3-month on-site internships, and from then on Mackay will decide whether or not she wants to stay longer.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 66