If I could put a character and a face to Eugene, she would be a calm, caring and sensible woman in her mid-50s. She is naturally beautiful, years of hard work and fights to get to where she is cannot do anything to her beauty. Deep down inside, she is wild and free. She can be conflicting at times but that often because of the nature of her work, her wealth of resources and the desire to do good to the world.
Picture: Taken on top of the hill, overlooking Alton Baker Park. The park which is used to be a landfill before, can barely tell isn’t it.
Eugene is a calmingly beautiful city with a lot of greens and surrounding mountains. The weather is slightly too cold for an Asian woman who prefers the heat than the freezing-to-the bone kind of cold. But slowly I am getting used to it. I met several people often in their 60s who are concerned about the environment and turn themselves and their home to be more sustainable. Many have their edible gardens and raise chickens, my host, Stephanie included. They are living my dream and almost my vision for PakDone, the social enterprise I founded and am managing.
Picture: The edible garden with the grape vines and rows of raised garden beds
There are many impressive initiatives both by the city of the Eugene and the public that help make Eugene a better and more sustainable place to live in. One that is beneficial to us most obviously is the bike share. The program is just launched a couple of days before we arrived and it only costs us 2 dollars for an hour ride for the month everywhere. And there is a training for it too. The system is well thought out and learning from other places their failures and successes before adapting and implementing in the city.