Clay bath, compost toilet and more …

I leave where there is no road or path …
You pass the City Hall building and head down the dirt dusty road, following a small wooden sign to the beach. Where the low stone fences of the houses end before the vast flat fields begin, you will see a wooden hedge. If it is the end of the summer, you will notice a stretchy laundry on the knit and a white cloth with the inscription “Ecocenter of the village of Ezerets”.
The village of Ezerets is located just one kilometer away from the main road Varna – Durankulak border crossing, 7 km from Shabla and 10 from Krapets. There are 2-3 km of gravel road that from the end of the village will take you to the vast, wild beach. Until the early 1990s, the coast was inaccessible. It is surrounded by barbed wire and rigs because of the Shabla government residence. This saves the place from the construction’s boom. You won’t see hotels on the sand here today, but only one half-bunker from before World War II, tents and campers.
Ezeretz is part of the Natura 2000 protected area – Shabla Lake Complex. What is unique here is the combination of sea salt water and fresh water – on Lake Ezeret. The locals say that they used to make a beach by the sea and instead of taking a shower at home, they removed the salt from their bodies into the lake.
The Lake of Jezera is connected to Shabla through an artificial channel, which the locals call “Sofia Vada”. They call it like that because of the designer who came from the capital to dig it. The reservoir is fed by the groundwater of Dobrudja. Here you will find a wide variety of flora and fauna – from marsh rose and lilies to red-breasted goose, pink pelican and cormorants. Nearly 260 species of birds have been found in the Shabla Lake Complex, 70 of which are in the Red Book, considered an ornithologists’ paradise. But not only…
The world is running away, but we will drive it slowly …

 

“Free”, “nice” are the first words that pop up in the head of Adriana Tsoneva, who is for the first time in a four-day camp at the Ezerets Ecocenter. Every year, on the last Sunday of August and the first of September, young people gather here, mainly from Varna, but often from other major cities of the country, with the idea of ​​experiencing life outside the busy city, close to nature. The tent camps, called ecoplanners this year, are organized annually by the Community Center for the Environment and Sustainable Development (OCOSUR). Four days in which more than 25 young people (in both shifts) live in the open air “without alarm and clock”. They cook their own food in an oven in the ground made of old rims and on a brick hearth. They collect the last summer rays of the beautiful Jezera Beach. They build the way their ancestors did – they prepare a plaster of clay and straw with bare feet and smear with their bare hands. They learn about the local and together they make plans for the future of the small village with only 700 m of asphalt road.

 

 

We sit in front of the waves …
“I learned a lot of new things … First of all, that there is a Pond. Then – to work with eco-materials. I swept mud on the walls, putty, cooked … I learned about cormorants … and people’s lives, “Adriana says as she draws something in her notebook.
The most valuable and unique aspect in every place are the people. And in Ezeretz whether because of the spirit that carries the area, or because of nature, the locals are environmentalists in their heart. Aunt Mary, for example, gives a second life to used plastic bags. Instead of going to the landfill, they are entwined by her skilful hands in line. She is ready to hand over her craft to anyone who shows the slightest interest, such as the Italian volunteer Valentina, who will remain for a year helping the OCOSUR with environmental work. Aunt Mary’s waste rugs are already gaining popularity beyond the borders of their homeland. She has opened an exhibition with them in neighboring Romania.
Time flies away …
Slavi Alexiev – another local unique will bring you back in 1800 to spark you with local architecture. From it you will find out why the houses here are not in typical Dobrudzha style but in Kotli style. And which is the value of the building where the town hall is located, and why it needs to be reconstructed urgently ….
Not only buildings and people, nature also changes its appearance over the years. Local vegetable producer Bai Dimo ​​will help you with the history of the lake. You will understand how people change it and how it changes people.
And together with Pepa, so everyone friendly calls the mayor deputy Petranka Georgieva, we will model the future of Ezerets. She is deeply interested in what young campers think, which is the source of bold ideas for developing local livelihoods. They propose Pepa to build an eco-trail together, produce jams from the fruits of the pond fruit trees and use the proceeds from their sale to finance the repair of the mayoral building. And what else …
We follow him, but more slowly …
All big dreams have been a baby before …

 

 

“The bathroom is free,” a bowed head protrudes from behind the freshly plastered clay wall. And in front of the small building at the bottom of the eco-logger, someone else is in tow. The 80 liter roof water tank is fully solar-powered. A second is about to be completed for the newly constructed bathroom. The walls are made of wood, covered with linen bezir and plastered with a special mixture of clay from local soil and straw. At this year’s construction camp, a new old technique was also used – with clay and hair (a waste product from the Varna hairdressing salons).
There are two toilets in the eco-collager too, one with sitting. However, both are compostable. They are not divided into males and females, but within them there is a division – in one place – the liquid, in the other – the solid, or as they say here “we separate the lemonade from the chocolate”. The drinking water in Dobrudzha comes from the groundwater, which is polluted from the wastewater from the classic toilets, explains Ecoplaner Ezerets Coordinator and OCOCSUR Chairman Ilian Iliev. Therefore, in Ezeretz the waste is zero, even in the toilets.
What happens to “lemonade”? It is allowed to ferment for 2-3 months, after which it is used for fertilization. The chocolate, however, is composted into large barrels and ground.

 

 

Someone stopped the ground …
When you overcome the stress of jumping from a “tidy” big city to the “chaos” of little Jezera, you will understand the true value of time. Your dreams are growing up here, but you are in no hurry to reach them. Because for every thing there is a place and a time. As for the 25 soul travelers who collected this year’s Ecoplaner Ezeretz. For the first time this summer, not only Bulgarians but also volunteers from five other countries came, worked and had fun with the environmentalists. Part of Ezeretz has already reached Italy, Spain, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey. Another part came home. After 8 years of teaching in Austria, Adriana returns to Bulgaria to fulfill her dreams. She wants to open a hostel with a foreign language school in Varna. “It’s very cold in Austria. It’s better here, “the girl smiles and continues to scratch at her notebook …
Have fun …
We depart from Jezera recharged. Until our batteries fall again. Or until next summer. In fact, you can sign up for the next shift – Ecologer Ezeretz 2020. And we will remind you as the time approaches. Until then: “Look around you. Listen. Ask around. Shut up. Dance. Hold on. Enjoy the moment. Have fun…. have fun…. Take it easy. Have fun. Have fun … “.

 

Ecoplaner Ezerets 2019 is implemented under the project Summer Ecology Laboratory, funded by the Youth Projects 2019 program of Varna Municipality. Thanks!
(Parts of Stefan Valdobrev’s song “Lighter” are used throughout the text.)

10/23/2019 2:14 pm |