Next Time You’re in Transylvania…

By Robin Tovey ’97

Robyn Bors Veraart ’93 has always strived for a higher standard of consciousness even before she founded Provision, a school for sustainable living in a small village at the foothills of the Carpathians.

After majoring in music at Reed, Robyn earned a master’s in music therapy at Naropa Institute, adding meditation to her repertoire and pursing an interest in Eastern-European folk music (her father is “a full-blooded Hungarian”).  She taught meditation and yoga in prisons for a time, then traveled with her Dutch husband, Lars, through Africa and Europe, where she saw the potential for a broader application of her consciousness practice, becoming intrigued with the concept of eco-villages they encountered everywhere from France to Turkey.

Three years ago Robyn and Lars bought a home in the Transylvanian village of Alunisu. “Think about America during The Great Depression,” says Robyn. “That is where Romania is now.” Peasant culture is still viable in the village; each house has its own barn, outbuildings, and orchard, not to mention a passel of livestock; there is a communal flock of sheep shared by the community. Robyn was struck by the peaceful peasant lifestyle and came to believe that others could benefit from its ethic of sustainable self-reliance.

With the blessing of the local priest (who makes cheese, bread, and wine for his family and neighbors), Robyn and Lars launched Provision with the goal of teaching traditional skills, self-sufficient living, and simplicity. Romania is just coming onto the map as a tourist destination, and they aim to attract everyone from “smallholding enthusiasts” to agri/eco-tourists to those interested in Balkan culture. The inaugural session of Provision is set for summer 2012. Read more about self-sufficient living in Transylvania.

Do you know of a Reed-related destination in a far-flung locale? A café in Trenton? A gallery in Chicago? A disco in Mongolia? Tell us about it at