When Nature Strikes

When Nature Strikes
With hurricane Harvey having passed around, and reading some of the experiences of people in what has transpired I started to ask myself some questions.

When it was announced that a hurricane would be on its way, people made preparations.  People evacuated, some more luckily situated didn’t leave their homes for a couple of days and people stopped going to work. It reminded me of my own experience with severe storms (but not as extreme as a hurricane) or lengthy power outages where sometimes days on end you can’t get to doing your job and you are simply forced to go with the circumstances. When natural disaster strikes, we don’t fuss about our jobs, the entertainment were not getting to or other petty topics which seem to busy our heads any other day. What’s important is to be alive and well. For a moment, the capitalistic productivity machine stops running, because well, we have no other choice.

In the meantime though, when no major natural disasters are occurring, we do sit with chronic human-made disaster. Poverty, war, disease, animal and nature extinction, climate change. These are all a reality. And these conditions greatly undermine human, animal and nature well being. But it’s not happening in our backyard. Harvey was all over our backyard, all around the house for that matter. No escaping from that disaster. These other issues, well, they’re far away. They’re not my concern. I have a choice to not be concerned. I can keep going with my life, however unsatisfactory and regrettable it may be in the end.

Thing is, we decide whether we have a choice or not. We can decide that human made disasters are just as important emergencies needing our immediate attention. That for the wellbeing of others on the other side of the world, or even on the other side of town – we put a stop to all things non essential. That we collectively agree to continue tending to the essentials necessary for our wellbeing and living a dignified life. Having food, shelter, security. And that all non-essential pursuits are put on a halt – because others are having to survive in conditions that do not even provide the basic essentials. Yet we will spend 70% of our time chasing money, status and material wealth while others suffer. If someone had a luxury boat, a freaking Noah’s Ark steering around flooded neighbourhoods and saw people drowning and yet did nothing. You’d be angry, you’d be outraged. Because the blunt neglect is right in our faces. Yet, much of the industrial world is like a Noah’s Ark. We got lots of resources to go around, but it’s not being shared. It’s not being distributed.

Where there is a will there is a way. If we decide that our will is to no more have choice about these matters, and tackle them with the urgency they deserve, this world would transform very quickly.

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DIY Parrot Foraging Toy

One of the many perks of living on a farm and the wide variety of tasks that are done overtime – is the nice collection of random tools and materials that start making its home in the workshop shed. When an idea comes up that you’d like to realize, the chances are pretty big that we’ve got most of the tools and materials necessary.

One of these ideas is this Parrot Foraging Toy:

Parrot Foraging

Foraging Toy with seeds and nuts on the inside. While they work on their long term project to reach to the inner treats, we use the holes to put other food in to keep things interesting.

About once a year the men go through the trees on the property to see which ones need pruning. When this happens, I tend to come tip-toeing around the cut-offs to see if there’s any pieces I can use for the parrots or crafting. Last pruning session, we had some nice guava logs that I dragged away from the pile designated for fire-wood.

Not all wood is safe to use for Parrots, so whenever I find something interesting pieces, I check for their safety here. After I’ve gotten a nice collection of wood, I leave them out to dry. Once they’ve been thoroughly dried, I also give them a diluted vinegar scrub, rinse,  and bake them in the oven to make sure there’s no critters lefts alive in the wood.

Next, I basically get Gian involved to do everything else – as he’s more experienced in what tools to use and how to use them (I may or may not have set wooden pieces on fire in the past with an electric drill…), and I stick around to watch and learn and give input on the way (which sometimes comes through as me checking Gian every minute to make sure he’s not “doing it wrong” – we’re working on my control issues).

Step 1

This is what the log looked like before we took off the side branches and cut it into smaller pieces (minus the blurriness, you’ll have to use your inner-Photoshop to get the picture) .

Once in the shed, Gian broke off the smaller side-twigs, cut the log in smaller pieces and cut off the ends to make them level and easier to work with. We couldn’t use one giant log as our drill bit that hollows out the wood only reaches so far.

Step 2

Gian using a mitre saw to cut the wood to size and leveling it out


Tada! A Smaller log


Clamping the log pieces one by one to hollow them out


Getting started with hollowing out. Once in a while taking a break as it gets very heated in there and might catch fire


To get right down in there close to the bottom, and keeping the pressure nicely vertically directed – a change of position may be necessary


Woohoo, it’s getting there!! It’s so exciting when you see something you conjured up in your head start taking shape in matter! This space will hold the seeds and nuts that the parrots can gnaw out through side holes.


Gian drilling the holes on the sides through which the parrots can gnaw. There are also 2 smaller holes on the top through which we will pull wire to 1) hang the toy and 2) to keep the parrots from cheating through the bigger hole 😉


Smoothing out the wood shards that were left on the inside


Filling the toy with seeds and nuts, with some peanuts sticking out so the parrots can ‘get the picture’


Seeing how much wire we need

Parrot Foraging


The Parrots have mostly been chewing away at the bark. The guava wood is pretty dense and it takes them quite a bit of effort to chip away at it. If we make it again I think we’ll go for wood that is a bit easier for them to chop away at.

I hope you enjoyed this little update.

If you like what we do and would like to support us in our endeavors with the Parrots, please consider becoming a patron for Desteni Farm.

A Parenting Perspective

I wrote the post below in response to a parents asking for perspective about his daughter’s behaviour, who started homeschooling for the past few months, wanting a lot of one-on-one attention, seemingly being okay as long as she has other kids to play with and spending a lot of time watching YouTube on her tablet and going into tantrum-like behaviour. The context of the question is not so much relevant (and personal information has been omitted), as I mostly suggested points to ponder on. Either way, I believe they may be of support to others, and so here is my share:


I don’t really have an answer for you – as with these type of situations there’s so many variables to consider, and since it’s impossible for me to establish exactly all the multi-dimensions of your reality and what may or may not be the cause / contributing factors to your daughter’s behaviour – I can only provide you with points to ponder, points to check from which you can draw your own conclusions. You and your partner know your daughter best, and it will be up to all three of you together to ‘put all the pieces together’ and find ways of directing the situation.

She may simply be transitioning from one phase into another. From going to school where everything you do is dictated from outside of yourself to being at home and being able to do ‘whatever you want’ type of thing, where there may be overindulgence in ‘doing all the things I wasn’t able to do before’ and yet having to find a balance.

It may also be that while she is with friends/other children – that she looks alright because in participation with others, there’s the possibility that she’s distracted from things going on inside herself / points she is processing. So just because things look ‘okay’ in that they don’t cause you to react into any particular point, doesn’t mean that everything is actually okay. Not saying that this is the case, but this can be a point to look at / take into consideration. Often when we become irritable or go into some kind of mood – whatever brought up that experience, was already running in the background before, and so her particular state at ‘home’/’away from kids’ doesn’t have to pertain to only that space where she displays that particular behaviour. Think of having a busy day where you don’t have time to think about anything because you are sooo busy – but then when you get home suddenly all these experiences come to the surface and you feel awful. This doesn’t mean that those experiences are ‘new’, but simply that in being busy and distracted, you didn’t notice they were actually already there.

In terms of her playing or doing things ‘since she was 5’ – if I look at myself, I played with Barbie dolls and other ‘childish things’ till I was like 12 or something and I probably would have done it longer if I didn’t fear other people’s judgments so much. So here, I wouldn’t necessarily look at ‘what’ she plays with and how that fits into say, the mainstream idea of what play is ‘age appropriate’ – but rather look at who she is within it. Is she nervous? Anxious? Does she seem directionless? Or is she simply having fun?

In terms of showing her books and other activities and her not being interested – here you also have to look at: who am I in showing her? In today’s world, we have placed so much emphasis on having to learn, having top grades, being ‘the best’ – in fear that we/our children won’t be able to compete ‘with the rest of the workforce’ for a good living. We fear that they’ll ‘fall behind’ and ‘miss out’ and have a horrible future. We then present our children with material such as reading or other activities, where the movement behind it is fear (but this fear can be dressed up / interpreted by yourself/the mind as ‘this is good for you!!!’ because we manipulate ourselves in believing that a negative fear experience is actually good and in our best interest). So here I would check my starting point. Am I showing her books/materials/activities because I judge what she does otherwise as ‘not good enough’ and ‘lacking educational content’, because I fear that she is going to ‘mess up’ in this world? When we approach our children in this way, they can feel and sense the fear, the judgment – and they are naturally inclined to resist and be repelled by this type of behaviour because they KNOW it’s not their fear, their judgment – it’s yours! But if we keep repeating this behaviour, then they will start to believe that the fear, the judgment is a reality. They will believe they are inadequate, not good enough, not smart enough and only do the proposed activities to alleviate themselves from these self-beliefs for a moment, which actually only integrated and penetrates them deeper. Looking from the outside, you’ll then be happy that she is ‘doing all the right things’ – but on the inside, she’ll be miserable and broken – which is bound to create dysfunction later in her life in one way or another.

Another aspect to look at can be – am I just giving her materials/books/activities because I want her to be more independent? Because I am so occupied with other things that I actually rather give her things that she can do ‘by herself’ – because then I can feel comforted in having my own time and space, and I can be comforted in knowing that ‘she can be independent, and being independent is a critical survival skill in this world! (= FEAR!!)’
I’ve been there, wanting my son to ‘just be on his own already’ so I can get on with things and be comforted in the knowledge that ‘he’s all normal!’. I’d spend time with him, but I wouldn’t be HERE with him, genuinely expressing me – genuinely being HERE – genuinely having FUN. Because sure, I am playing with him, I am spending time with him – I am giving him attention right? Nope. Because the whole time I’m just wondering ‘when is this going to be over already’, ‘when can I get to my own thing’ – and even if I spend hours with him, he’s still not satisfied because our time together is not SUBSTANTIAL, it’s not SUBSTANTIATED by my presence, in truly being here with him. While my body is with him, in my mind I’m with all the other things ‘I could be doing’. Quality vs Quantity.

So here you have to ask yourself, to what extend am I approaching/offering/suggesting materials/books/activities because I want to honestly/genuinely explore different things with her, which she may or may not take interest in – because she finds value in them, and because it assists and supports her in developing and growing her own expression?

Where you explore and discover together, for the sake of exploring and discovery. Not because “she needs to read more because she needs to get educated in this world” or “because she needs to be able to be alone and not bother us” or … the negatives can go on. Identifying these points can be tricky, because we’ve so conditioned ourselves in believing that these are the ‘right’ and ‘logical’ things to do – and because they ‘sound logical’ we won’t move ourselves to actually investigate the fears and judgments that boil underneath them.

So here you can also investigate and evaluate all the things you’ve labelled as ‘educational’ and all the things you’ve labelled as ‘entertainment’ – where they can only be one or the other. Have a look at all the things you’ve ever done ‘for fun’ and what you actually learned in the process of doing them, even when ‘learning’ in itself wasn’t the purpose or starting point. Learning happens everywhere, all the time. Just because they don’t contain books or exercise sheets – doesn’t mean that learning is not taking place or that it is not valuable.

Sometimes Cesar will want to binge watch things and I’ve found that when he is busy processing particular points or experiences, that he used watching movies or cartoons to go into a sort of ‘hibernation’ where he is more introverted and uses this as a ‘time off’ to process things.

I will also watch things with him on YouTube, from which we source to then play or make things with his toys. In that sense, YouTube, tablets, screen-time – they are not ‘bad things’ in and of themselves. They are merely tools – but how we use them/wield them will determine the effect they create.

If she likes dolls and dressing dolls – that’s great! Watch videos on YouTube on how to make dresses or clothes for the dolls. This takes creativity, math, planning, fine motor skills, perhaps allocate her some monies for buying fabric – now she needs to calculate how to spend her money – there’s learning happening right there! But you don’t want to make these things the focal point. They’re just a natural part of being and engaging in this reality. There’s so many ways you can make things interesting and fun – having all the ‘educational benefits’ without the seriousness of it.

Also realise that children don’t just learn what their interests are ‘all by themselves’. Or that they have to find out RIGHT NOW what they want to do with their life. Some children will know what they want to do, other children will be very versatile and will play and test out many things before they make up their mind, or perhaps will always remain doing multiple things. In terms of homeschooling (and unschooling), it’s up to us the parents to facilitate this discovery process in a unimposing manner, where we expose them to many different things to help them find their way without their being pressure to do so. I’ve found that the key here is to keep things light and joyful – then things such as ‘focus/concentration/passion’ naturally develop and follow. They are not goals on their own, but consequences/outflows of the natural process of exploring and discovering things.

Here you can then also have a look at to which extent you have been stressing/worrying/thinking about her education and future instead of LIVING and being an example of natural flow and discovery, trusting that she will find her way.

Often when Cesar is all over the place and without direction – it’s because I, myself, and/or Gian (my partner) are all over the place, stressed and anxious about things. Again, children can sense and feel this – and when the two people they depend on the most are ‘all over the place’ within themselves, then they will assume that things are ‘terribly wrong’ and get all nervous and twitchy for no reason other than that we are doing it! If we’re feeling like headless chickens, something ‘must be going on’/’going wrong’ because us adults, as examples, are supposed to ‘show them the way’. Then they go into that same energetic signature without really knowing why, only because we’re doing it so it seems ‘the thing to do’.

Have a look at her moods, the energy she is in. Do you recognize this energy within yourself? Within your partner? Your relationship(s)?

Maybe she needs more time with other children, maybe she doesn’t. Test it out. Perhaps she can join some type of extra-curricular activities that school going children would do – so she can be with other children during after school hours.

And lastly – talk to her. Have you asked her why she is in x, y, z mood? Why she watches things so much? Why she needs attention? What she would like to do, what she would like to explore? Children are a lot more aware and adept in seeing what is going on inside themselves than we give them credit for.

So, again – I don’t have any answers for you. There’s a bunch of things you can look at and play with, let us know how it goes!

If you haven’t already – check out these EQAFE interviews:

Children and Isolation – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 79
Parent and Child Communication – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 80
Emotional Addictions to Technology – Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race – Part 75
Gaming and Reality (Part 1) – Life Review (here you can look at gaming in terms of say ‘being on a tablet’)
Gaming and Reality (Part 2) – Life Review
Tracing the Source of Tantrums – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 72
Timeline of a Tantrum: Parents – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 73
Stop Tantrums by Changing Yourself – Perfecting the Human Race – Part 61
Raising a Destonian Family – Desteni Farm Discussions
Raising a Destonian Family Part 2 – Desteni Farm Discussions

Acknowledge the Words you are Living

I will look after you and I will look.png

I came upon this quote whilst reading the book ‘The Universal Principles and the Metamorphic Technique’ by Gaston Saint-Pierre, and it reminded me very much of my own Living Words process…

When I first started with my say, deliberate process of Living Words ( and I say ‘deliberate’ – because we are all, always busy Living Words, but we may not be aware in how exactly we are participating within and live as words) – I created a list of all the words I wanted to live. These words however, had their origin as a reaction and resistance to who I was at the time – where I perceived and believed that these words were ‘better’ ways to be and live. I didn’t fully understand all the words that I was living at that time, and I didn’t really want to bother getting into them, I just wanted to *not be that*.

When it came to practicing my list of ‘superior’ words – I got into quite a bit of trouble. I actually experienced myself as worse off and more conflicted. When I looked closer into it, I noticed that the definitions I had allocated to my words were not clear. Not clear in the sense that they didn’t carry a substantial definition. There were more definitions that implied ‘not doing and not being what I used to be’. Within that, I was fighting my very nature as who I had accepted and allowed myself to be and become. In not understanding that nature as a mere ‘fact’ – but judging it as ‘bad’ and ‘undesirable’ – I withheld from myself the space and opportunity to learn exactly what the words were that I was living – and here, not so much ‘knowing which words I live by name’ – but understanding the content, the dynamic and creational process embedded within each word. I only had access to what I perceived the problem was – and not what the problem was in fact. When you only work with what you think and perceive a problem is, the solution you design and come up with is limited to that perception. If you perceive that your trees are losing leaves because of a lack of water – but it’s actually just part of the autumn process; where based on your perception of the problem you design the perceived solution to give them more water – you can kill your tree and make things worse.

So if you’ve been struggling with the process of Redefining and Living Words – have a look at whether you truly and substantially understand the words you are already living regardless of your perception or judgment around them. The Mind Constructs used in the Desteni I Process as well as the Creational Timelines I have found to be essential components to come grips, acknowledge and understand for real (rather than perceive) the words that I am living, so that I can equally so – create a grounded, practical and specific approach in which words to develop, learn and practice to live for myself as an expansion of who I have accepted and allowed to be – rather than a fight.

For more information on the Living Words Process, check out:

What moved you to Investigate Desteni and start your Process?

what moved you to investigate Desteniand start your process_
(join the discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/Destonians/photos/a.156500847756254.40073.108425792563760/1700888423317481/?type=3&permPage=1)

I often felt like my emotions, feelings and thought patterns were getting in the way of moving forward in my life. I had things I wanted to be or do but when it came to putting it into application I’d go through all these weird, undefined experiences like sirens and bells going off, and I’d literally go WTF at what was going on inside me. It’s me, its part of me, but it isnt helping me!!

It didn’t make sense to me that I couldn’t experience other things or people. It frightened we that we all have our own ‘private space’ because for me it meant that I can never trust anyone.

The world in general did not make sense to me. When I was 8 I remember thinking that this world doesn’t make sense to me. But that maybe, when I am 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 — that I will get it then. Each time when it was my birthday I grew more anxious – because shit, I still don’t get it. I’m supposed to finish school, go to college, have a family – and then what? What for?

When I was around 16 I got into conspiracy theories and later spirituality. For me, the conspiracy phase was a sort of acknowledgment that things weren’t going right in this world. That behind everything that looked normal, there was a darker side — I wasn’t just imagining that the world we lived in was not what it was supposed to be. And also, that it was other people’s fault, I could exert all my anger and blame towards some abstract elite. The spirituality phase for me was a phase of hope, that even though everything is going to shit, there is hope – and I don’t have to do much, I just have to wait for my salvation, have angelic beings and/or aliens save humanity.

These two phases represented that there was a problem and a solution, though in both cases — I was excluded from both the problem and the solution – and it always didn’t feel hmm, quite right.

Spirituality eventually had me stumble on Desteni. I liked this. I don’t have to wait. I can do things. I don’t have to wait OR hate on other people. There’s things I can do right here, right now, for myself – and in so doing for others.
For the first time in my life, things started falling into place.

While the narrative of ‘school – job – money – family’ didn’t appeal to me when I was young, I sure as hell struggled as a young adult to step away from it. Leaving my home country, family, everything I knew to visit the Desteni Farm was a big deal. It was a decision against every single thing I had learnt as what I had to do to do ‘well’ in this world. And still to this day, I struggle with the narrative I grew up, what “life” is about according to the majority vs what I know deep inside myself Life can be on this Earth.

I never thought I’d immigrate to another country.
I never thought I’d be able to love my sister, man did I hate her guts.
I never thought I could have a fulfilling relationship with another, I was too scared of being vulnerable.
I never thought I’d be capable of being a mother, kids are scary and gross.
I never thought I’d be able to overcome fears that petrified my entire body.
I never thought I’d be able to be comfortable living in a group, I worshipped isolation and privacy.
I never thought I would understand money and how it works – that shit sounds so complicated. I never thought I’d end up getting a degree in economics.
I never thought I’d be able to change by simply investigating myself, rather than being impulisve and only x many days, months, years – find out, that I could have done something otherwise.
I never thought I’d still be here – I used to never finish what I started.

When I go through my trials and tribulations and everything seems to be going wrong – and I am just about to give up — I remind myself of my decision to walk this process. That life on Earth can be more. That I can be more – and that I owe it to myself to find out, how far I can grow and expand. Otherwise, I will never be satisfied and live in regret.

What is Love? (Baby don’t hurt me…no more…)

what is love

One of the pieces of advice I often received as a first time mother – was that if I just “love my child” = everything will be alright.

While the advice is well meant, it’s also extremely vague and abstract. Does Loving my child mean giving him lots of hugs and kisses? Does Loving my child mean that no matter what I do, it will all be okay in the end – because I ‘Love’ him and in the name of Love, all will be forgiven?

What is Love?

For some, Love means protecting those who they hold dear to the extent that they are controlling and limiting their child or life partner – out of fear that anything might happen to them that might ‘take them away’. Or perhaps we fear that they will make mistakes that they will regret and want to be involved in every single decision their life contains. While well meant, it has dark consequences.

For some, Love means making another the center of their universe, putting the loved one first, and self always second. While the loved one shines on an altar of worship, self diminishes and compromises every day – while the loved one feels smothered and in need of space.

For some, Love means beings hard on your child or partner – even if it takes aggressive physical measures – because the world is a hard and cruel place, and the sooner they know their place the better they will be off for it in the long run. The hurt now is justified by hurt prevented later. It’s only because ‘I love them’.

For some, Love means being super conscious of every single move one’s loved one makes. Keeping an eye out for competition, drowning in one’s own paranoia and suspicion, being strangled by jealousy when your loved one spends time with someone else.

For some, Love means leaving another alone, giving them freedom without boundaries – where even where the behaviour becomes obviously questionable or abusive, the loving one won’t step in out of fear of coming over ‘controlling’. Her mother used to love her through control you see.

For some, Love means investing a lot of money in another, getting the best and most expensive education – at the expense of their dreams. Because you know what the world values and while deep down you know ‘it’s not right’ – you’ve given up on your dreams a long time ago and submitted to the idea that the world is just the way it is and we better just deal with it.


Love – has many faces. And mostly our definitions of love are born from a reaction to the type of ‘Love’ we received as a child. If our parents were controlling, we will tend to give more freedom (and often don’t set boundaries where they are needed, in fear of being anything like are awful parents – God forbid! As much as we try to learn from the ways we’ve received Love, we tend to remain stuck by throwing ourselves into the extreme opposite polarity in the spectrum – where we still make mistakes and create consequences, but simply of a different kind.

In many if not most cases – Love remains but a feeling, a good intention – but the actions and consequences that follow pave the way to hell.

What does it mean to really live LOVE in action? What does it mean to TRULY LOVE your child?

  • For myself Love, means living by the principle of what is Best for All – guiding me in thought, word and deed. Where I not only look at myself, but consider everyone involved in my reality and how my actions may affect others presently or in the future. That whatever decision I make in the end result in the best possible outcome for all. So I can stand as an example for my child to treat others as I would like to be treated.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate myself as all the aspects that currently make-up ‘me’ so that I can take responsibility for any behaviour or perceptions that do not serve me nor my environment. So I may stand as an example of self-accountability to my son.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate all that is presented to me and to keep what’s good. I am open to perspectives and what others have to share and to test things out to come to my own conclusions. So I may stand as an example to my son for critical common sense reasoning and to not take anyone’s word on face value, not even my own.
  • Love, means to be present and aware in every single moment so that I may direct myself and my reality to the best of my ability. So I may stand as an example of self-love to my son and show in fact that he is to be taken seriously.
  • Love, means to admit my mistakes and to stand up from then rather than throwing my towel into the ring. To change myself to the best of my ability, so I may stand as an example of endurance, persistence and faith in self for my son.
  • Love, means to take care of my physical body, my temple to ensure that I may express myself as my body to the best of my ability. So I may stand as a nurturing example for my son.

This wasn’t always my definition of Love or go-to practical guide of action. I struggled with my own inner demons disguised as Love. Traveling and working through your inner landscape can be challenging and difficult. If you enjoy taking on these type of challenges, check out this free course: http://lite.desteniiprocess.com/

What is your definition of Love?Which faces of Love have you battled and struggled with?

Woundology – When your Victim Status becomes a Power Move

In this video I discuss some dimensions that opened up for me while reading Caroline Myss’ – Anatomy of the Spirit book. We all go through various traumas, injuries and injustices throughout our lives. And while it’s important to process these events, it can be easy to remain stuck in the process and to not resolve them inside ourselves. As much as we may feel disempowered within being a victim, in many subtle ways we may use our victims status to control and manipulate those around us. Have you ever used your victim status to excuse yourself and not take responsibility for something? Have you ever been overly compassionate with people whom you know have gone through trauma, where despite your best intentions, your consideration and ‘support’ actually keep them locked in a lesser version of themselves and not giving them the space to move on and expand?

African Grey Parrots


Cesar enjoys feeding the parrots. Here we cut up some apples for them and Cesar is giving it to them through the mesh. They can get pretty excited about food and Cesar is still busy learning how to work with them inside the aviary (they reIMG_5378.JPGally like playing with toes and shoes…)

When we feed the parrots we give each parrot a ‘turn’ as we hand out the apple pieces to make sure they feel equally considered and don’t feel like they’re missing out. Food is a central point in most animals’ lives – and if they feel like they are ‘missing out’ in relation to other flock/herd/pack members it can shift the interpersonal relationships amongst one another. If they see a friend getting something while they don’t – it can breed jealousy where they later bully or pick on the one who got. If they’re the more introverted type, they can go into anxiety and nervousness which many animals see as a weakness, and get picked up on by others.

African Grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are known to be the best ‘talkers’ of all parrots. In their natural environment their intelligence is an absolute must to forage in various challenging environments and finding a wide variety of food.

Unfortunately often when African Greys are kept as pets, their intelligence goes unchallenged and their food source remains simplistic. Even worse – often times the parrots are fed a diet consisting mainly out of sunflower seeds which are high in oil and fatty content – which is the ‘sugar rush’ equivalent for humans. Their dietary requirements go unmet, they are hyperactive and don’t have a medium to challenge their intelligence. While well kept African Greys can live on average for 50 years, and wild ones even to 80 (!) – many die as early as 5 to 8 years after purchase… That’s only a mere 10% of what they should be living.

This leaves many parrots with a lot of health issues and self-destructive behaviour, where they end up using their own intelligence against themselves.

At the Desteni Farm we strive to give the African Grey parrots a wide variety in food, space for exercise and play with they fellow flock members – and ways to engage their intelligence.


We started making our own parrot toys after we did a big pruning ‘spring clean’ around the farm, where we ended up with many branches from trees which are parrot safe (such as guava and mulberry). This gives Cesar and I an added activity to craft and play – and the parrots get toys to play with = win-win!


You can support the African Grey Parrots and other animals at the Desteni Farm by becoming a Patreon Here.