Where & who are we?
Ancient Ways is located in Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley, and is based in Lacomb, a rural area in the foothills of the Cascades at Scio’s backdoor. The organization, as a community, is an ever-changing organism. The local people who have created this network extend east to Sweet Home, south to Lebanon and Eugene, west to Albany, Philomath, and Corvallis and north to Monmouth, Stayton and Salem. This includes those who have been brought together by sharing the sweet sounds of Zimbabwean music, as well as those who find connection in the heart of Ancient Ways as a center for healing of both our planet and ourselves.
The current Board of Directors is Jan Six, Helen Six, Debby Vajda, Tina Su, and Melissa Chamberlin-Bihun. Read more about our board here.
Mary Ann Tarr, a dear friend and long time Board member who passed on in May of 2012, contributed for many years in a variety of roles from Treasurer to Board Chair. She had been a specialist in working with the deaf children in the mid-Willamette Valley and so gratefully shared those gifts with our project, researching and supplying hearing tests and hearing aids from the US and Harare, as well as providing counsel for all children we came across who needed the assistance in Zimbabwe.
Clarence John Pare, founding member in 1994, donated his time and financial support until his passing in 2009, serving the Ancient Ways board and the Nhimbe for Progress project with ceaseless counsel and optimism. At 86 years young, he went on the March 2007 adventure to Mhondoro and Bulawayo to step into the world that he had so long supported. Although a retired Coast Guard LCDR, he had never been to Africa. His belief in the Ancient Ways vision created the foundation for our work.
What are we up to?
We support the world community in remembering its connection to, and reverence for, its spirituality, each other’s diversity, and the earth, as well as encourage individuals to remember why they are here on the planet. We look to indigenous peoples everywhere to learn about lifestyle choices and how these choices affect the environment, our community as a whole, and ourselves. Historically, we have studied with Native Americans (from North and South America) as well as friends and teachers from Zimbabwe.
We are not a religious or political organization – we endeavor to learn, educate, and serve the community from a broad and aware cultural view. We work to change the future for the better through the arts, reverence for nature, and respect for each other.Ancient Ways provides services locally, in Zimbabwe and to Peruvians.
- Our current focus stateside is a Zimbabwean music program offering weekly classes, as well as occasional gatherings to explore healing.
- Ancient Ways has been serving the mid-Willamette Valley since 1993 with weekly music classes and performances with Zimbabwean marimba music.
- In 2002, Circle of Well Being began, as a way to focus further on experiential opportunities bringing groups together.
- In a Zimbabwean partnership we have been collaborating to provide rural services since 1999 in Mhondoro, and since 2005 in the Dewedzo Mountains, to over 2,500 people. Through grass-roots donations we have: 1) offered basic health care opportunities and well being education including HIV/AIDS and public health, 2) sponsored children to attend our own preschool, supporting their education through university level, 3) assisted with facilities improvements (huts, toilets, wells, stoves), and 4) promoted sustainable practices for longevity, including for example micro-loans, business training, and encouraging export businesses.
- Our relationship has continued to evolve with Peru since 1997 when Ancient Ways was visited by Don Alejandro who shared his medicine of the Andes and Amazon. Since that time we have continued to cultivate a deep friendship with Peru and its people. We have offered sponsorship to poor Amazonian children who needed financial assistance, as well as repeatedly hosted visiting healers to our local area in Oregon.
Ancient Ways would not have been possible without the ongoing support and commitment of our family and friends who have seen, see, and participate in the vision.