The youth Exchange ‘ReActMe’ dealing with the themes of permaculture and sustainability took place in the marvellous venue of the south-italian ecovillage “Giardino della Gioia” from the 2nd to the 10th of May 2014. Our project is now over and so we take the time to reflect on the abundance of learning and experience it has left in our hearts and minds!
Thanks to the testimonial of one the young participants, we can harvest some learnings from this precious time spent together experiencing how to become sustainable innerly and outerly. Here’s a taste of what we created together in this intense week…
Non-formal education: I learned a lot of ways and techniques how one can experience, realize and get aware of different things. This could be through specific games, exercises for the senses, copying, tools of communication, tools like “the hero´s journey”, listening in the circle etc. I realized that I learn very well by physical exercises in which I can try things out myself but also by copying.
The tools of non-formal education and experiencing them on my own were really impressive!
The circle way: I gained more experience in the way of counselling and how to create and improve a greater consciousness of community. And also the principles of Permaculture in theory and practice (Permaculture is not “only” about growing food). This is the importance and meaning of fair share, people care and earth care. It is incredible how fulfilling and also easy it is to gift something meaningful to another person. And we will get it back in one or another way – for sure!
Learning about oneself: I have been getting more and more open and self-confident in getting to know strange and foreign people quite fast. Making friends works better and better.
What I also gained is even more self confidence according to the fact that other people really can learn from me and get touched by what I have to say. I deeply experienced that I can change a lot in my life but also in the life of others. It is awesome what influence it has, what I do, what I not do and how I do something. Everything has an influence on everything, it is all about connection. Now it is easier for me to get from the idea to the action!
Re-rooting: I learned the importance of keeping or rediscovering old and ancient traditions of my home, like songs and dances. I think a fulfilling life needs all elements that we can find in every culture of every age like in Giardino della Gioia. Unfortunately in most of modern societies it’s quite difficult to find all these elements. These elements are: community (the circle way), songs, dances, stories, prayer/meditation, feasting, fasting and rituals of passage. That is what I clearly realized in this week and it drives me forward to go on in (re)discovering and learning my own roots and traditions, to learn old traditional songs and dances.
Learning to learn: I learned how to prepare a workshop in a proper and interesting way. I got to know the cultural similarities and the diversity of different European countries which gave me a wider view on what it is to be “European”.
Sensitivity and Creativity: I learned to have a greater sensitivity of understanding and enjoying life more in connection to the micro- and especially the macrocosmos. I could feel my place in this great order and also how the wind speaks to me. I gained more awareness of what is around me in general and especially of what is inside me. Now I can listen to my real needs and intuition and desires even better than I did before.
We give thanks to Daniel Julian Vogel a young participant from Germany, a citizen and traveler of the world, who shared with us these beautiful learning inspirations and impressions!