Travel Memories – 1st of January til 30th of June 2011

This is quite a long text about my travels if you feel like downloading or printing it, feel free to use this pdf-Version. Either way, ejoy =)!

Here I am, it is the 30th of June 2011 and I am back in our family home in the Southern Germany, where I left from half a year ago to travel to Brazil, Australia, Sweden and Israel. I know most of you are waiting for pictures, something to see where I have been, and how I have been spending my time. And the pictures will come I promise.
But at the beginning there was the word, =) wasn‘t it?

Well, since I left Germany on the 1st of January to Brazil this year, I have been taking in so many things: emotions, knowledge, tips, lectures, comments of love and comments of other kind, ideas, experiences, impressions… I often felt like life was going to fast, that I was taking these things in, but there was no way to put them in order. I was just randomly throwing into my suitcase, hoping if I‘d just carry them long enough with me, I would find time to look trough them again. And as you know one travels lighter with small luggage, my mental suitcase was on constant overload. And each time I would open it to put something new in, I had either to push and cramp things together, with a nasty headache as side effect, or I had to through something out, hoping I wouldn‘t realize later (when I had time to look through things properly) that it had been something important.

Well, there I am now, sitting at home, finally unpacking everything.
But don‘t get me wrong, the things that I have been carrying in my mental suitcase are still a mess =). And as everyone who ever saw me unpacking for real knows (sorry Mum here and now, for mostly you are the one having to endure that mess), what I usually do is, pull out just what I need and literally throw everything else around me. So this is where I am at the moment, in the middle of all those memories and experiences, trying to get my own little crazy overview of it. But as I life unfolds in mysteries, this stuff does, too =) and I wouldn‘t know where to start or where to stop to tell you something about it yet.

But between all that mess I found something I thought you could be interested in.
It‘s a text wrote on the 21st of March, half way through my journey, on a train ride from Canberra to Melbourne in Australia.

„I am on a train now, and as I have stored more actual luggage on some rack a few seats behind of me, I also started to put my mind to rest, by watching the Australian landscape passing by. I am so happy I chose this train instead of the cheaper plane. I mean the freedom for my legs would probably be reason enough, I guess. But while flights help me to get faster from one place to another in times of need, train trips always help me and my mind to slow down and relax. Just what I needed: 6 hours on a decent speeded train, after one and a half month on life‘s roller coaster =). And don‘t get me wrong, roller coaster are big fun, and I love collecting mental luggage…
… but I also love sitting down and sorting out… ;-D especially when I discover things I didn‘t even know I put in my suitcase in the first place.

Well, anyway, lets look what‘s in the suitcase:

First thing a realize is that things are actually in different bags in there. One has the tag: „Time at Ediane‘s (my very friend‘s) place“. This one actually is not very big, it just contains something like 5 days and not so exciting moments from an outside perspective, but the memories in there, are very valuable and unique to me. Thank you Ediane and Johanna for the wonderful conversations and moments we had together.

Than there is another bag, very full, very heavy, very chaotic, quite some extraordinary stuff in there. It is tagged: „Warriors without Weapons in Santos Brazil“. Wow we won‘t be able to look through all the details of that one now. It really needs some organizing! But let me point out some things that I can see sticking out: There are some wonderful moments of reunion with some of my dear friends from the Youth Initiative Program in Sweden. Maira, Johanna, Jonas, Kiko, Nathan, even though some of you I could only see shortly, it was really nice meeting you in this new place and getting to know you more! And uff there are lots and lots more meetings and shared moments with over 60 Warriors of some sort in that bag. I wish I could remember all of them! But whilst some of these memories slowly getting lost in space, others will probably stick with me and in that mental suitcase for the rest of my life. Thank you everyone for meeting me, as the unique people you are! If a dig a little deeper in that bag, there are also all kinds of social technologies, cooperative games and circle dances, a wonderful and rich action time in a beautiful Favella of Santos, called Pantanal, and some marvelous celebrations. Next to these shiny things, there are also some lonely moments. At the beginning I took my time, to open up to a new group of people, after the strong experience I had at YIP in Sweden. And after we had spent 2 hours in quite cold water for the Water Game, I was sick for five days or so. And there is also this memory, of that silly moment, when I swam into a sea urchin, and the crazy moments that followed that. An afternoon and long night of different people trying to get the sparks out of my food. The funniest trip to the hospital I ever had, to get some pieces of the sparks out of my foot on the next morning. By the way that was my first trip to a hospital anyway =) but still, I just can‘t get over these approximately 10 young female medicine students, that were all in the room, while I was checked and treated, wanting to hear my travel stories and see my passport and visas whilst flirting and joking with the young doctor. And all of them, including the doctor =) were way to good looking! (But the best part of this story happened a few weeks later, when I came home to Germany and examined the wound of the hospital operation again, just to find another almost 1 cm long piece of spark finding its way out of my body!) Anyway, thank you Heber and Azeer for trying to get the pieces out and Jeniffer for holding the lamp, Raphael for accompanying me to the hospital and all the others for holding my hand!
There is lots more in this bag, as for example some times when I was very tired or others when I was all happy to reconnect with Edgard and his uplifting spirit. But as I said this bag is in some real chaos, as it was still filling up with new wonderful memories until the very last moments.

Leaving the Warriors bag, I went back to fill some more momeries into the other bag, „Back at Ediane‘s place“ and I visited Kiko briefly. But a lot of that time was spent with catching up sleep…. uuupps. That word „uups“ by the way makes me happy each time I use it, because it makes me think of my dear friend Johanna in Bremen.

And than there is another bag, not to big, just like a week or so. And this one, well it‘s not tagged at all, maybe I should put something like: „Crazy hectic week in between in Germany“ or something like that on it. Well, I guess that says a lot already. I can find repacking memories in there, appointments with doctors, way to short meeting with friends and family and so on. But there is one bigger thing in there, that might be worth mentioning: I went for three days to Kassel, to meet with a group of young people, who I am organising a conference together for 2012. This conference is supposed to bring young active people together with Nobel Peace Price Laureate and Right Livelihood Award Laureates, so together they can design projects that will enhance our future. During our meeting we were mainly discussion our vision and mission statement and to my great enjoyment the shaping of society as such, played a big part in it.

Than there is a tiny bag, that is filled with strange wary memories of getting to „Hungry on a plane“, watching movies, falling asleep, waking up to eat, watching movies and falling asleep agin, just to experience the same over and over again, until the 24 hour flight to Sydney finally was over.

There I was „In Australia the opposite side of the world“. Sure enough that was worth opening another bag to fill in new impressions. And this bag….. I don‘t even know where to start. Everything here has been so different, in such subtle ways. While I could feel the differences between Brazil and Germany, generally in everything around me when I was there, starting with the climate (what a heat in Santos) including the landscape (we could already see mountains covered with stunning rain forest, as we took the one hour bus ride from Sao Paulo to Santos) ending with the language (wuuah I got really good with hands and feet…). Australia somehow seemed so similar, but than was so different in the details. In many ways I felt thrown back to my three month school exchange in England, my first longer stay abroad, when I was sixteen. But see here things starting to become a real mess, cause this bag hasn‘t been closed yet, as experiences fill in every minute a travel on this train in this wast country. I start thinking again, and I want to start new, to describe Australia, but maybe it‘s just too much to do this now. Let me just point out a few very clear things in that bag. There is a wonderful week of „Looking at Sydney‘s architectures“, followed by a „sweet weekend with my dear friends from YIP. Linde, Hannah and Robin“ it was so good to see you and spent time with you! Save and glorious travels Linde and Hannah, see you soon Robin! And around that are spread the various memories of the time working together with Cheryl (Rose‘s mum) on the interview series project „What is important for school and education?“ at the Orana High School and College in Canberra. Whilst this time has been sometimes challenging for me, as I had to walk up to so many people I didn‘t know, and never knew whether they were interested in what I was doing, it was the most rewarding experience, when these people actually turned out to be friendly, interested and supporting =). My special thanks go to Cheryl, who has made all of this possible for me and has been taking care most wonderfully during the time I was there! The video we created is soon is online and you are more than welcome to watch it! Here!
And well as I am sort of closing the „Work Phase“ bag of my memories of Australia, with this train ride I am just starting a new bag, tagged with „Holidays =)“. Until now, all that‘s in there is a few hours on a bus and another few hours on a train, looking at the landscape passing by.

Wow enough snuffling in my suitcase =) I‘ll go and enjoy the view out of train window again.“

As some of you and I know by now, this „Holidays“ bag was filled later by memories of a wonderful refreshing, nurturing and relaxing week at Matthew and Inga‘s place in Melbourne, a beautiful little camping road trip with Robin in the South of Sydney and a few crazy days on the West Coast of Australia with the wonderful Phoebe.
Back in Germany I got „Lost in books and TV series“ for two weeks, refusing to actually arrive, unpack or anything, knowing I would leave for another one and a half month again.
What followed was a wonderful week in Järna, Sweden, where I was finally re-united with a lot of my beloved YIPpies and their inspiring spirits at the „Initiative Forum“.
And last but not least I went to „Jiser el Adam“ in Harduf, Israel, to craft and to tell stories of conflict and peace. Little did I know, what impact that course would have on me =) but be sure to hear more about it.

For now I hope you are happy where ever you are and live the difference you want to see in the world.
Love and care.

Silvia

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….vorerst letzte Vorstellung

Das war sie unsere vorerst letzte Vorstellung von The World as a Garden. Ich möchte mich ganz herzlich bei allen Besuchern bedanken. 🙂 Dass fast alle Stühle voll waren hat uns mindestens genauso gefreut, wie dass die Hüte hinterher auch einiges schwerer waren.

I want to thank each an everyone that helped to make this dance performance and tour possible!
I carry the melancholic realisation in me, that this was the last performance for now. But with the soft pain there also stands a warm heartfilling gratitude, for all that I could experience and learn as well as for all the help and support I and the group got.
All my love to you!

On Tour with “The World as a Garden”

For more than a week we are on tour now :-), and it is awakening so many feelings. It is wonderful and exiting, tiring and difficult, a lot of work and a lot of fun.
Personally I felt challanged by the different realities of past, present and future, I had to find myself in..
Past: We had just left our wonderful YIP fellows from all over the world behind us, who we had been living and studying with for a year now.
Present: A performance in Amsterdam a big city, on a new stage with only 9 of originally 12 dancers, so also some cheocraphy changes.
Future: Organising and especially making decisions for performances in Berlin and Wangen.
….and the fact that we didn’t seem to find ourselves in the same ones all the time.
But I am so grateful for every munite. I had done all sorts of different, mainly theater, performances during my school time before, but I had never been on tour with a performnce before. So for me it’s just incredible to be able to experience the differnces of being on tour and just being on one place. Constantly having to adapt to new circumstances, seeing new people, the travelling (hitch hikin) in between, all this is an adventure in it self allready and than adding organiszing, marketing, physical training, rehersals and performances on top…. and of course we didn’t want to miss to go to the beach one morning. Full on, but wonderfull :-)!

The World as a Garden – Learning Dance for Social Change

I am sitting in my room, slowly realizing it is really only two weeks, untill I will leave the Youth Initiative Program (YIP) in the beautiful small Ytterjärna in Sweden. Actually I am full on occupied in the preperations of Sense Festival, the event that all of us YIP participants organizing together, to celebrate community life.
But I want to use the few free munites I have, to share something else with you, that has kept me occupied in the last few month and has started allready at the beginning of the program in August last year.
All this year long, I had the pleasure and honor to be part of Ediane de Lima’s dance classes, every morning from 6.45 to 8.00 am. Even though it was hard to get out of bed this early, and more often than good, I didn’t make it to the class untill almost seven, I am so happy to have been there every day.
Learning dancing, had been a childhood dream of mine, that I had tried to bring into reality many times but allways failed. I had even been searching for year long dance trainings, where I could go to as amateur, last summer.
As I had to let go of these ideas in order to come to YIP, it was even more wonderful for me to find this unique opprtunity here at YIP, where I had least expected it.
There she was, Ediane, that wonderful young woman, that I am so gratefull for, that I don’t know how to thank her. I hadn’t expected to meet someone like her at YIP. But there she was, just there, asking whether we wanted to learn dancing…. and after a few month, whether we wanted to perform dancing…. and after we performed dancing, she even listen to our crazy idea of going on tour with dancing.
And there we are after 10 month dancing with laughters, joy, tears and struggles, we are actually planning our dance tour. Our kick-off will be another performance in the Culture House in Ytterjärna on the 17th of June.

Here a link to a little Video of our first performance.

And a few pics:

Flowers

Change

Quick One

Our first performances on the actually tour, will be on the 3rd and 4th of July in Amsterdam. After that we want carry on with our tour in maybe Englad and quite possibly Germany.
However to make this second part of our tour possible, we need financial support, and I want to invite you here to kindly help us with this. As we say in German: “Kleinvieh macht auch Mist.” – something like, “Small livestock, produces also dung.” I invite you not think in to big scale but with a little help from a friend 🙂 we will be all sorted.
To do so visit our betterplace.org appearance and support us, via donations or good refferences.

Mein ganzer Stolz – Loud and Proud :-)

Over the last weeks since I came back from South Africa, I spent a lot of my free time with interviewing the 38 participants of the Youth Initiative Program, where I am currently at, about schools and education. My focus in that was, what is important for each one of them, looked at it from their personal experience. I enjoyed to listen to each and every one of them, because looking it from personal experiences, made each comment so authentic and beautiful, and made me actually want to carry on interviewing people. But for now my fellow YIPpies were enough. See what came out of it, and enjoy!

What is imoprtant for education?

PS: Unfortunatelly wordpress doesn’t support vimeo, and youtube not HD so, thats why you can only can find the link here.

Wise Eyes and Sense Festival

As I seem to be to involved in other issues and I know some of you are quite lazy in reading 🙂 I will use this videos to share a bit of what has been going on the last months… a nice new term I learned yesterday “video blogging”…. any ways..
during my time in South Africa I took part in the Wise Eyes project of my fellow YIPpie, Amy Ilic. For her project we went every afternoon in the Siyaphambili orphanage to give the kids the possibility of taking pictures themselve and showing their perspective. You can also visit her website: Wise Eyes

For a long time now we YIPpies have been planning our closer event of our year, the Sense Festival and one of our fellows, Brenno Kaschner Russo, produced a little where you can see all of us, going crazy organising this event :-). Please feel very welcomed to visit our website (www.sensefestival.se) and at the end of the day our event!!!

Busy, busy, busy….

Hey guys,
sorry for no new up-dates here, first no internet access in Cape Town, and than just to busy at YIP I find it hard to make time for new posts. Anyway just managed post a little bit of what was going on in Langa, while we where there on the YDC website. So check it out :-).
Hopefully with mor news soon.
Yours in Development.
Silvi 🙂

Sunny Saturday Morning

I am starting in the day with a smile on my face, after a fulfilling dance performance last night.
The sun is shining bright outside and the snow and ice are finally melting. There are still pathways where you can end up in snow deep enough to reach into your gum boots and you have to watch out for all the slippery sections on your way. At the same time though water is dripping everywhere and the puddles becoming humongous.
During the last month at YIP I am more and more surprised how much part of the nature we humans are, and therefore I am not surprised that I can find the mood that is out there in the nature within myself.
As the sun is shining – I am smiling – and all the frustration of feeling stuck between to many amazing options and not beeing able to act upon my dreams effectivly enough are finally melting away. There is still a room looking like a bomb has been visting, because I couldn’t find time to take care, and a big to-do list with mostly important! after each and every task. At the same time though patterns seek to emerge and my heart is starting to find its way while the warmth is spreading inside it.
Amazed of how much we could move peoples hearts in one hour last night, I am highly greatful for all the gratitude that was expressed towards us. One women even came to me and said she had been dancing before and we inspired her to start again.
Having all this as a ground I am excited about the possibility to bring all I learned at YIP so far into practice during my upcoming international internship in Langa, Cape Town, South Africa (30.03. – 30.04.2010). I will help my fellow Yipie Mahlubi with his dream of a Youth Development Center in his home township Langa, which seems meaningful and fun at the same time. And I started of with a nice simple Logo.