• PM adventures around Austria

    Bogi shares her memories of her Peace Messengers experiences in Austria, with Jenny. The collaboration between both Peace Messengers has been so fruitful that they will now, together with other Peace Messengers, apply for and organise next Peace Messengers training.

    How did you get the idea to run a joint session?

    I met Jenny in Paris and from the beginning I felt she's a person who would be a pleasure to work with. We both have been involved in SCI for quite a long time and share many thoughts about it. Fortunately Austria and Hungary are neighbouring countries so the idea to work together was kind of obvious. I was very happy when Jenny invited me and we could find fitting dates. And of course we're all curious how other branches organize their camps!

    What was the project you visited?

    We visited 2 projects in the mountains in the south of Austria. In the first workcamp work was really tough (a lot of climbing!), so participants were pretty tired at the end of the day. In the second one it was about renovating military paths 2000m high where there was neither electricity nor hot water unless we boiled it ourselves (but we had Internet thanks to solar cells!). The Austrian projects I visited gave me the feeling that I had visited "traditional" SCI workcamps as they could have been 90 years ago. Very cool experiences indeed! :)

    Can you describe the workshop you ran?

    We had one on intercultural learning with a nice energiser about different greetings and then a group game and discussion. It lasted for a while but was interesting from very different aspects.

    The second was more directly about Peace and War with the help of SCI materials developed partly by Jenny. We had a great, long and very deep discussion with various opinions. Illuminated by candlelight, drinking tea; a lasting memory.

    Did you meet any difficulty?

    Except not having proper footwear and driving through hardly accessible places? We had some misunderstandings with the first campleader but it was OK after all. It was hard to start the discussions but once we got into the topics they went on perfectly well. Maybe the lack of chocolate sometimes...

    What was the added value of having a joint session? What was special about doign a PM session out of your country?

    It was very good to see how Jenny worked. Even though those were her first sessions, she was like a professional. Also because of the country I'm quite connected to. Before I had only visited Viena and Graz, this summer I had this incredible opportunity to get to know it deeper with someone from Austria. We shared a lot by travelling together, talked, swore, laughed.

    What was the best part of this experience?

    I know it's always embarrassing to admit that the most you liked had little connection to the actual project. While reading the evaluation forms I'm always eager to finish with the accommodation, food, weather parts and get to the "real" and "deep" effects. But it seems like something quite human... So, what I liked most was actually driving through the country with Jenny. Climbing mountains for ages, watching the view and discussing different topics. Private PM sessions from us to us :)

    Then all the people we had possibility to talk to, new perspectives they added to mines, weird places we saw. Well, I guess all Peace Messengers know very well what this is like ;)

    Bogi (Utilapu-Hungary) and Jenny (SCI-Austria)

  • It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler