Reporting from Port of Call, November 26th, 2020
Arrival day: October 17th, 2020
Location: Porto Rafti, Greece
Theme: Non-formal learning activity building.
Nation range: 4 Spanish, 1 Austrian, 1 Croatian, 2 Portuguese, 3 Greek, 4 Romanian, 2 French. And me.
We walk into a villa (sorry, cottage?). Elipsis.
Hands down, I’ve been feeling all radical and awkward in my bones, but only for the last 25 years. So that’s quite alright. This virus has affected me in ways that have not been too bad. I’m in my homeland as a foreign participant. That’s oxymorous and thrilling. I’m surrounded by graduates of mental health degrees; that’s handy.
And I am way calm. I feel way British. I’m yawning a whole lot. Almost as much as I’m working; I’m working as much as one would be when premiering a community-building program in autumn 2020. Are you seeing me yet? And writing this is as hard as catching someone up in the middle of the show. And I guess as constructive. Settling in took about a week. At the end of this everyone knows each other by name, starting to suss out personalities. Forming alliances. Choosing docks and quarters. ‘Fitting in’
A general confusion, some vague answers, a definite direction, loose responsibilities. Work with the community was possible for the next week. We designed outdoor informal learning activities for groups of adults with mental health challenges. We did this for four full working days with an elevating sense of success before the Greek lockdown changed our plans for us.
Enter mild chaos. Our mentors from ROES Cooperativa took us off to Argolida for five days of intensive training, aiming at amplifying our community spirit. Good work there, the focus shift got there just in time; you know, ‘don’t fret dear. Just do things for yourself.’ Yourselves. Week four: So How Do You Feel About That Dynamic? I feel like watching good movies, counting my blessings, writing up my projects, and checking my influences.
Like allowing foreign influences, casually studying languages, and humming songs under my breath. Like appreciating people’s efforts, no matter how small and like celebrating small victories in a fitting manner.
Does it sound boring? Man, you should see my dreams.
To be continued…