Informal education in Permacultura Penyaflor

Cecile Thevenot - founder of Permacultura Penyaflor
Cecile Thevenot – founder of Permacultura Penyaflor

In April 2019 Permacultura Penyaflor hosted a group of youth from Barcelona. The group visit was organized by a local NGO from Sant Andreu and the reason for the trip to the south was, to give the youth some experience of alternative living in the countryside.

Cecile Thevenot offered some workshops and a guided tour passing important locations and installations on the plot.

Permacultura Penyaflor, Cecile and all the other helpers are donating their knowledge to a lot of guests per year, neither Cecille charged any money for hosting these 20 people for one week.

Cecile Thevenot - a guided tour through Permacultura Penyaflor
Cecile Thevenot – a guided tour through Permacultura Penyaflor

Cecile is very engaged in the region and abroad about Permaculture and alternative sustainable living in the countryside. She is aware about missleading effects of mass-consumption and together with herr old friend Pep and members of her family and wwoofers and friends and neighbours she try to establish Permacultura Penyaflor as a hotspot of alternative farming, alternative tourism and alternative education.

All this is happen without subvention, without any care or help of the surrounding society and even most of the parents of the youth from Barcelona had never heard anything about this amazing project in the south of Catalunya.

Cecile explain handlung of compost toilet waste and organic waste on Permaculture Penyaflor
Cecile explain handlung of compost toilet waste and organic waste on Permaculture Penyaflor

In ancient societies – and till now in some asian countries – it was a common behaiviour for guests to use the toilet of the host after being invited for lunch or dinner. These grounded people where knowing that organic waste has value (like the food) and is itself part of the natural alimentation of a vegetable garden.

When Cecile cook her hands deep in the waste she was searching for some insects and worms to explain the natural circles around compost. The youth where uncertain about this contact with “mother earth” but they where looking and listening carefully and concentrated. Nobody had to call for order. Nobody had to explain why this might be a pure and important lesson for life. Youth still have a fine sense to realize the importance of a source of knowledge.

building a shelter with organic material and building a team
building a shelter with organic material and building a team

In one other workshop we offered the group to build a shelter, mostly by using local organic material from the plot. The shelter will support shadow for young plants in summer and should be also a stable host against strong winds and to much rain.

By talking about tripods, triangles, nods, dimensions and construction principals we talked about mathematics, physics and chemics. It came along on the way to solve problems (stability of the construction, purpuse, risks) and it was not mentioned as a classical education session. Most important we talked 5 minutes about a technical solution to reach a stable position for a pillar and we worked hours on that.

messuring, calculating, working in a team, organized by the youth by themselves
messuring, calculating, working in a team, organized by the youth by themselves

Can you believe it, no smartphones at all… we as the trainers and teachers of this informal education events are paid with total attention by the youth. Looking in their faces we imagine the concentration in something important, a feeling of ballance between inside and outside.

fixing the roof and realize the main structure
fixing the roof and realize the main structure

Nothing is greater than the experience of realizing a project in a team and feeling the sense of engagement. Beside other positive sideeffects for the individual mental state we have to underline the fundamental advantage of informal learning: it is learning for a purpose, defined by the learner, not by the teacher.

Modern societies seperated the space for learning from the space for doing it. This was mostly initiated from weak members of a society who wanted to escape from the space of doing it, motivated by the advantage not to be in the global competition. The price we all pay for this are less and less well educated youth for complex modern contemorary societies.

Again and again each generation think it might know what is the best for the next generation by treating them with their old fashioned values. Again an again the outcome of people realize by taking their first individual steps in the society that they are not prepared for what they had to be prepared for. And again and again they route their children to the same temples of classical education and they argue, that their is no other way.

To empover the youth in getting the experience they are requesting for, is our first job. To empower them again, when they have their own children, to cultuvate more and more informal education around there kids… is the next.

strong workers are testing the stability and are proud of their work
strong workers are testing the stability and are proud of their work

People from Permacultura Penyflor are showing us the other way. We should take care about Cecile Thevnot and these people. They are facilitator, mentor, trainer, friend and they donate their knowledge and time. They give their best to the new generation, their attention and their love.

Hestias heaven – a new fireplace for the art camp

Hestia is a virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state. In March 2019 we inaugurated a rocket stove with two different tajine cources.

Hestia is the old name for altar, fireplace and hearth. Familiafelliz is on the way to develop the art camp as a social space for gathering of individuals, families and groups related to our social art projects. Establishing a catering area was and is and will be important. Fireplaces, stoves and ovens are components for these daily gatherings. Setting up the infrastructure for nutrition workshops, for catering and service of group visits and for experimental cooking events was and is still a goal all over the color garden, the art camp and the campus of our free university of informal education.

hestias heaven - agnieszka from poland is preparing a vegetarian tajine
hestias heaven – agnieszka from poland is preparing a vegetarian tajine

Agnieszka from Poland was preparing a vegetarian tajine in march 2019 on a simple fireplace realized by using a wash drum and surrounded by stones. The power of the fire inside a wash drum gave us the motivation to build a secure and nice environment for new visitors. We decided to set up a third fire- and service place nearby the rocket stove and Arne and Isa from Germany on their way from Germany to the atlantic coast of spain joined the project.

hestias heaven - foundation of the stove
hestias heaven – foundation of the stove

In a first step Arne realized a little foundation based on cement and washed stones from the dry river nearby.

hestias-heaven - preparing mortar in a tub - old style
hestias-heaven – preparing mortar in a tub – old style

For little construction works we are using old tools like this tub. Independend of electric power we can realize mortar in all places of the color garden.

hestias-heaven - arne is preparing pillar and socket of the fireplace with little glas bottles
hestias-heaven – arne is preparing pillar and socket of the fireplace with little glas bottles

The mix of soil, cal and cement (6:1:1) is connecting the bricks and give stability for the littlle circle of glass bottles.

hestias-heaven - arne seaving soil and finishing the basement of the fireplace
hestias-heaven – arne seaving soil and finishing the basement of the fireplace

Using local materials is giving us an advantage in logistics, economy and time. Using the glass bottles as a reference to past gatherings and as a design item connect many generations of visitors and guests with this place.

hestias-heaven - the wash drum sourounded by ceramics and bricks and soil based mortar
hestias-heaven – the wash drum surounded by ceramics and bricks and soil based mortar

The wash drum at its final place.

hestias-heaven - ceramic mosaic details and cleaned glass bottles
hestias-heaven – ceramic mosaic details and cleaned glass bottles

In the socket of the fireplace we used leftovers from a mosaic workshop in 2018 and we started with the service bar at the right side (next pillar and first line of vine bottles).

hestias-heaven Isa and Arne behind the new fireplace
hestias-heaven Isa and Arne behind the new fireplace

In 29 of April we inaugurated the new fireplace with a Calçotada and vegetables and seafood.

hestias-heaven - the power of natural wood fire
hestias-heaven – the power of natural wood fire

Hestia is honored by this open kitchen area, as in ancient times in Greece. “Wherever food was cooked, or an offering was burnt, she thus had her share of honour; also, in all the temples of the gods she has a share of honour. ” Among all mortals she was chief of the goddesses.

Even this project is a good sample of the organic development of the art camp and its facilities. Started by Tine and Dirk in January 2019, continued by young students from Halle in March 2019 we are on the way to develop more and more the Crystallization point of community life here in Cervera del Maestre.

If you step in, have a look to that place, linked to many generations of helpers and visitors, all on the tribe to look for alternative community life and personal happiness.

Thanks to Agnieszka, Arne, Isa, Tine and Dirk for their contribution to Hestias heaven, the new fireplace in the garden of Familiafeliz.

Willing workers on organic farms

willing workers on organic farms
willing workers on organic farms

In spring 2019 we worked on the watering infrastructure in the vegetable garden. Belen from Argentina joined us to support the project and she was working hard to clean the ground under the young trees in the garden.

willing workers on organic farms - belen is planting
willing workers on organic farms – belen is planting

Familiafeliz get nearly every two days a request from wwoofers (willing workers on organic farms). Some of them apply via our form here on this website, some are using international databases like worldpackers or or the just send an application by mail.

The normal case might be that a host is running a business related to organic farming, agriculture, permaculture or to any other social activity (like animal protection). All these spaces have their ROI (return of investment) by hosting the workers, because they contribute to their production chain and help to establish and maintain the hosts economy.

In our case we do not make money! Familiafeliz do not sell products neither we charge money for guests. So we need to refuse most of the applications, not because of a specific reason given by an application. We just have no economical ressource to host more than a few wwoofers per year.

Our goal is to spread a message of a social space for personal happiness into the world. Most of the wwoofers are between 20 and 45 years and they are looking for alternative communities and lifestyles. We want to show them our way of life and give them a chance to live with us for a short period. Some are inspired by our rules and organisation, others by our infrastructure and activities.

Nevertheless we are hoping to find also some new members to share our vision of a future social life for a longer time, maybe becomming member of our community.

Belen was planting salads around the young trees. She was consuming ressources from earlier wwoofers and she supported the accommodation of future guests and wwoofers.

willing workers on organic farms - the circle of alimentation
willing workers on organic farms – the circle of alimentation

We see familiafeliz and our social project on a long run. Planting a salad is a circle of 3 to 4 month, planting a fruit tree is a circle of 100 or more years. According to the game theory we are playing infinite games… and we know it.

Storyteller and Storybeliever

storyteller-storybeliever – the first choice of reference

Four years ago we prepared the Spanish location for community life. One of the first activities in the garden area was to set up a point of reference for further design decisions and to commit ourselves to this project.

This symbolic act of commitment was the introduction for a new story, the story of the alternative living community familiafeliz.

We are storytellers and we are storybelievers. In a social competition between individuals and groups we try to bind ourselves to stories we invented to give sense to our actions or even to reactions of others.

Its all about stories. Even science is a believe system. We choose between different stories of how its gonna work and we believe the most common, or the most siutable or the most rare.

Sometimes our stories are astonishing and surprising at the same time. We do not know what Nigel Farage two german (!) kids are thinking about BREXIT but looking debates in the british House of Commons in 2019 is a fairy tail of storytelling at all. As the political economy professor Blyth explained, Brexit doesn’t matter on a long run, but most of the Europeans are sure about the negative impact of the referendum in 2016 in UK.

In the 9/11 debate we see evidence in inside jobs or falls flag interventions because we don’t like the government. In the four horseman we find the truth in listening secretaries of foreign political leaders because we like to trust people who explained us that we can not trust anybody any more.

One of the most common and famous story is the story about money. Even middle east fighters for the truth are keeping American bugs in protected places, the notes from the most hated animy, because they also believe in the value of these pieces of paper.

As a social animal we host very different stories and if we meet a tipping point in which we need to change the story we are furious to switch to another. In the competition between all these different and mostly incoherent stories we are able to switch from on incompatible story to another in a second (by surprising our family, friends and partners).

The advantage of inventing all these stories is obviously the glue to bind society and to organize ourselves and others around us. We like to know the truth, but it seems to be a hell outside and we are on a lifetime ride to find it.

We are looking for evidence for myths like “We are equal. We have human rights. We are social. The truth will have success.”

From public affairs to religion, from evidence in science to myth and culture, we stick on stories. In fact we are not able to handle the perception of reality without using any story. And for sure, any story is better than no story.

So what is the story of an alternative living community about?

storyteller-storybeliever - tajine in the art camp as a social art event
storyteller-storybeliever – tajine in the art camp as a social art event

The main story of familiafeliz is to create a social space for personal happiness. Whatever story is invented to fullfill this, as long as it respects the story of the others, its fine and suitable.

As a social artist i think, creating a kitchen and building a room for gathering people is a fundamental act of society building. If we want to explore further alternatives of how human mankind could survive in a much bigger competition about bio mass in the future, i think, it make sense to create places to meet, to gather, to enjoy.

Loved friends like Cecile in Permacultura Penyaflor near Tortosa are looking for alternatives and they invent their own stories. Cecocesola in Venezuela is a great example of a story of 5 woman. Now more than 43.000 people are believing in this story every day.

Lunch and dinner are perfect reasons for people to come together and to enjoy social time. Mostly in these relaxed environments people are willing to exchange their story and to validate its power and success.

storyteller-storybeliever - land art at the beach to underline the value of no sense - activities
storyteller-storybeliever – land art at the beach to underline the value of no sense – activities

Architecture – short or long term temporary – is in general a powerful tool to design a physical space for this exchange. To build a fish out of stones is a totally senseless project, except the fact that i can enjoy it and that i can invite others to discover the world in a joyfull way and push them to invent their own story about it.

So what counts at the end of the day? What matters in a world of competative stories and storytellers and who is in charge to decide the truth?

I have no clue for that except the fact, that familiafeliz is one of the best places i know to discover a nice future embedded in many happy moments with lovely people. And it’s not because it’s closed, it’s defined, it’s settled… it’s because its open, undefined, unfinished, imperfect, maybe because it’s a story invented and started in 2015 based on 40 years of life experience with a core group of members.

Familiafeliz is a unfinished story, we started to tell it since 2014 to more than 200 guests per year and it will grow in stories of others.

storyteller-storybeliever - an undefined community on its journey
storyteller-storybeliever – an undefined community on its journey

Thanks to all these friends and guests for inventing a story about a social space for personal happiness. At the end of the day, its a story about LOVE.

Family Constellation


In early march 2019 we had some visitors from Germany, a young family with 2 kids. Lea the woman, started the communication with us and finally they arrived, coming from France on their way to Portugal. They parked their Camper Van in the garden area under a big carob tree and joined us in some tasks in the garden.

family-constellation-lunch under olive trees

In the last four years we had several times families with young kids at our place, and a lot of times we have requests or applications from single-mums with a little child on the way to search for a siutablle community.

In most of the times we are asked if there are other kids in the community. We have to say NO (because we talk the truth), not yet. The normal reply is than: “Ok thanks but i am looking for a bigger community with children because i want that my child is playing with others and i want exchange and sharings with other mums.”

As long as nobody want to be the first, it will not work in our place. We are just in the process to create a community life here in CASAdelDRAGON and we need people willing to start something from scratch.

family-constellation-space for peace in the garden area

We enjoyed another time the visit of this family with kids and we ask them for a short review on their stay in the color garden.

“Searching for communities and different ways of life, we made our first stop at Familia Feliz in Cervera. We had read about a dyer’s garden. We did not find what we expected, we found what we did not expect 🙂 . For example we found in the garden: Philosophy of life, rooted in simplicity and expectionlessness; very different kind of fruits connected like a mycelium, unclear to the naked eye wheather its one organism, several or plenty; a place where every plant can find its place to grow.  One thing is sure: never expect to find what we found – a garden is constantly changing and there is so much space to grow… Thank you very much! We had a very enriching and inspiring stay enjoying our time together a lot. All the best!”

We have to say thank you. Both adults where very social and helping in construction. We created a place to prepare the food in the open kitchen of the art camp.

Rocket Stove – Part 2

rocket stove - a new skin
rocket stove – a new skin

After building and a first test of the stove we started to finish the outside. A mix of soil, cal and cement (6:2:1) will protect the structure in the future.

rocket stove - burning chamber completed
rocket stove – burning chamber completed

Also we added some last special ceramic stones inside of the burning chamber. And we prepared the top with some old ceramic pieces out of an anchient house in the village of Cervera del Maestre.

rocket stove - final skin
rocket stove – final skin

To protect the structure we added a final skin with soil and cal (6:3).

rocket stove - inauguration
rocket stove – inauguration

On 24 of march 2019 we inaugurated the stove with a gathering around moroccan food out of tajine.

Special thanks to Thomas, Clara, Julien and Agi for helping and contributing to this event.

Rocket Stove – Part 1

rocket stove – foundation

In March 2019 we had 22 visitors from Germany for one week in Cervera del Maestre in the CASAdelDRAGON. As part of the joint venture between the free University of informal education (UNIIE) and the Martin Luther University Halle (MLU) the students worked on an aquaponics project in the Color garden.

Beside this main activity UNIIE offered some workshops and lectures. To build “a rocket stove in one day” was one of these workshops. First we digged a hole based on the sizes of a “proof-of-concept-model”.

rocket stove – foundation with gravel and stones

Then we filled 60 % of the hole with stones and gravel. Every year we have to consider more heavy rain events. Sometimes the area is flodded for a whole week. The stone gravel mix support later the weight of the construction.

rocket stove – isolation between foundation and basement of the oven

In the next step we isolated the foundation from the later basement of the oven. To level the basement we used left over pieces of ceramic stones and brought them on the same height.

Than we filled the space between and we used some iron pieces to increase the stability.

rocket stove – burn chamber and design principals

In the next step we calculated the position of the burning chamber and prepared first the inside chamber mit “reflectarios” – ceramic which support high temperatures. Later we added the structure with ceramic bricks around.

To connect the stones we mixed soil with cal and cement (6:1:1) and water.

rocket stove – learning by doing

To build such a stove in only one day is a challenging experience for most of the students. Even to find a personal speed in using tools and working out details is part of a personal dialoge.

Everybody in the group rejected other offers to leave the project and we worked till late afternoon.

rocket stove – teamwork

Working together and enjoying the result is main part of the workhops from our free university (UNIIE). In creating something with natural materials, working in nature and learning and practise at the same time is a key of deeper understanding and developing skills for further challenges.

rocket stove – design pattern

The design of a rocket stove is based on physics. The advantage is, to heat up the air with any even less valuable wood in a very efficient process. Air with oxygen pass the wood chamber and burn in the burn chamber. The flame is strong because hot air leaving the stove sucks fresh air into the wood chamber and increase the burrning process.

The rocket stove in the art camp of the color garden is an additional fireplace to cook for friends and guests.

rockte stove – first proof 20 hours later

20 hours after digging the hole for the foundation we already cooked for the 22 students and some friends who joined us for lunch.

If you like to offer workshops as part of the UNIIE or if you like to join our activities use this application.

Free University of informal education – lectures

As part of our activities in education we offer some lectures in March 2019.

Julien Ramon – 2019-03-12 – 21.30 hrs – CASAdelDRAGON – “About being a tree farmer” – plans and struggles of a little family to arrive in the Spanish society and to set up a business in agriculture in east Spain. entrance fee: free

Brigitte Schaider – 2019-03-13 – 14.30 hrs – COLOR GARDEN – “The magic luck” artistic lecture in german language – entrance fee: donation base

Juan Petry – 2019-03-13 – 21.30 hrs – CASAdelDRAGON – “no rules, no dogs” – a short introduction in running a alternative living community and to establish another way of organising people on the way to peace and happiness. entrance fee: free

Please announce your visit today till 8 pm (mail, whatsapp, messenger or call).

Bienvenido a Cervera del Maestre

Cervera del Maestre, Castellon, Spain

Drumul spre acest colt de rai nu este deoc greu, 2 ore cu masina din aeroportul din Valencia. Dar hai sa incepem cu inceputul. Cum si de ce am ajuns in acest loc ? Dintr-o fericita coincidenta l-am intalnit pe Juan, un om exceptional ce vine de fiecare data cand poate in Bucuresti pentru a ajuta un ONG, pentru a conecta oameni, pentru a ne demonstra ca desi suntem romani, tara noastra e atat de frumoasa si are atat de mult potential incat un strain vine periodic sa ne ajute cu orice poate. L-am intalnit pe acest om in Bucuresti. Ochii si zambetul lui iti pot spune multe despre placerea cu care  face tot ceea ce face si cat de mult isi doreste ca toata lumea sa inteleaga ce isi doreste el. Ce face el mai exact? O sa aflati in urmatoarele randuri, doar nu plecati.

Inainte sa il intalnesc pe acest om in varsta cu parul alb si cu multeee povesti de spus , prietena mea Koro l-a intalnit si ne-a facut legatura. Dupa primele 5 minute de vorbit prin mesaje am hotarat sa imi cumpar biletul de avion si sa merg in micul colt de paradis ce chiar exista pe pamant. Suna nebunesc, nu ? Dar veti intelege ca este doar inceputul  a ceva minunat, o usa ce ti se deschide poate de cateva ori in viata, iar interesant este ca usa aceasta a acestei vieti e deschisa pentru toata lumea. Nu va imaginati ca sunt vreun om special, deosebit sau cu anumite calitati fantastice, sunt doar un om a carei caracteristica principala este normalitatea si care a ajuns pe acest drum dintr-o fericita coincidenta.

Si uite-ma peste nici 2 luni in acelasi avion cu acest om minunat mergand spre Valencia, unde un prieten de al lui ne astepta sa ne duca la casadeldragon ( minunata casa pe care Juan a construit-o in 20 de ani cu ajutorul a numerosi prieteni) . Si am pornit pe drumul spre paradis. Eu, impreuna cu o multime de intrebari in minte pentru ca nu intelesesem prea bine ce e acolo si unde sa o ajung. Auzisem ceva despre un sat vechi, o casa construita din ruinele unei cetati, o gradina imensa in care arta si stiinta se imbina.. Oooops.. am uitat sa mentionez ca sunt studenta la facultatea de fizica si principala mea preocupare si curiozitate a fost despre cum foloseste stiinta ca sa creeze mini sere, cuptoare si tot felul de ¨nebunii¨. Prima seara cred ca a avut un impact imens. Am ajuns in fata casei si ma simteam ca o printesa intr-un castel de mult uitat. Am intrat si am inteles ca omul care a construit-o nu a realizat doar o casa frumoasa, ci o casa vie, plina de amintiri pentru ca in fiecare colt de casa o sa gasesti cate ceva special, un desen, o pictura, o constructie din mozaic, o masina de scris sau una de cusut, pentru ca fiecare om care a contribuit la aceasta casa a lasat cate o amintire, ceea ce o face sa para ca are viata, vorbeste de la sine aceasta locuinta, nu ai nevoie de prea multe intrebari. Primul lucru bifat deja, casa, o capodopera, o munca incredibila dar minunata, acum urmau restul intrebarilor. Cine sunt acesti oameni? Ce fac ei aici? De unde vin? De ce acest loc ?

almond trees in the garden

Incet incet am primit toate raspunsurile pe care le cautam si, cu siguranta ceva mai mult de atat, o lectie de viata despre cum se poate trai si altfel.

Asadar, in prima seara am luat cina la una din prietenele lui Juan, ceea ce mi s-a parut foarte dragut din partea ei sa ne primeasca si sa se poarte cu noi ca si cand am fi fost la noi acasa, dar, dupa cateva zile de stat aici am realizat ca nu este doar un mod dragut, ci pur si simplu un mod de a trai, pentru ca ei toti, sunt o mare familie. Care toti? Daca as sta sa ii enumar cred ca m-as incurca in numarat, pentru ca din aceasta superba comunitate fac parte toti oamenii care doresc. Si, dupa cateva zile am realizat cat de saraci suntem noi in comparatie cu ei, cat de lipsit de calitate traim in mare parte a timpului, cum fugim in fiecare zi dintr-o parte in alta fara sa avem timp sa ne oprim sa admiram rasaritul sau sa vorbim pentru cateva minute cu vecinii nostri. Nu stiu daca si voi faceti parte din aceeasi categorie de oameni ca si mine, dar banuiesc ca multi dintre cei ce vor citi acest articol o vor face in timp ce sunt la munca in fata unui calculator sau in pauza de masa pentru ca mereu alergam dintr-o parte in alta si niciodata nu avem timp pentru ceea ce conteaza. Dar pana la urma cine stabileste ceea ce conteaza? Noi! Asa cum acesti oameni au stabilit ca pentru ei e mai important sa aiba o comunitate superba, ca o familie, sa se cunoasca extrem de bine, sa nu fie niciodata singuri cand iau masa si sa primeasca pe oricine doreste sa vada cum traiesc ei cu bratele deschise. Ba chiar, mai mult de atat, sa ii gazduiasca si sa le ofere orice au nevoie fara sa ceara nimic la schimb. Poate in momentul in care vei citi , te vei intrebar daca este posibil sa traiesti asa, dar eu sunt exemplul viu care a fost, a vazut, a inteles si a ales sa scrie acest articol in semn de recunostinta pentru toata munca depusa de acesti oameni si pentru a ridica un steag, pentru a face un semn celor ce s-au saturat sa traiasca intr-un haos total. Daca te sperie ideea ca nu vei avea din ce trai aici, nu iti fa griji. Sunt atat de multe de facut incat nu vei avea timp sa te plictisesti. Frumusetea lucrurilor consta in faptul ca nu trebuie sa faci ceva azi sau maine, ca nu ai o sarcina de indeplinit pana la finalul lunii sau a saptamnaii. Tu esti cel care hotaraste ce face si cand face si cum face. Pentru ca tu esti cel care decide, tu esti intotdeauna cel care decide. Daca te sperie ideea ca poti da gres si ca asta nu e o viata pentru tine, ci doar preferi sa iti spuna altcineva ce ai de facut pentru ca atunci vei spune ca daca nu esti fericit e responsibilitatea altora nu a ta, te inseli. Pentru ca tu ai ales sa ti se spuna ceea ce ai de facut, deci e responsibilitatea ta orice s-ar intampla. Asa ca ce alegi? Ai putea sa decizi dupa ce faci un drum pana aici, in acest colt de rai in care mai mult ca sigur toti se vor bucura sa te primeasca, sa imparta casa cu tine, sa imparta mancarea lor cu tine si timpul lor cu tine. Ei sunt doar oameni pe care viata i-a adus cumva impreuna, intr-o minunata comunitate. Nu sunt doar spanioli sau englezi , sunt pur si simplu oameni de peste tot din jurul lumii, oameni care au ales sa traisca aici si sa faca parte din comunitate, oameni cu diferite povesti de viata, atat de diferiti, dar, totusi, atat de asemanatori, avand aceleasi idei despre viata ideala. Totusi, sa nu va imaginati ca au descoperit perfectiunea si ca sunt niste oameni pentru care totul merge perfect. Asa ceva nu exista. Ei au descoperit doar frumusetea  de a incerca, de a gresi si de a o lua de la capat. Au descoperit ca daca esti fericit si imparti asta cu cineva te face de doua ori mai fericit. Au invatat ca daca mananc ceva delicios si impart cu altcineva, pur si simplu devine si mai bun. Au invatat sa greseasca impreuna, sa progreseze impreuna si sa fie fericiti impreuna. Sa rezolve totul impreuna, pentru ca sunt mai mult decat o comunitate, sunt o familie care e pregatita oricand sa primeasca noi membri. Fie pentru totdeauna, fie pentru o zi, fie pentru o saptamana, nu conteaza, esti binevenit oricand. Au bratele deschise pentru oameni veniti din toate colturile lumii si daca ii intrebi cati oameni le-au trecut pragul casei in ultimii 30 de ani de cand acest loc exista, vor spune putin timid ca au pierdut numaratoarea pe la 1500 de oameni si ca nu conteaza cati, conteaza doar ca ei sa aiba parte de un timp cat mai placut aici.

narrow streets in Cervera del Maestre

Pot spune ca am avut parte de o experienta superba aici, ca am invatat mai multe decat as fi crezut, ca am vazut ca se poate trai intr-un fel atat de frumos si de simplu incat nici nu ti-ar veni sa crezi. Nu ai nevoie de prea multe. doar de o minte deschisa spre orice propunere, de la stiinte exacte, pana la arta, oamenii acestia au imbinat totul intr-o poveste de viata incredibila pe care doresc sa o imparta cu cat mai multa lume, sa nu o tina ascunsa pentru ca si tu, oricine ai fi, de la sofer de taxi la cel mai cunoscut medic, poti intelege ceva minunat din acest loc. Am invatat ca nu poti fi dezamagit daca nu ai asteptari de la nimeni, am invatat ca nu trebuie sa faci ceva daca nu iti doresti. Am invatat ca exista oameni care au timp sa aiba 3 mese pe zi, si sa isi acorde tot timpul din lume pentru a le pregati si a manca impreuna cu alti oameni. Am invatat ca exista liniste chiar si acolo unde viata nu a fost prea frumoasa . Am invatat ca singura problema care nu se poate rezolva e moartea si ca oricum poti muri maine dar singurul lucru important e cum ai trait pana atunci.

Nu cred ca sunt lucruri pe care sa nu fi le auzit inainte, sau sa nu le fi stiut. Frumusetea lor consta in faptul ca le vezi, sunt mai mult sau mai putin palpabile, dar le simti, le auzi, ii vezi pe toti oamenii astia traind asa, si nu, nu a fost pentru niciunul din ei o viata perfecta, nu s-au trezit din intamplare cu averi sau mosteniri imense, doar au ales sa nu faca din viata asta o lupta pentru lucruri lipsite de calitate si valori, au ales sa munceasca din greu pentru altceva, pentru o liniste si o pace pe care noi, in cele mai bune cazuri, reusim sa le avem la pensie si poate nici atunci, pentru ca de cele mai multe ori suntem singuri, si nu, nu e rau sa ai timp pentru tine. Nu va imaginati ca nu poti avea timp doar pentru tine, nu va imaginati ca locul asta e o fuga de realitate, e pur si simplu o alta realitate, una pe care nu o vedem, sau o ignoram sau, pur si simplu pare mult prea riscanta. Bineinteles ca nu sunt singurii oameni care au facut asta, si ca mai sunt multe comunitati care se bazeaza pe aceasta idee, dar este prima comunitate pe care eu am intalnit-o .

jam of pears

O sa va intrebati daca dupa atatea laude am ales sa ramand definitiv aici, intrebare pe care si eu as avea-o in locul vostru. Raspunsul este nu, iar argumentul este simplu. Mi se pare ca asta este doar inceputul unei frumoase calatorii prin viata, ci ca am descoperit un loc, dar mai sunt sute, poate chiar mii de locuri de explorat si de descoperit. Am ales sa imi urmez visul, sa vad mai mult si mai mult si mai mult pana cand pot alege si decide cum vreau sa traiesc. Dar va invit sa vedeti cu ochii vostri, nu prin ochii mei. Sa vedeti o alternativa a vietii haotice, sa vedeti ca pacea vine dinauntru, sa cunoasteti oameni si povesti de viata, sa va cunoasteti pe voi. Va invit sa explorati un loc ce a prins viata doar din intamplare, fara un motiv anume, locul acesta a fost ales de oameni in repetate randuri, vremea este superba, satul este uimitor, oamenii sunt mereu zambitori si, desi pare o populatie putin imbatranita au atat de multe zambete de oferit incat nu vei putea sa nu zambesti in fiecare zi. Va invit sa vedeti si lucrurile pe care voi le-ati face diferit. Evit sa le numesc greseli pentru ca sunt doar parerei de viata diferite. Suntem datori noua sa incercam sa facem mai mult si mai bine, suntem datori celor din jur sa impartasim astfel de experiente . De ce am ales sa scriu acest articol? Pentru ca mi s-ar parea egoist sa pastrez aceasta experienta doar pentru mine cand toata lumea ar putea sa o aiba, pentru ca este posibila, minunata si incantatoare aceasta experienta si pentru ca poti invata atat de multe, de la cum sa ai grija de o gradina, la cum sa iti gasesti linistea si fericirea. Daca va intrebati cati ani am petrecut aici ca sa realizez toate asta o sa va raspund sincer, 9, dar nu ani, zile. Stiu ca pare incredibil dar multumita altor oameni minunati din viata mea aveam deja toate informatiile acestea in minte, precum cred ca mare parte din voi le au, dar in 9 zile, locul asta mi-a dat incredere, speranta, si confirmarea faptului ca informatiile din mintea mea nu sunt doar o lume idilica ci ceva ce se poate construi atat de simplu atata timp cat iti doresti , atata timp cat structura nu e complicata si vointa exista incat va doresc tuturor celor care citesc articol sa treaca macar o data in viata printr-un loc ca acesta si sa se bucure de placerea de a trai cu adevarat si de a vedea ca exista viata dincolo de stres, dincolo de munca. Daca ati citit pana aici, vreau sa va multumesc si sper ca ati simtit macar o parte din ceea ce am simtit eu si ca ati cunoscut o parte dintr-un simplu om, Ana.

romanian cake in the house of the dragon

the game of life

inventing a game for teambuilding and leadership

Familiafeliz is a decentralized community. Its purpose is to deliver joy and happiness and share values like honesty and trust and peace with others, equal, whether they are part of the core group of members or associates or just visitors for short or longer time in one of our home units or elsewhere in the world.

For this also our activities are not sticking on one plot on this planet! We are engaged in various countries rolling out social activities, creative workshops and innovative gatherings.

In February of 2019 we invited adults and youth for a workshop about how to create a game for trainers and teams running a summer camp.

The motivation for these theme is based on our experience in Bucharest with the NGO Apeal/CTS. They are offering summer school activities since 2010. And there are highly interested in having train the trainer sessions.

Enjoy – the game of life will be a tool for any train-the-trainer workshop to develop skills like organising groups, planning events, evaluating social activities and creative leadership in general.

the book of rules team thinking about a guide for playing the game

14 people from Bucharest and villages nearby came together for two sessions of each 5 hours to organize themselves and start to develop the game. After 14 intensly hours we where able to play with a unfinished prototype a first time the game, discovering all missing rules, tools and handy documentations we need to add later to accomplish the task.

grabbing a video about how to explain the game

In many circles we discovered step by step all these little pieces of information we needed to bring together to create the game really.

documentation from the beginning

In a high dynamic session of a workshop in which the members are working constantly and intensely on the subject a good documentation is mandatory. The high speed of short interactions in the teams needs also updates in having milestone exchanges with the other teams based on profund documentation.

the question of evaluation

On the way everybody discovered that creating a game is a huge target. Design icons to guide visual, redesign it again and again by following the milestones of the other teams, inventing rules and explore its frictions and developing a clear language to transport as much as possible information in few words, thinking about main questions like why somebody should play this game, what he will learn from it, how he could develop, what should be the values he should meet on the way…how to develop social competence and measure it…. a lot of very important questions.

At the end of the day the game was played once, unfinished and full of gaps in description, design, rules and construction. But everybody committed himself to the fact that he would like to play the game and some of the group decided to go on in developing the game in their own environments (NGOs and schools).

We will continue to work on it and we hope to publish it soon as a useful and free tool to develop leadership for youth and adults in companies and other places in which social interaction and management is highly requested.

To do this as an artist embedded in abeautiful alternative living community is a great pleasure, as well as working together with engaged people like Serban and Sorina from Apeal / CTS here in Bucharest (Juan Petry), Thank you for that!