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Youth Exchange ERASMUS+ in Italy

written by Roy Hendriks

Monday 30 April 2018

Memories don’t live like people do, reminiscing on the time in Italy and proceeding with Permaculture adventures. The youth exchange with 60 youths from different European countries was absolutely awe-inspiring, not only did we learn a lot about Permaculture but we also worked together as a community. The purpose of this youth exchange was for national groups in Europe getting to know each other and set up a network for empowering youth to engage/start projects in Permaculture.

We had an introduction to Sociocracy, which is a method for people to work and decide together where everybody has a voice. We had a workshop about the economy and I find this to be a very interesting perspective: What if our financial system looked more like an ecosystem. We also had a workshop about energy, solar and wind. There was a race bike which was attached to a power generator and when pedaling you could connect electrical devices like a vinyl player (see image below).

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Learning to learn, working together and community building are some keywords from this youth exchange, we learned about each other’s countries’ cultures and traditions. Some of the activities were jamming on instruments, Reggae DJ session from Rakesh Rootsman Rak, creating art in and with nature, silent and talking walk & last but not least the closing party!!

After the very inspiring Youth exchange, it was time to finish the Permaculture design course with Rakesh Rootsman Rak (https://www.facebook.com/RakeshRoot...) as a teaching facilitator, with loads of fun and learning moments finished the course and got my certificate in the pocket!

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Then it was time to learn and design on the field so I decided to look for a place where I can learn and practice Permaculture.

I found Boodaville to be a nice place to start as it’s still quite new and developing so I can go crazy with designing and implementing. (Crazy in a good way..)

I aim to be a Permaculture & Sociocracy teacher in the future, also the restoration of ecosystems I find very important to save our planet.

three months later:
So now I’m currently in Boodaville <- link to website https://boodaville.wordpress.com/ (Which is a Youth exchange partner) as a long-term EVS volunteer together with Maja who is a long-term volunteer. (EVS = European voluntary service)

Since a few weeks I’m on the site and the timing couldn’t be better, Claudia (1-month volunteer) picked me up from Barcelona and we went to Boodaville together. The next day started with a course called: Living Permaculture, there were about 15 lovely people which some of them had experience with Permaculture and some completely new.

Gerald was the main facilitator of teaching and I had the amazing opportunity to assist with teaching!

The first day was an introduction session, what is Permaculture? The next days were more practical like designing & building a wicking bed, sunken bed & kitchen garden but due to lots of rain, mud and cold weather, we were forced to have more indoor sessions which lead us to the opportunity to have more social sessions.

We had an appreciation circle, watched some documentaries, played musical instruments and explained some of the Permaculture designing processes. Creatively use & respond to change

After the course, we’re now with a small but dedicated team on site. Maja and I will be staying until the end of this year but some other short-term volunteers will be here as well! Check out the Boodaville website for more info on courses and events which also can be found on Facebook! (link to boodaville facebook https://www.facebook.com/boodaville/)

Nature is the best teacher. We’re not trying to save nature, we are nature saving ourselves.