Written by Jurjen
Hello again everybody,
I wrote already something short that came up in my mind after the camp, but I wanted to share a bit more because I sometimes need some extra time to process my experiences into explainable thoughts.
It was my second time at the camp and this year I was instead of a participator a volunteer. A role for which I didn’t know beforehand what it exactly would involve for me…
The adventure towards Lemele all started with picking up some people at Schiphol. Luuk and I planned to guide them in Zwolle. Which is a city that I just visited once before to have Fika (not the Italian but the Swedish one). So, I had actually no idea where to go. :’) In other words, this day was all about improvisation and a nice way to already meet a few of the participators. The highlight of the day: I saw a giant from Estonia eating a package of Stroopwafels as I have never seen a human do before.
We arrived and I was very happy to meet new people new Stamily-member victims and friends from last year’s camp. But let’s skip some parts and keep on talking about food for now. It turned out on the second day that the stress levels in the kitchen were getting to a boiling point (pun intended). So, it became clear what my other functionality as a volunteer would be: joining the beautiful kitchen team.
On this picture are Raul, Juuso and Jurjen. The left is Raul, but it is still not sure who Juuso and who Jurjen is.
I like making food, I like sharing food, and I like working together with people, so this was a great way to combine all these things!
Besides being in the kitchen, I also had the chance to experience a week full of emotions, with a flow of goosebumps and tears throughout the highlight of the week: the open-mic. People who opened up, gave speeches, and conquered fears.
I set every year a goal to achieve and at the beginning of this year, I told myself that I wanted to become a better public speaker. So, I really liked the theme of this year: natural communication.
You have so many ways that ‘natural communication’ makes sense. One can think of showing/reading body language, hugging trees, calming the body with meditation and mindfulness, or the smell of food made by the best kitchen team, and so much more that I discovered that week… Let me just share one other way. This way of natural communication happened during the open-mic (that I already mentioned), when my body and mind were communicating with me when I stepped on the stage.
I was very confident when I walked towards this stage. But right after the moment that I stood on this blue mattress and saw 103 eyes (uneven number because there was always at least one person closing one eye to dry some of his/her tears from a previous speech) + a camera pointed towards me, the natural communication inside my head started.
During my speech, I had actually no idea if I was saying what I wanted to say. And I stuttered much more than I usually do. Was it the lack of sleep, the emotions from the previous speeches, or the adrenaline that influenced me? Who cares?! Oh yeah, my ego did. That bitch was asking me why I didn’t stay in the kitchen, cutting tofu, spicing up the chicken, or making some salad. Then there were all these chemical reactions in my head that were messing with me, producing cortisol and feeding my body with a nervous feeling, rushing through my veins. This made this negative voice from my ego more powerful. But luckily there were my rationality and progressive-part that fought against this bad guy. Telling my ego to shut up because I was standing there. Standing there because I wanted to experience being more on stage and doing what I love: communicate. Only my ego told me differently.
I see now that the couch has a hidden Belgian flag!