Programme & action: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: Training course
Venue: Kokkola, Finland
Dates: 1-8 April 2016
Participants: Jan Kosař, Ján Wlachovský
Participating countries: Sweden, Finland, Malta, Slovakia, UK, Czech Republic, Belgium, Italy, Estonia, Austria, Greece
Hosting organisation: A-net Ungdomsforum
When I applied for this project, I didn’t really know, what to expect. The topic was about finding yourself, connected with sexuality, so my expectations were mixed.
This training course took place in Kokkola. This city is in the northern part of Finland, in the middle of nowhere. For one week, we stayed in lovely cottages. Around us, there was only a frozen sea, forests, and big sauna building. Our food was prepared by our very friendly chef Ryan and his team, and I have to say, it was delicious.
We had one trip to Kokkola city, which was very boring because there is literally nothing there. We had two saunsa evenings. After the sauna in Finland, you can take a shower to cool down, but who would do that, if you have a frozen sea just next to you. So what do you do? Dig the whole in that and jump in there. And then, you can imagine, it was like Jack from the Titanic in his last scene with Rose on that piano.
So what was this training about? On the first day, there was an intro. We were slightly heading to the sexuality subject, but as I said only slightly. Therefore, we were expecting a spicier program from the next days. It didn’t come though. What came was much important for every participant in there. Together, in the middle of nowhere, we created very unique and safe environment to think, share, talk about things, some of us have never done before. The tasks we were supposed to do, the questions we were supposed to ask to other participants and to ourselves, led us to discover forgotten and maybe even forbidden things inside us. In this training course, participants – my new friends were able to release hidden things from the deep inside of their hearts and minds. We were able to talk about them and to deal with them. You don’t do these things among your friends at home. You are too afraid of their reaction if you admit something very personal. Or maybe most importantly, they wouldn’t even listen. But we did it. And that was only possible in such a safe environment we had there. We called it “the bubble”, because there was nobody from the outside world. And it was strong, very strong. It is hard to describe, what was going on, it took me 3 days to get into that flow, I don’t expect to understand it after reading one review J.
1.4.2016, twenty-two people entered “the bubble”, but one week later, twenty different people left it.