Participants of the 2012 Youth and Elders Voyage

Participant’s Blog: Shirley Gallagher

My Introduciton blog

My name is Shirley Gallagher and i living in Cork this last 13 years but I am from Arranmore Island, Co Donegal, Ireland. As an islander, it is natural still to group together in youth and elders from 8 to 80. Emigration has always been part of our lives so community matters. As part of the diaspora it’s a great feeling to be welcomed home by family, friends and neighbours. We feel tragedies as one and we celebrate when we can.

I am trained as a scientist and have worked in industry for years. But business as usual practises and lip service on sustainable action got me motivated to walk the walk. As Gandhi said ‘ be the change you want to see in the world’.  I (…)

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Participant’s Blog: Anna Hanschmidt

I am sitting on the train from Amsterdam to Berlin, I see the landscapes fly by, I can see people around me, some are reading, smiling, others sleeping. – Sleeping. This sounds like a good plan, my body says. But my heart and my mind are so awake that I decided take this energy and write this text. At this moment I feel like I am travelling through worlds. Yesterday I co-facilitated with some of my colleagues from Knowmads International Business School an event about alternative education and now I am going back to Germany to sail away in 2 days with over 30 people from all over the world that I hardly know. But I can feel that there is a certain kind of unity in our heartbeats- we (…)

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Participants’ Blog – Susanne Baberg

So, now I am almost off to get some maps and info material from OCHA before we leave, attend the Strategie group meeting (new strategy for Israel/Palestine in the Civil Peace Service for the next 3-5 years) get back home, free my cats of fleas, say good bye to some people and hopefully pack the relevant staff. The week has been so full and the organisation efforts of the last month for May’s Visa have taken quite some space too.

So so far, there has not been much time to get exited – besides the relief when getting some generous funding from Tim after all other efforts failed and my parents throwing in a bit, too. Then the crazy story of trying to take on of the elders from the (…)

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Participant’s Blog: Sue Kafka-Ellis

I am excited about our voyage..and anxious. My experience, life has been so different and I am not at all confident that anything I have to say is of any interest. BUT as an artist , i am very happy to record and observe and of course if I can contribute, i will.

I grew up in a lonely situation, on a remote farm, then at 7 sent to a boarding school which I was unhappy in. University (CapeTown) was wonderful as were my subjects, Fine Art and English and I loved teaching them. I was always a protester, on the edge, against Apartheid and after all the environmental issues. I am delighted that so many people think so seriously about their role in society.

My experience as a retired (…)

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Participant’s Blog: Diederik Saeijs

Waning Caterpillar moon


Aaniin Crew

This person is very exited to share in community with you, fish and bird, wave and wind the last quarter of this moon. When looking at some trees these suns one could see them filled with silky thread. The threads sometimes make big webs and clusters and sometimes there is just a lonely thread of body length or longer hanging from the top branch down. At the end they are bundled together with many: green yellowish caterpillars with a double line of black dots on their backs. They seem very vulnerable at first, although no person seems to want to feast on them. They are open. They are communicating. Any time a wind would get hold of them they form a new togetherness. With (…)

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Participant’s Blog: Trevor Seery

Hi Youth and Elders,

Getting very excited about this adventure now, cannot wait to meet every one.
I have attached a photo and some words about why I am joining this voyage.

I have wrote a small piece below, it may seem in some way pessimistic in its outlook, it is what first came to mind. I am an eternal optimist, although sometimes a frustrated one. if you want to include it on the blog, please do.

Why I joined this voyage:

“What is young and what is old or elder?, we define young and old by age and the external appearance of our skin and physical capability. In our present society young people from my point of view are not always listened to by elders and vice versa from (…)

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Participant’s Blog: Yuliya Stankevich

Yuliya Stankevich, Belarus:

Youth and elders. a group of people on the boat, aiming to challenge themselves and to learn.i feel exitement i haven’t felt for years, going to trust myself to the sea and proccess.

For me this project is to explore being Young or Elder not in terms of age, but regarding characteristics and roles – the more i try in my life, the more elder i feel; so with gaining more experience, becoming able to share and to mentor, but in the same time the quiestion for me is how in the same time to stay open and curious, to doubt and explore.. (…)

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Participant’s Blog: Dave Rock

Why I chose to come:

I think two essential aspects of a healthy, resilient culture, are an open-ness to learn from others, and even be changed deeply by them, and a sense of personal responsibility and leadership. These do not normally thrive in a vacuum; we need to be surrounded by others who are willing to do the same, and we need to be connected to those who can teach us and change us in ways resonant with who we are and want to be. I think comings together in this spirit are reservoirs of fuel and inspiration for taking those steps we believe in. There are many kinds of relationships across difference and same-ness that help fertilise healthy culture, and one of the most vital, and sadly most neglected (…)

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Participant’s Blog: Valentina Catena

Valentina – a very valued participant in the Youth & Elders Project who has also taken part in the planning and preparation of the journey – sent us a letter after we’d spent a few days working together in Copenhagen. It has formed the basis of our participant’s blog where each person joining shares their thoughts on why they’ve chosen to participate.

Read her reflections below.

Berlin, 13/5 2012
On my way back to Berlin, I found myself in need to write down my thought on the Y&E project. I needed to find my purpose.
I think something is shifting inside me. I feel the beginning of a shift from “hosting myself!” – looking inward to what I learn— to an increased sense of responsability… what are my learning worth (…)

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