Bear and people – From myths to reality – The end

Wednesday was our last day in Kuterevo, and most of our time was dedicated to evaluate what we’ve done together, to reflect and share about what we’ve learnt and experienced, and to prepare a presentation of the project and our creations for the last evening.

These 10 days in Kuterevo have been very intensive and a very rich experience. We’ve spent time close to the bears and enjoyed their presence, but more than that, living in Kuterevo Bear Refuge has been a great opportunity to experience another way of life, simple, in community, close to nature and wild forest, eating local food and trying to make a better use of resources, especially water.

Living together with people from other countries was as well amazing, sharing our cultures, mixing all languages… We’ll remember long the Finnish “Porno Polka”, the traditional dances from Kuterevo, the bear beers “Karhu” and Medvedgrad”, hugging trees in the forest, camp fires, hiking in Velebit, late talks in the night, laughs and jokes… and so many bear stories 🙂

Through myths and legends, we’ve tried to understand better how we came to that point today, how society can be so disconnected from nature, how we forgot how to live in harmony with nature and with ourselves, how we can at the same time love bears and destroy their habitat, how bears are such a strong symbol of a lost connection … Learning from the past, with the testimonies left in stories that we heard all our lives or that are almost forgotten, we’ve tried to get another view of the present situation and to realize how things can be changed.

We we’ve been learning and discovering, we’ve wanted to share it with others. We hope that our creations, stories, video (soon online :-)) and what we’ve shared on this blog will be part of the seeds that will lead more people to realize how much we need to work on a change on ourselves, our lifestyles and our society. We’ve been talking a lot about bears during the Youth Exchange, and this has led us to finally understand that they are a symbol, and strong figure carrying a deep and powerful message, and that by protecting them better, we’ll protect the whole environment.

Thursday morning, most of the participants left with the early morning bus, at 7.00, and the last 4 brave hearts who are leaving a bit later today decided to go with them till the bus station, to say a last goodbye in pyjamas 🙂 But you never know what to expect in Kuterevo streets, and we ended up, although it was raining, in a trailer driving to the other side of the village. We indeed found the motivation not to go back to sleep, but to go again to milk our favourite cow!

Like always, unexpected adventures are always happening in Kuterevo 🙂

Ana and Amélie

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