As last year’s Bear Art workcamp was a nice experience for both the volunteers and the refuge, we continue the tradition – Bear Art II workcamp is here again with volunteers from all over the world! Participants from Croatia, Italy, Spain, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria, Latvia, Taiwan, Poland and Ukraine have arrived to make Kuterevo more colorful together with the camp coordinators – almost local French Amelie and Kristine from Latvia.
While many other volunteers are working hard on the new enclosure for bears, digging, carrying stones and making concrete, our job for 2 weeks is kind of different but we believe as much useful: we are working on an educational trail for visitors coming to visit the refuge. Thus, they will get some more information about bears, their habitat, diet, and other important facts, but more than that we want to inspire them, to make them think about our relation with bears and how we live with them. For this, we are hard… painting, drawing, creating 🙂
The camp started on 10th of August – everybody arrived and the challenge of getting to know each other and memorizing each other’s names began. Second day was spent exploring the refuge, learning more about the refuge project, the village and the campaign, and trying to understand the place and its idea better so we could contribute.
In the following days we began working around the refuge: painting bear stories and symbols on a mural, on wood, rocks, souvenirs… we are continuing work on the educational trail that was started by the Understanding Bears workcamp just few weeks ago.
In the trail, we work on the Meditation Corner, Bear Mythology corner, Animal Track corner, make little fences to mark the trail, paint bear-related names of people and places on the big fences.
For this we need to be inspired, so every morning we have meditation time – before breakfast each one of us go to look at the bears, to get to know them better. And this must be working, because during this past week we have created lots of beautiful things here!
After the work part of the day we have many other activities as part of the study part – we watch documentaries, play games, we organized a bear talk evening, informing others about bears in our countries, and also had intercultural evening, sharing food, drinks and stories from our cultures.
Moreover, the workcamp this year is a part of Service Civil International Create Climate for Peace campaign – it’s main aims are contributing to the transformation of our cultures from consumerism and violence towards sustainability and peace on all levels. This make our will and inspiration even stronger to go deep into what we are doing and why and to make everything possible to spread the world. We hope that our paintings and trail will help raising awareness of so many visitors and volunteers, and they can get a bit of consciousness of the global connection between all of us, our lifestyle, our impact on bears, on wilderness and on climate, putting everything we know in danger…
The first half of the workcamp has almost come to an end. It has gone so fast, seems we’ve just arrived yesterday. For some of us it is the first time seeing bears, and looking at them (even meditating with them!) in this idyllic little hamlet between Croatian mountains is so pleasant, it’s easy to forget our everyday lives in the city!
In Kuterevo everything is eco-friendly, and you can live in real contact with nature without spoiling or polluting anything. Here we meet and live with people coming from all over the world, and share with them our culture. That’s feeling of a citizen of the world!!
We will have our free day on Sunday, that we will spend in the Northern Velebit Mountains and the seaside. Next week we will finally explore the forest camp Kopija and spend some few days there, getting more inspired and creating more and more, living even closer to nature, without electricity and Wi-Fi! We just hope the weather will be nice! 🙂
Monica, Kristine, Amelie