Report from CCI Hungary 2011
Report from CCI Hungary 2011
The CCI for me started on Saturday with the design meeting at Agota's the day before the official CCI workshop would start. There were about 8 of us and even though I arrived an hour late, we sat for a few more hours to discuss issues around holding a safe and creative space for newcomers as well as veterans. We covered many issues involving fear and mistrust, inclusion and exclusion and came up with a plan for the opening circle.
Everything came together so beautifully on the first day – arriving at this magical venue in Monor at Hotel Nyerges with it's lovely welcoming atmosphere – the tree-lined lane off the main road with a beautiful pond at the entrance for the swans and ducks to enjoy and open corn and sunflower fields beyond where people could have a pleasant walk or run in the morning or evening. The extra special treat at this venue, beyond the pleasant staff, tasty food and well-manicured grounds, was the use of the thermal pools and the outdoor pool for exercise and refreshing and relaxing dips throughout the day.
My experience at the Hungarian CCI was very enriching. I felt very much a part of the wonderful CCI family – connecting with many co-counselors who I see each year, some who I developed a deeper connection with and others getting to know for the first time. There were a wide range of topics offered each day and especially nice was the adoption of a different system where less time was spent going over offerings each day. The exercise of co-creating was put into action by people meeting at tables to discuss what they would like to offer or see offered as a workshop or topic group – we wrote these down on sheets of paper and then posted them for others to see. Many workshops were created as a result – linking together the needs and offerings – Brilliant!
Niek and I ran a workshop on "Differences" – how we cope with differences in many areas of our lives and within the CCI Community. I attended a workshop on Death, talking about our own death and thinking about what we'd like to say to those we leave behind. I ran a workshop on Age – looking at the different reactions we have to our own age and to people of different ages. We told our life stories to gain perspective on where we've been and where we are going. Steve and I ran another workshop on "Aging" to look at the pros and cons of our own process and how society sees aging. I attended a workshop on Inclusion/Exclusion which brought up some old feelings around rejection. We were asked to write on paper what we are ready to let go of and we tossed the papers into the fire for a ritual burning. When I realized I couldn't attend Nina's group on sexuality, I suggested an afternoon group to meet on the same topic. When 5 men showed up for the group I was a little thrown off, thankfully a willing female participant passed by and agreed to join our group. We co-created a discussion on issues of intimacy and emotional ties around sexuality after the participants spoke about their own ideas of sexuality.
I was extremely fortunate to have linked up with a fantastic group of cuddly women for our support group. Instead of each of us splitting up the time for our personal work, we had sparkling discussions on issues we all share as women.
The evenings were quite lively. We had lots of dancing – I missed the first event which was a free dance. Another night, the highly-talented Alan Trangmar taught us some simple Eastern European and Israeli group as well as couple dances. Another evening we had a story-telling gathering where I tried out for the first time telling a true story. The last night the organizers arranged for two dancers from the local community to teach us some Hungarian moves to the music of a wonderful Gypsy band which also serenaded us through dinner and offered a concert of classical music. A special thanks to Agota with her wonderful connections.
I truly enjoyed my experience in this special country. I was fortunate enough to see a lot of the countryside on the Hungarian Pilgrim's Way walks planned before the workshop. I truly appreciate the hospitality of the Hungarian people, in CCI – Agota with the design meeting and offering us a tasty meal to celebrate our creativity; the organizers – Saci, Donal, Agota, Csaba and Kami who opened their homes to travelers before and after the CCI. Janos and Reka, newcomers to CCI who housed 13 of us in the empty flat above their home and cooked us a lovely meal, offering guidance for touring and rides to the airport. Also Hungarians I met outside of CCI were very hospitable – people we met along the Camino and Didi, a woman I had met in Israel who lives in Vac, was so happy to show us around her village and her father's art studio (http://nagybistvan.hu/ - google will translate). Although she was fasting, she prepared a lovely lunch for the four of us.
So now it's back to real life. Hopefully this sharing will bring back your own special memories of this year's CCI and for those of you who were able to attend - May this letter inspire you to come to the next CCI event.
Janice Wasser, Dror Israel