Sunday, October 11, 2009


Als ich 3 Tage vor meiner Ankunft einen Lastminuteflug nach Thessaloniki buchte, hatte
ich keine Ahnung, was ich eigentlich 3 Wochen lang in Griechenland machen soll.. ich
hatte blos diese gewisse Sehnsucht der stressigen Grosstadt, der herbstlichen Kaelte
und den unfreundlichen Berlinern zu entfliehen..

Ich suchte nach wwoofing farms und aus irgendeinem Grund war Jock der einzige, der mir antwortete. Das war mein Glueck und das erste mal, dass ich sagen kann " gut, dass ich nie rechtzeitig plane.."

Als ich in Thessaloniki ankam, war ich mir nicht mehr so sicher, ob es das wirklich war, was ich gesucht hatte. Doch auf dem Weg von Volos nach Kissos verfluechtigten sich meine Zweifel Stueck fuer Stueck. Die kleinen Doerfer sind wunderschoen- kein
Vergleich mit den Staedten- und von den Bergen aus schaut man auf tuerkises Wasser.
Der Busfahrer und all die Dorfbewohner, die er auf seinem Weg aufsammelte, waren
freundlich und offen.

Als ich schliesslich den Weg durch Kissos nach Kalikalos fand, wusste ich, dass es das
war, was ich gesucht hatte- mehr sogar!
Zwischen Rosen und Haengematten im Apfelbaum schaut man aufs Meer und kann den
wunderschoenen Sonnenuntergang beobachten. Es ist eine Mischung aus beruhigender
Stille und lebhafter Freude, die diese magische Atmosphaere ausmacht.

Die Gegensaetze von Gitarrengesang am Lagerfeuer und Trinkspielen in der Taverne, Meditation am Morgen und Capoeira am Abend, gemeinsamen Lachens und gemeinsamer Problembearbeitung, Schlafen in der Haengematte, Entspannen am Strand und Gartenarbeit sind es, die diesen Ort zu einem besonderen machen.

Vor allem die wunderschoene Natur und die intensive gegenseitige Wahrnehmung, die
jeden einzelnen von uns zu einem festen Teil der Gruppe machte, haben mich begeistert.

Traumhafter Strand

Anna Steger, Berlin

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Jeff Foster Week

The buzz around here had been, for several weeks, that the end of September was to be something special. The Jeff Foster Week was highly anticipated by staff and guests alike who had arrived even a week ahead of time. Billed as a discussion workshop on non-dualism, Jeff's seminar drew the largest number of participants this year and of very diverse nationalities. The eclectic group congealed wonderfully and truly fortified the Kali Kalos mission of community.

The discussions themselves included significant insights into the singular nature of existence, lively exchanges of Q&A, deeply emotional introspection and even periods of silence, pregnant with the wisdom to which the group was collectively awakening. The tenor of the week was one of unity, even as guests were divided between the Kissos and Anilio campuses, which resonated throughout the group meals (both in preparing and eating!); evenings of song and poetry around the fire and exploring together the nearby hills and beaches. The final evening brought out a joyful celebration in spite of the goodbyes as the family sang and danced together and enjoyed a delicious spread of home-made, whole wheat pizzas!

It was a wonderful week-long event that underscored the potential of KaliKalos to create and facilitate a space where people come together in the name of spiritual study and find something even greater in the common spirit of the whole. Unforgettable!

Adam Asplund, Arizona

P.S. This is me making pizza at the Workcamp the following week!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pelion Fruit paradise

One of the delightful qualities of this wonderful area where we have the Kalikalos living-learning Centres is the abundant fruit that is everywhere for the picking.

When we arrive in mid May to open up our Centres and erect our outdoor group spaces, there are apricots and plums. Then in mid June come the cherries. First the amazing black ones and then the red-orangish ones. Until you have had a big plump black cherry from one of the Pilion cherry trees which abound in the Pelion forest, you havent really tasted a cherry. Round about mid July the cherries are finished and then come the peaches and nectarines soon after joined by plums and then pears. And all through July and early August our mulberry tree is producing in quantity. I'm always amazed at just how much fruit one tree produces.

We sited one of our yurts right under our mulberry tree, not realising that the mulberries dropping would stain it royally. They did, but we now have a net for catching the mulberries and guiding them down into a bucket where we can go out at breakfast time and scoop them up, wash them and eat them on Greek yoghurt with honey. Food for the gods! As I child I sang "round and round the mulberry bush", never knowing that actually there was such a thing as a mulberry and it grows, not on a bush, but a solid shade tree. Wish we had more of them. They taste a bit like a black raspberry, but sweeter and juicier.

Around mid August the figs are ready. We have both green and black (dark purple actually) figs in this area. I prefer by far the black ones, and generally on my way down to the beach I gorge myself on them from the many trees beside the road to Ag Ioannis.

In early September the figs give way to the grapes and apples. Pelion is the main apple growing area for Greece, but I'm sad to report that the farmers confine themselves to just two species: a red delicious which is anything but, and a green apple, also nothing to rave about. Some enterprising person could introduce the Cox orange pippin, the Macintosh and the Bramleys to Greece and make a packet.

The grapes are prolific. I planted a few vines to climb up the roof of our covered patio at the Anilio campus in 2004 and this year there are so many grapes that we have had to prune heavily the vines to keep them from snapping off. Wish we had a juicer, we could have had buckets of grape juice. And if only we knew how to make wine.

The patio at the Kissos campus is covered with Kiwi fruit--yes they do grow well in Greece. However, they dont ripen till November, by which time we'll have closed up shop for the season, and somebody else will be enjoying them.

What amazing riches of fruit we have here! I wish I had photos of more than just the three trees you see above. I could show you more photos of pear, fig, grape, plum, cherry and mulberry trees laden with fruit. The area is truly a fruit paradise!

Jock Millenson, Kissos Focaliser

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kalikalos - Roses and Pears

I have only been at Kalikalos for a few days now but already feel very much at home here. The weather has been cool and sometimes wet but this makes me feel very cosy when we're all gathered inside for our meals.

The view here is beautiful... the blue sea stretching into blue sky - when I first looked I couldn't find where the sea and sky met...This morning, watching the sun rise through the clouds, we could see pools of molten gold floating on the water where the sun reflected - a lovely way to begin the day.

The roses are in bloom and all the plants are so green, every branch seems to be laden with fruit! Hernan and Susan have harvested the ripest pears and Ali has used some to make pear chutney and a yummy pear crumble...(just what we need for this kind of weather!)

Yesterday a group of us walked down to the beach to catch the sea breeze and take a walk by the sea...once there, a few were inspired to have a swim - (the water was actually quite warm). I felt like a dolphin diving through the waves! What amazed me most was how clear the water was - you can see right to the bottom, it felt like you were in a life size aquarium.

We are still hoping for the sun to show her head and have been invoking the Greek God, Helos (god of the sun) to send a little more our way...(but I must admit, for me, it's still quite nice to feel the seasons changing) - I'll keep you posted!!


The photo: Hernan and I singing a very soulful song!...:)

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Kalikalos Experience

Hello, welcome to my blog. My name is Enid and I've been at Kalikalos for 3 months so I thought it was about time I put my fingers on the keyboard and told you something about my experience here!

I arrived on 12 June to participate on a workshop of non-violent communication with Maria Arpa. The workshop was interesting and I felt it would give me extra insight for my work as a life coach.

The centre was expecting a big group of people to arrive for a permaculture workshop and I volunteered to stay for the weekend to help out. Little did I know I would be spending most of my summer in Kalikalos as a member of staff! I very quickly became engaged with what was happening here and felt I was accepted as part of the project. Over the weeks we have had many interesting workshops and the participants have brought their own special energy. We've also had many living-in community guests who have come for one or two weeks and participated by contributing with their own particular skills.

I've also had opportunity to attend various workshops that have taken place. I attended a couple of sessions with Annabel Aguirre on her Art from Within week - I found working with the paints inspiring and talking through the results, which was guided by Annabel, revealing. Mark Taplin's week of Experiencing Pelion gave me the chance to see more of this amazingly beautiful area as well as learning some of its history. I also attended a day with Victoria on her Creative Works for Health and Wellbeing workshop. We went out for the day to Zagora with pen and paper in hand so we could find a space to be alone and write on a particular theme. The exercise was emotional and meaningful but as our next stop was the beach Victoria guided us back to a balanced state. Each session gave me a deeper understanding of myself and what I need to create the life I want.

However, it hasn't all been plain sailing! I guess whenever you get a group of different people together there will be certain frustrations, irritations and downright anger. We acknowledged these situations and did what we could to work through them. As a person who likes harmony I had difficulty when something wasn't quite right, but, I've learned to accept that this is just the way it is.

I've made some strong connections with some of the people who have passed through our beautiful home in Kissos. I hope they continue to be a part of my life for many years to come.

So, here I am preparing to leave Kalikalos feeling a mixture of emotions for what has gone and what is to come .....

Enid Pinder, London, UK

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roundhouse Disaster

Our 7m diameter reciprocal framed roundhouse group space collapsed the night before last under the weight of collected water in the roof sections from a very heavy rainstorm accompanied by 20 mph gusting winds.

The photos show what is left of this beautiful structure, built over the summer of 2003 by Nigel Hilton from Morayshire, Scotland.

Many wonderful groups took place in this inside/outside group space over the past 7 years and the structure will be sadly missed. It's also a going to put pressure on our finances, as replacing it will not be cheap. Finding a volunteer finish carpenter who can machine the precision posts and struts will be a challenge, but we are determined to replace it. Alas, nearly every post and horizontal strut snapped in the collapse, so there is very little we can salvage from it.

As you see from the photos, one canvas roof section is badly ripped, but this can probably be patched. However, because all 10 posts and struts were idiosyncratic sizes, we are not sure that the roof sections can be used in any new structure.

We will be fund raising for donations to replace the roundhouse in the Spring of 2008.

Jock Millenson, Kalikalos Coordinator

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Autour du Feu de camp

We have had a meeting around the campfire of Anilios and Karen has given us a concert: well-known English songs which we sing around the fire with a guitar. Really thank you to have all so well organised!

Hernan has sung Argentine songs and Eleni the Greek songs with her beautiful rocky voice.

Susan who is Americaine and who participates in the training course of dance in circle also has sing with the guitar.

I have had a request to sing in French: I don't remember anything, I forget myself here.

It was dark, also I have took no photos.

It was our last evening together.

Aelita from Paris (AFP)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Video tour of Kalikalos

Here's the short video tour I made of the Kalikalos Center near Kissos.

Gabriel Morris
Portland, Oregon, USA

video tour of the Pelion Center near Anilio

I did a two-week staff orientation here for Kalikalos, one week at the campus in the village of Kissos, and another week at the other "sister" campus about ten minutes away near the small village of Anilio. Here's a short video tour I made of the Pelion Center near Anilio.

Gabriel Morris
Portland, Oregon, USA

Sunday, September 6, 2009

nature et pierre

Nature and stone in the beach of DAMOUHARI

We have had one hour of creativity in nature at the magnificient beach of DAMOUHARI which looks like a beach of Normandy with this rainy and bad weather. I swam a little bit because there was not enough time and the sea was rough : I have felt a current, so I didn't go can never tell..... in Normandy or in Brittany with the similar weather I never go far.

The artist of the nature and the element mineral told us to collect stones of differents colors and of any sizes to constitute a natural work of art on the beach which would leave in time and the rhythm of nature.

Each took up a part of the beach and established some work. I worked with Ruth and we have established a creation which could look like a bonzai from Stoneage.

One Hour after we made the visittour of everything and took photos.

This natural and ephemere exhibition last only briefly.

"My art follows the path of Beauty. The decorative aspect is very important for me. The expression of Harmony, Peace and Silence.
Its shortliving character always creates space for the New. Its changeability gives me a fresh feeling of Purity, a taste of Freedom and Playfulness."

Dietmar Voorwold, Düsseldorf, Germany

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Instrument Evening

A memorable evening with my English friends

I have pass a memorable evening with my English friends: we each improvise an instrument using anything. One took an umbrella, the other one a stool...... I, my voice ......... and THE big conductor KARIN, with the guitar, manages the composition splendidly.

I love the big leader: she knows how to manage the ensemble and it is exceptional...... she gives a rhythm and each one tries to follow it and to hold it when she admits a new musician in the group.....

The resultat is excellent. We manage to compose and we add some singing. I play with my voice, and the singing contains all the space. I look for a harmony with my neighbour who connects with an instrument with a funny shape: a pipe to spray.
We can really make a lot of noise (music!) in the end, we blow when it is necessary.

After the concert, big leader with guitar and sings.

We have had one original evening and I am under the charm of the music from the big chief.

Aelita from Paris

Monday, August 31, 2009

Garden news

We created a path with nice painted stones leading to the yurt and the roundhouse, and there is grass trying to grow there! Also the sweetcorn planted late a few weeks ago are going to give us some of their food.

Tomatoes, french beans, aubergines, spinach, squash, cucumber, pumpkin are being harvested every day! Yesterday Ruth, Fred and Hernan (that's me) levelled the soil in the upper terrace and planted carrots, leaks and lettuce, maybe they will make it on to our plates by October!!!

Today we are going to make a present to Agnes 1 and her sisters or brothers (the tomato plants): We will put a basil plant (who's name is Toni) next to them... they like her alot!

So, that's it bye for now! The garden is doing pretty well! Till next time!

Hernan (Argentina)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Artwork from the Family Experience Fortnight

A selection of artwork from the two week workshop by both young people and adults working together.

Links for Dorota's other workshops:

Just a Quick Thank-You!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family Experience Week II

The family experience fortnight at the Kalikalos Alternative Holiday Centre has almost concluded, and, after a final trip to the beach, the grand finale will, of course, be the Kalikalos cabaret. After our final sharing circle the members of the family experience workshop have made thank-you cards for other members of the community and are busy preparing their acts for the evenings entertainment.

Over the fortnight Dorota has lead the workshop members through many art exercises, including the chance for the participants to create their own puppets and perform a puppet show at the end of the first week at the Anilio campus.

Every day after breakfast the family experience community gathered in the round-house for morning sharing and appreciations, songs, games and other artistic activities. These meetings allowed adults and children alike to bring out their creative sides and to find that they enjoyed the company of every other member of the group.

After our daily beach trips, there were many more opportunities to take part in other workshops and activities. Josie lead a storytelling activity in the yurt, Monica held Yoga sessions and Patch lead a talk concerning renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability in the round-house. And of course, Silke offered a wonderful singing and voice training workshop to the group.

I would like to thank Jock for making this workshop possible and Dorota for being an inspiring workshop leader. I am looking forward to returning to Kalikalos next year to meet everyone from the family fortnight twelve months down the line.

Blog by Sam Hawksford White (16), York, United Kingdom

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Family Experience Week I

Here at Pilion, there are two centres, Kalikalos in Kissos village, and it's sister campus, Spiti Ton Kentavron, about 8 minutes drive away, in the forest near the village of Anilio.

All of us kids have been down at the beach today, where the waves were massive. We've returned to the centre, and we're having pizza for dinner tonight!
This time of year, it's the family fortnight at Kalikalos and adults and children alike have come this year, about 30 people in total.

We've been doing a lot of workshops and on Thursday, we're doing a puppet show, which we still need to write the script for(get to work children).

Also tomorrow, is the joining of Kalikalos and the Anilio centres, where all the people from both centres are coming together at the Anilio centre.

Blog by Marlon (Age 14), from London
Some pics provided by Sam (Age 16), from York
Some pixs provided by Jock (Age ? ) from (?)


My last day. Today is one of the cool days that seem to come once a week in this glorious land basking in radiant sunshine. Later perhaps there will be a “Katabatic Wind” that happens when the heat of the hills draws air off the sea, creating gusts that bang the shutters to and fro all night. At least the mozzies and midges can’t battle against those winds, unlike the calm hot nights when they get under the skin. Bring a net if you have one.

The bell will ring in five minutes. The rhythms of Kalikalos are wonderfully reliable. There will be bread, olives, tomatoes, feta, and copious mild olive oil for lunch on the terrace under the vines where grapes and !Kiwi! fruits slowly ripen. A small strong sweet Greek coffee, a nap, and then a drive down the hairpin road to the pale glowing shingle beach, float in salty blue sea. Watch the deep blue sky shade to silver as the sun sinks behind the mountain, and the moon, full tonight, glows pale in the East.

My window to the rosy sunrise over the Aegean.

Life here feels timeless, ancient, and utterly present. Although the names and faces of people change, there seems to be a spirit of the place that welcomes into its heart those who come this way, that lives here throughout the year, breathing in, and breathing out. Claudia, Jessica, Dera - angels of love and light and service - David, Mark, Enid, Monica, Jock, lightly supporting and encouraging with humour and integrity and dedication.

When I considered coming here to facilitate the Well Being Retreat with The Work, the required tasks (washing up, food prep, gardening) looked like chores. Now I see that each contribution brings a sense of connection and fun. "Wash your plate and one other thing" sounds earnest and virtuous, yet brings a tremendous sense of well-being.

Tamara Alferoff, London

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Art from Within

We are seated cross-legged in the Roundhouse at the Kalikalos Centre in the village of Kissos. Today we are four women, including our facilitator, Annabel Aguirre, an Art Therapist from Cornwall. The Roundhouse is a wonderful liminal structure that is half-indoor and half-outdoor. Its eight walls are made of bamboo blinds which can be rolled to reveal different views, different pictures. Behind us is the vegetable garden providing salad leaves and cucumbers and the promise of tomatoes to come. In front of us, the view begins with roses and hydrangeas in front of the characteristic fish-scale slate rooves of Pelion and, way beyond, three miles and 1500 feet below, the dark blue Aegean.

((The photograph shows Annabel at work with a different group two days later.)

Annabel invites us to lie down, relax and focus on our breathing. With my head on a cushion, I close my eyes and inhale scents of wild thyme and oregano and feel the warm breeze on my skin. We are guided into a meditation on where we’ve come from, where we are and what the future might hold and encouraged to stay with any images that come up. In a dream like state, I see images of flowers and of the earth and imagine my own birth 46 years ago.

We come back to the world and each other and each take a board and some paper. The suggestion is to paint or draw from the images that arose during the meditation, either on one piece of paper, or several.

In front of each of us is a pallette of poster paints, a selection of brushes, a jam jar of water. I am apprehensive and excited – painting is something I never do but often yearn to – to put colours on paper, to translate inner to outer in images. My inner critic is alive and well, reminding me of a school report where a teacher wrote – ‘her painting lets her down’ and a recent foray into art in adult education where two of us were relegated to copying pictures of boats from a book.

I look up and out into the view, the forests, the flowers, the slate topped rooves and see above it all, Helios, the sun god, warming and nourishing everything. I begin with that, a circle, red, orange, aflame – it’s the sun and it’s also my head at birth, entering the world, burning with new life. I am pleased that the marks on paper look something like I intended. Then I’m stuck – I want to paint the thighs of the mother giving birth but have no idea how to mix the colour of flesh – with Annabel’s guidance I find an approximation – red, white, a little green, some yellow, a dip of this, wash the brush, dip in again and an alchemy takes place.

The process is meditative, pleasurable, companionable – we are working in silence but around us is the hum of the garden, its bees and cicadas and beyond, the road to the village where the vegetable and bread sellers pass announcing their wares.

Eventually I fill the large sheet of paper with my sun at the centre and an ocean at the bottom representing the mystery of where we came from. The curve of the woman’s belly doubles as the forested hills, the trees, her pubic hair.

As I paint, I feel connected to where I am, here in Pelion. I am also provoked into thinking about my mother, creativity, my role in the world and how to move through the forests when I can’t see my destination. I have an impulse to add roses to the woman’s thighs and experiment with a few but then give up, not wanting to spoil the shape of my painting. Thinking about my mother giving birth to me makes me tearful and full of gratitude and I see that in my painting, the mother is more powerful than the woods.

When the four of us share our paintings and talk about the ideas that gave rise to certain images, we see patterns and connections. The paintings reveal and also conceal. I saw things in others’ work that they didn’t talk about, or they talked about in a way that seemed at odds with the image. As someone who works primarily with words, it was fascinating to wear my painting as a mask and yet be aware that others are guessing the various faces behind it.

I enjoyed this session. Although I shed some tears, I felt at peace afterwards and was pleased I’d chosen to put past, present and future together. A birth is full of pain – and my mother tells me horror stories about mine – and joy too. Here in the natural beauty of Pelion and the community of Kalikalos, the world in all its complexity, joy and sadness is reborn everyday as Helios rises over the mountains, bringing his warmth and fire.

Victoria Field, Cornwall, England

Victoria Field teaches creative words for health and well-being and was a facilitator at Kalikalos 10th – 17th July 2009. Her next open workshop is in North Wales in September – see