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

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yasas !!!!

Hey, this is Claudia from Brazil, I'm volunteering at Kalikalos at the moment. I was in Anilio, our sister centre about 5km away, last week and it is a very beautiful place where you can be more in contact with the nature. This is my 3rd week here, I'm having so much fun, there is a different energy surrounding us every day. The village is nice, the beaches are awesome and I would recommend this place to anyone. You won't believe the sunrises... if you wake up early enough =P