As our dear and inspiring friend, Tina Compostina, says : changing the way we hold conversations at parties can have a potent impact on the world around us. And it did when it comes to the first participant who chose to hop on the Flying Carpet with us for 15 days this October, after having entered into conversation at my greek flatmate’s birthday party in Toulouse last June about democratic and self-directed education. The information about the Flying Carpet Caravan School and sChOoL🤸 withOuT frOnTiers!⛵️ did not fall on deaf ears!
Greece was the rallying point once again – Pablo admitted to having felt a mysterious attraction to this part of the world to which he was returning a few months after his first visit. And this time it was upon the profound call for a change in his way of life.
Lonaïs and I met him again in the lakonian village of Plytra (southern Peloponnese) where he had already enjoyed the day exploring the beautiful surroundings, from the numerous beaches to finding a path up to the highest point above the bay – this mission was more than accomplished a few days later, with a little help from his friends 😉
During an initial moment of feedback on the road to Nafplio, Pablo mentioned this climb as having been among the highlight moments of the first pop-up school he came to experience with us: Worldschooling autumnomy – sChOlus pOcus!
This impression was eventually toppled by our visit to an extraordinary neighbouring place: the Southern Lights project, an agroforestry and permaculture farm. We had the tremendous luck to share one day with the 30 participants of the PermaHabitat permaculture design european training hosted by the Southern Lights. And what a day it was! Following an initial Awareness circle round which our imaginations were nourished with firsthand stories of ‘integrating rather than segregating’, as the permaculture principle goes, we were well set to explore the workings of this complex agroforestry system on a mission to regenerate the biological and social ecosystems of this rural region of the Peloponnese.
As serious as this may sound, the creative genius of this group of formidable changemakers transformed our learning experience of what permaculture, land management and agroforestry are all about into a hilarious three-act theatrical play – with varying degrees of poetic license 🙂 In turn, as sChOoL🤸 withOuT frOnTiers!⛵️ we invited a brainstorm on what sChOol means to us, as well as a presentation and roundspeak on alternative educations…in other words, plenty of food for thought and action!
To cut a long story short, as I am writing this, in a little village of Amorgos island, Pablo is back as a volunteer at the Southern Lights joined by a beekeeper friend from France, Lola, both of whom share an intention of actively contributing to building livelihoods in harmony with nature and each other.
Speaking of intentions, in his Big Story/ Small Story timeline of how he came to join the Flying Carpet Caravan School, an interesting element of Pablo’s complexion comes to view: the capacity to hold the creative tension between an ostensibly pessimistic outlook on the future of humanity as a whole – hereby visualized by the placement of the “Transition: ecological; educational; social; habits (i.e. consumption)” at a point that is in his eyes too far removed into the future to be viable – and, at the same time, in the Now (central spot of the board) a commitment on his behalf to “GLOBAL CHANGE AROUND THE WORLD”, which he explains parenthetically as change in the “Way of life”.
This global intention is mirrored in his personal intention (the bottom post-it) for a change in his way of living, alongside a determination to live the present (Begin to act) with first and foremost the will to “SHARE and LEARN”. This intention of his became manifest not only from the stories he Shared with us on his previous involvement with alternative projects, be it in France, Spain or the african desert but even more so, in my eyes, by his presence of mind -coupled with frequent note-taking 😉 following the numerous activities, tools and discussion we held together.
Sharing and in-life learning are truly at the heart of sChOoL🤸 withOuT frOnTiers!⛵️ and Pablo resonated with this vision of the project. He furthered his willingness to spread the word about the project by putting us in contact with like-minded projects in Spain but also by inviting two of his good friends, Lola and Delphine, to join us during the second sChOlus-pOcus (Cycle-UP!) and I think it’s fair to say we ALL thank him for that 🙂
Perhaps our greatest gratitude, though, lies in the level of engagement that Pablo showed towards the co-creation of these open communities of learning and living that sChOlus-pOcuses are. From the impromptu guitar lessons with Amerissa and Lonaïs to learning the greek alphabet together with Orfeas and myself all the way to becoming an indispensable co-host at PLUCK project (at Cycle-UP!) -where I cannot even keep track of all the care Pablo undertook in this discrete silent force of his that characterized his stay with us.
Having had Pablo as our first participant aboard the Flying Carpet was a blessing with multitudinous facets. The joy, the connections, the learning, the playing, ‘Bella ciao’ on repeat in my head :D, the service, generosity and unforced kindness…but also the sheer fact of experiencinga ‘new’ head, heart and pair of hands upon our blossoming endeavour has been invaluable!
I am left with the certainty and joyful hope that our paths will meet again. In fact, they indirectly already do as this friend in whose house party we first met in Toulouse is on her way to Amorgos for an Autumn sharing * caring * Seeding session !