From the 1st to the 9th of October, we had our thrid Youth Exchange of the year in Lakabe community, one of the oldest ecovillage in Europe. Lakabe was an abandoned village squatted 37 years ago in 1980. During 9 days young people from Italy, The Nethelands, Germany, Basque Country and Spain were doing different activities and sharing time together; learning about ecovillage lifestyle and community living.
Here is a short written narration by Lars the dutch youth leader and an audiovisual resume filmed and edited by Belen one of the the spanish participants supported by Dembha and Nira, some kids from the ecovillage.
Youth Exchange Lakabe 1 to 9 October
The youth leaders had been preparing and enjoying the sun, on September 30 the story began.
The arrival day was full of questions, in particular two main:
Did the Dutch survive their trip through Belgian, France and Spain?
And did the Germans catch their final train?
In the end, they made it and the week could finally start, introduced by Clara with love, from the heart. A trip in the highlands to a fresh water stream, is were unfolded the magnificent dream: A group of young learning about water and sustainability, coming down with increased agility, having fun along the way, all made it back home okay to see a documentary on the history of Lakabe.
In the morning everyone was well fed, due to the breakfast prepared by Alfred.
At ten, everyone ready to get some work done, such as cutting vegetables for lunch in the sun, distributing pine wood logs from A to B and reaching for almonds up in the tree.
After work there was a good lunch break to enjoy salad, soup, some bread and cake.
In the afternoon the founders gave us an inspiring speech. They were willing to teach about hurdles to overcome such as how to manage water, electricity and a collective income.
In the evenings there was time to play music, or take care, of a cultural dinner to share,
Playing “piedra, papel tijeras”, or “snik snak snook”, the right hand sign to skip cleaning dishes line, was all that it took.
A broad impression of what the exchange was like. Although expressing it with words might not fully strike the memories made, which shall not fade, but stay in the minds and in the hearts of the beautiful souls that lived together and as a part of this community for 8 days in October, In Lakabe for a youth exchange, staying over.
Lars van Dorsselaer