As usual the summer was hot and dry. There were less children in the youth center and it was hard to work.
Nevertheless, there are some markable things happened during the summer: the international workcamp, the year Berlin festival RAKATAK, Workcampleader school and Kiezfestival. The most unforgetable experience for me was the workcamp, because I was a part of it.
To try something new? I am in.
In the beginning of this summer, I have decided to lead an international workcamp. Honestly I had never done anything of the kind before and I have never participated in a workcamp. But since Maxim organized its own workcamp, I have decided to be a part of it.
This year we had 10 participants from different countries and two group leaders, my college from Maxim Louise and I. I was so excited to be a group leader.
The tasks of the workcamp team were to paint the concert room, to work in the garden, to help by the organization of the festival RAKATAK and to make some paintings for the play room.
I had expected so much and believed that would be a nice experience. In the beginning it was OK. We made some preparations for the Rakatak Festival and cooked daily for our working team. The festival itself was a bit challenging, but it is quite normal for a festival. At the end of the festival we had our own party and just enjoyed the evening.
However later, the participants of the workcamp complained they had way too much work. Louise and I couldn't do anything about it and felt really bad about it. That very evening, when they complained, was the worst part of the workcamp, Louise and I felt frustrated and felt as if we were bad group leaders.
The next days, we were afraid of giving them tasks, because it could end by complains again. So this way, the work at Maxim moved much slower. At the end we haven't managed much in the garden, the painting in the concert room wasn't really finished, many paintings for the play room was made in a hurry and without passion and weren't good enough to be hanged on the wall.
It was emotionally hard to be a workcamp leader. We took so much responsibility for everything and had to work even more than the participants. Fortunately, the Maxim team was daily there and gave us support, what made our leading work easier. But anyway, workcamp leading is not something that I would do again soon.
Of course, there were good moments, too. We had a tour on a boat on the river Spree, visited many places of interest in Berlin, went to the lake beach, had a party at the youthcenter Koenigstadt and Maxim. I hope the participants will not recall the workcamp time as a negative experience in their life.
After the workcamp our receiving organisation VJF organized a workcampleader school in Berlin. I wanted to learn more about workcamps and how to deal with conflicts. Even though I hadn't planned to lead a workcamp anymore, I had decided to participate in the workcampleader school, because it could be useful for the daily life. It was quite interesting, we talked about conflicts- and timemanagement, we had a social media workshop and many other. But the most important is that I got acquainted with some other workcamp leaders and had a chance to share my experience with others and to learn something from them.
It is not bad, when you have a negative experience. The most important is what you learn from it. My experience made me stronger. I believe if I get to this situation again, I will be able to manage it better.
RAKATAK (Drum festival)
I had helped on the organization of a festival or a competition before, but this time it was absolutely different. It was lots physical work, because we had to transport many things from Maxim to the area of the festival. After that we had to build the tent bar and put the garden tables around the bar. We loaded the fridges with drinks and ice-creams. The work before and after the festival was the hardest part.
But the festival itself was quite cool. I stand mostly at the bar and had to speak loudly to the costumers, because of the noise of the drums. I also had to scream to the coworkers to get some drinks passed on my side. I am not used to screaming, so it was quite challenging for me.
The participants of the workcamp also sold the drinks. They spoke English to the costumers and it worked. Nobody ever complained about the service.
The most interesting part of the festival to my mind was an african drum group, who wandered through the whole area and drummed in their special african style.
At the end of the festival we had a party and slept under the open sky. The night was fresh and warm. I was totally exhausted and fell asleep quickly, even though the people kept making party just nearby.
The Kiezfestival was the last festival of my voluntary year. A good bye festival, so to say.
I had never known that Maxim makes such a huge festival every year! There were lots of crafting, snacks and information stands, trampoline, sport activities, concert, music and dances.
My college and I made a crafting offer during the festival: we made purses out of milk and juice packages. The children loved it.
It was an interesting and long day. After we put all the benches and tables back into the shed and cleaned the Maxim area, we took some drinks and talked for a while. Then I had to say Good Bye to Maxim's team. The team, that I will never forget!
I miss them already. I am now in another town and everytime I think of Berlin I think of the good time I spent during my ESC in Maxim.