7:30, I woke up before my alarm so I’m thinking of giving myself 5 more minutes but I hear a bell ringing and it’s not mine. Just then I realize I’m in Bavaria, not in Tbilisi (that’s why I feel morning chill and hear distant chatter in German), and sharing a room with fellow youngsters. I go through my simple routine and it’s already breakfast time.
08:10, I’m in the queue of breakfast buffet, checking if there’s French toast, taking my very best social skills and choosing a table to join. Options are just beautiful and exciting — from our good old neighbor Armenia, to farther Bangladesh, and from beloved Ukraine to fascinating Brazil and so on and so force (or so far and so close?). Finally, I find a good spot and while taking the first sip of my coffee, I focus on small talks around. Check people winking and waving to each other, their way of enjoying fresh bread
and I feel peaceful — peaceful in my mind, in my expressions or even in “It’s good, isn’t it?” nodding while I’m biting the chocolate-covered toast and seeing my roommate doing the same in front of me.
09:30, we start our morning training session and rolling in the deep of conflict resolution, Non-violent communication and stories from our realities — rather emotional, sometimes very similar to each other
and sometimes so different and unexpected, that it takes time to realize, empathize or even understand the context.
11:00, it’s coffee break time, especially pleasant and appreciated due to cold and rainy days of Landshut. And even though we’ve had quite a full plate of peacebuilding and conflict transformation we still take our stories with the coffee and exchange them with each other the way we shared our local snacks. And just like the snacks — some of the stories turn out to be way too sour, some sweet and others even sweeter, or unexpectedly nice, and some are simple but unforgettable.
13:00, it’s the lunch break, being long enough to eat with no rush, chat with new friends, agree on afternoon walk and actually take that walk to the city center, enjoying either some rare sunrays or slight raindrops while checking local sights and silently observing our new friends, to be sure that they feel the joy of simple walk and talk after quite emotional sessions. And in the deep there’s this feeling of guilt for people like me — for us whose homeland is not engaged in current conflicts (but still struggling with the
consequences). So, at the immediate moment of meeting people from conflict-affected regions, which are still going through these conflicts, we feel beyond empathic.
16:00, it’s evening session time and we gather all our energy to stay productive and participate in all creative and fruitful activities planned by our trainers, and just when we think we are getting tired another energizing group-work or artistic exercise is stepping in and we focus on our experiences, while also hearing some quite similar or very unfamiliar stories from our fellows. And then we are free for dinner and fun, most probably visiting local festival, singing, dancing or taking a ride on Ferries wheel and enjoying each other’s company, followed by light showers of rain and running back to the hostel to have some sleep before going back to our just-started journey of Peace.
08:00, I hear my roommate humming and realize that somehow turned off my alarm but slept anyways so I instantly prepare for breakfast and almost run to the dining room. The same que and same people but maybe not the same me, as I have already started my proud path on the way of non-violent conflict resolution (well, just yesterday, but still feels quite empowering to know Galtung by his name). Approaching the trays I recall yesterday’s sessions, focusing on the stories we have heard and see my newly gained friend turning towards me while asking: — “Would you like some peace?”. But then I see how a piece of cheese is moving from the tray, moving towards a plate and then it hits the right way: I was offered to take one of my favorite foods but getting it wrongly, as (I guess) I’m already ‘poisoned’ with NVC and peacebuilding. Well, thinking of all above, I take both (peace and cheese) and another day of our journey begins.
It’s …. O’clock — way over German breakfast time and I wake up in my bed, feeling the sunlight from the widely open window and feel the urge of rushing into the dining room, but well, I am back home and don’t need to rush for getting breakfast. I start my lone morning whilst have all the stories and diverse faces on my mind. And before I dig into a plate of missed French Toast, AKA Kikliko in Georgian (Thanks to ma mum for prepping it), I open the memo letters which we wrote for each other on our very last training day. I start thinking about all the commonalities and differences we showed each other — and ’m still fascinated how peacefully could we take each other, how considerate we were while carefully asking questions on stories of our not very long, yet full years of life — full with burdens, hopes, promises, challenges and start my breakfast with the crucial question we all need to remember before starting our days, every day, wherever it will be:
– Would you like some peace?
And simple as it is, we can spread a word or two of peace all around us and feel the little, but consistent sparkle of change towards peaceful lives in this mad, mad, mad, mad world.
Content created by the participant of the Training Course “Nonviolent Answer”, Taia Tsiklauri.
“Nonviolent Answer” is a project financed by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Programme.
The content of the page represents the views of the author only and is their sole responsibility. The European Commission does not take any responsibility for the use that may be made of the information it contains.