Dear friends of YIP,
I hope this long over due newsletter finds you well, wherever and whenever you happen to read it. It got a bit lost in the excitement of the final weeks of YIP13 and the summer holidays, but here it is – an account of the Outdoor Experience by Jelmer Verhagen, some reflections post YIP by Anna Morter, a year in pictures by Dohyun Kim and a warm invitation to the Opening Ceremony of YIP14.
Here in Ytterjärna, plums are in abundance, apples are beginning to colour the trees, wild blueberries are a tasty snack on the road (quite literally), and the migrating geese are returning to the campus for their annual visit.
We on the Organizing Team gathered back last week, joined by our new team members Pauline and Bianca from YIP13. We have been busy with the final preparations to welcome YIP14 – 35 new Yippies who as I write this are making their journey to Ytterjärna from around the world.
Thank you all for your support in spreading the word about YIP!
I now hand over newsletter duties to Pauline and look forward to sharing experiences of YIP14.
With love from the Hive,
As our last real course we had the outdoor experience – a week to end this 10 month endeavour. For some it was going into their natural habitat for others it was the first time camping. The first part was preparing and testing the tents cooking with Oskar and trying out some of the dishes we would make during the OE as well as looking at the plants around us and discovering which are edible.
Then the real excitement began. We got some instructions and slowly we began paddling. When building up camp, we began to get a feel for the way of being outdoors and being together in a new environment in which other people felt in their habitat. During the week we had challenges of heavy rain, long portages and burning sun.
A wonderful challenge was the solo – 24 hours of being alone and to try fasting if wished for. This experience was held so beautifully and care was present in every moment, while still being able to be light.
I think the power of the OE is to see each other in different circumstances and being so close with nature gives an inner peace that opens up for conversations that otherwise wouldn’t occur.
A powerful closing was the bus ride back, when we all proudly sang the songs that we had learned throughout the year.
By Jelmer Verhagen
It has been nearly two days since I left the YIP campus but it feels more like 2 hours. I somehow still feel in transit; no longer in Sweden but haven’t yet landed in my English home. As I write this I am sitting in my teenage bedroom at my parent’s house, a place I haven’t properly lived in for at least 3 years but return to for brief interludes. Returning here this time feels the most strange; so much old energy hangs in this space, so many memories of hopes/insecurities/dreams/friendships, the new and old; so much of who I am and who I am no longer.
In many ways this past year at YIP has been the most full, alive, embodied, shifting time in my life so far but returning back to such a familiar space makes me wonder if it was all a dream, has anything really changed? Partly this is because I haven’t had a chance to really process, to bring all my learnings into this new space creating the opportunity to hold the old reality and stories but equally letting them go, making room for the new. I look at my block printed bed throw that I bought during my internship in Zimbabwe and it reminds me that my YIP journey was very real and tangible, and I have a family now scattered around the world that I feel will always hold close to my heart.
Reflecting on this past year is no easy task. I considered writing a poem to magically sum it all up, leaving lots of room for interpretation and other stories, because my journey isn’t just my story, it’s strongly interwoven into the story of 20 other yippies. However, this year has had so many layers and angles and a diverse array of rich experiences that a poem no longer feels like an easy task. Instead, I will provide an incomplete reflection of this year in more descriptive prose, 5 days after YIP has ended.
It is a truth that this last year was maybe the most beautiful of my life; but it is also a truth that it was one of the hardest. In some ways I had no choice but to come into deep relation with parts of myself that I really didn’t like, and allow 20 plus other people to see those sides of me. The initial resistance to this new relationship created a strong feeling of ‘stuckness’ for quite a long while. Not accepting my shadow side and trying to live up to an imaginary idea of a ‘perfect’ yippie as my previous education had taught me to do as a student, was a painful and hard process. But it was also a process I really needed to go through and now looking back I have deep gratitude for those challenges.
Although now I feel the most strong and grounded I’ve maybe ever felt, sharing so much love and connection to more people than I thought possible, I did not feel like this throughout the year. It was only when I allowed people to really see me, to accept that I could be broken and still be whole was when spaciousness was created. I could then see and celebrate what had actually been there all along. I think a big part of this was accepting that where I was was actually really ok, letting go of this idealised version of humanness and allowing myself to accept that I was not alone.
I feel such deep gratitude for the journey that was the past 10 months. How truly blessed I am to have had such a rare learning experience that is sadly not available to more young adults. My learnings from this experience have only just begun. I have a tool kit, a family and so many resources that I have access to for the rest of this life.
I don’t like the idea that I’m going back into the ‘real world’.
YIP is the real world. It’s a rich, full, vibrant, love filled part of the world.
It is the most real world I have ever lived in.
It is the kind of world that I want to believe could be ‘normal’.
By Anna Morter
Say “See you again”
A Year in Pictures by Dohyun Kim
New YIP Merch!
As part of their new project LocArt, we collaborated with independent clothing label Seeds Apparel and created new YIP T-shirts! The T-shirts are made with 100% Fairtrade Organic Cotton and are individually hand printed in Germany. The print on the back was designed by YIP11 Alumna Naomi Richards.
YIP14 Opening Ceremony
It is Tuesday evening in the office. Some good music (In Berlin from Deep Throat Choir – look it up) comes out of the YIP ‘boom box’. The wall at the end of the table is filled with 35 pictures of the new yippies who are all starting their journey to Sweden very soon. Tallevana, with name tags on the doors and beds made, is ready to be filled with new voices, foot steps and … Upstairs in the Hive a circle is waiting and freezers and fridges have found their place in Almandinen – the new communal dining space for YIP14.
On Sunday the 29th of August from 13:30 – 15:30 we will celebrate the start of YIP14 with the Opening Ceremony at the main stage of the Kulturehouse. Everyone is welcome to join us here in Ytterjärna or in minds and hearts.
Janne on behalf of the Organizing Team