On arrival at
So, once we had settled in, two hot sunny weeks in June were spent staking out walkways, strimming grass verges, moving furniture, putting up fencing and erecting marquees. Whilst inside, signs were produced, curtains were hemmed and animal sculptures were created, all in preparation for the all-important “Pestalozzi Festival”, which promised to be bigger and better than ever before!
Although some volunteers proved difficult to motivate when there was heavier work to be done, generally preferring to sunbathe during the long sunny days, everyone agreed the end result was worth the effort. Over the festival weekend, volunteers worked on the gate selling tickets, served behind the bar, did face painting and acted as marquee stewards and stagehands, still leaving plenty of free-time to enjoy the music, acrobatics and story-telling, sample African and Asian cuisine, browse the craft stalls and mingle with the stars!
The site also hosts PGL Adventure Holidays for children. The hard-worked, but permanently hyperactive staff, were easily coaxed into providing us with a few evenings of entertainment. Firstly they took us to the “trapeze” in the woods, which involved climbing a wobbly 30ft pole to leap from a tiny platform to a swinging trapeze! By the time I reached the top the pole was violently shaking due to my knocking knees (bearing in mind that small children do this daily). Although I was petrified by this, there was worse to come when volunteers dragged me across the fields and back into the woods at “just for fun”. Noises in the darkness left us clinging to each other, followed by a hasty retreat!
More warm summer evenings were spent playing football, basketball, card games and scrabble, singing and playing guitar (kindly lent by our hosts). Although by each night the lure of the local pub always got the better of some! When PGL staff invited us to their campfire in the woods, Mirco, our ‘guitar star’, and PGL’s Chris, made beautiful music and everyone sang along. The children’s song “How Funky is your Chicken?”, with actions, was also taught to the group and heavily practised all week!
Our first Saturday was spent in
The genuine gratitude from our hosts and the whole festival experience made this a rewarding experience for all of us. Although I found myself facing new challenges each day, having the opportunity to lead this diverse group was an invaluable and enriching experience. For most of the group, this was their first project and first time in