Austrian-Hungarian reunion in Budapoest, July 2011

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This was peacecamp 2011 - Isabella Messinger, member of the Austrian delegation

When Riki told us about the peacecamp taking place at Reibers during ten days in July, I was inter-ested but not sure to aim my participation. Finally, I decided to participate.
When I arrived at the Airport I tried to welcome everyone. However, I liked the feeling in the bus, the atmosphere of singing, talking and getting closer to each other. I wanted that the bus ride never ends, because I was afraid of the camp, reasoned by Riki’s statement about the bad food, her characterisation of the hostel and so on.
After the arrival I observed and discovered that altogether for me rooms, meals, and all around the camp were not conform to her daunting description.
I enjoyed the whole program, the meditation, the daily Mandala, the large group, the lessons with the artists, and the history lessons. The idea of the cultural evenings is great! Due to the fact you get to know the other culture better and come closer to the other one.
The show for peace in Reibers and in Vienna was also great, because we could show what we have done in those 10 days to the invited people.
I think the Hungarians, the Israelis and the Palestinians enjoyed the day in Vienna, though there were many discussions, because the one wanted to see something of Vienna and the others wanted to do some shopping.
I loved the trip to the Czech Border. It was interesting what the Israelis and Palestinians thought before: there would be a barbed wire fence, but without watch towers and security checks. In fact there are only boundary stones, which mark the border between Austria and the Czech Republic.
At the border Sahawa, a participant from the Austrian delegation, told us about the Iron Curtain and I think it was interesting for the Israeli and the Palestinian delegations to hear that there has been also a barbed wire fence at the border with watch towers and that the inhabitants could remove such a border and could reach that there is peace between those countries.
The peacecamp was one of my best experiences in my life.

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Niederösterreichische Nachrichten 29/11

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the peacecamp spirit - Florian Simon Linke - Austria

Frankly, I still have no idea what made me attend my first peace camp in 2009. Back then, I wasn't really interested in any youth camps or in spending 10 days with 30 other strangers. However, I felt the peace camp was something different. Something unique. Although, I didn't want to, my curiosity finally made me a participant. And I will never regret this choice.
I do not exaggerate when saying this camp changed my whole life.
Never did believe that spending only ten days with teenagers from different parts of the world would provide the possibility of creating long lasting friendships. There is something special about the peace camp. It might be the absence of any connectivity to the rest of the world (there is hardly any cell network reception available); or it might be the tight timetable; or it might be the unique atmosphere of respect, gentleness and general interest in other ways of thinking. In the very summer of 2009, we already had a little “reunion” in Budapest and visited our new friends of the foreign country. The fact that we also met three Israelis of 2007's peace camp strengthened my belief in the everlasting “peace camp spirit”.
Later this year, two Israelis came up with the idea of visiting Budapest and Vienna in the summer of 2010. Obviously, we set the date around the time of 2010's peace camp so that we could pay a visit and surprise Evelyn. Although being an observer rather than a real participant was just equally interesting, spending only three days with the group wasn't sufficient enough. That's why my three Hungarian friends and me were thinking of a way to spend the whole 10 days together with a new group of teenagers in the new year. Eventually, we came up with the idea of being a supportive film team. We were all really glad that Evelyn welcomed this idea and made it possible to participate once again.
The summer of 2011 arrived and —with my final exams done— it was finally possible to focus on the peace camp. Selecting multicultural wake up music and preparing digital equipment made me really look forward to the peace camp. And once again, my expectations have been met. In my personal opinion, the participants of this year have been even more engaged in discussions than in the previous years. At the end of july —only two weeks after the end of the peace camp— there has already been the first reunion in Budapest.
I believe that none of the participants will ever forget this unique experience and I am sure the first step towards a peaceful society crossing national and cultural boundaries has been already taken.

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this was peacecamp 2011 - Nikolett Polácska from the Hungarian delegation

This was peacecamp for me

It is hard to put into words how many experiences and memories we got in peacecamp.
It started, when we got off our bus in Vienaâ019s airport, and Ronny welcomed us in our names. For me it meant a lot, and we felt that the camp has already started. After we met the other delegations, we went to Reibers by bus. During the travelling we had already had conversation with people from other nationalities. The atmosphere was quite good!
We learnt everybody â019s name so fast with a little pronounce mistake :) First, we created a logo for our T-shirts, which would be a very good memory. The first large group was strange for me at first, but I think this was one of the most important programmes during the ten days. We got to know more about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, facts and history. There were lots of emotions, pain and maybe anger. Despite this, I have to mention I liked so much that the end of every conversation these two groups shook hands,hug each other and went on like friends. This act reflects their real personality.
The national evenings shown 4 countriesâ019 traditions in funny ways. Everyone wanted to learn foreign languages, and during it we had lots of fun! We could taste pieces of national food, and we also learnt songs and dances, and we still remember for that! :) I will never forget the morning meditations, when we tried to rest the previous night. After we got to know each other better and better, we wanted to spend more time together. The Viena trip was a good possibility to spend almost a whole day together. In the afternoon we had a show, where we danced, sang and watched a video about the camp. We enjoyed so much the last days together.
After about a month from peacecamp, we are in contact with each other, and we are planning the next time when we will meet.
So, thank you that I could participate in this camp, I havenâ019t met so many interesting people from other countries before. I am sure I will never forget them and this camp!

                                                                               Nikolett Polácska, from the Hungarian delegation

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