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5 november 2001

I'm here in Locarno, Switzerland where I arrived via train from Zurich today.  The workcamp is now over and the past few days we have been spending hanging out in Zurich.  I can't believe the workcamp is already over.  It went by very fast.  I think we were so busy that the time just few by.  Additionally all the partying kept our time really busy.  Anyway back to where I left off, the first weekend after the conference.  After the workshop on Saturday we had in Romanshorn, we had this great party back in Mannenbach to close the Haiti project.  First we had a really excellent dinner and were getting very silly down in the lower house.  I hung out mostly with Fiona and Noam.  I was supposed to tend the bar, and I did for a while until it became ridiculous that the bar was upstairs and the party was downstairs.  I abandoned my post multiple times to dance and talk to people.  After the live Haitian band we mostly drank and talked outside.  We built a fire and Fiona was telling me how she lives in East Berlin.  It is really fascinating, and honestly quit surprising about her living conditionals.  There is a coal stove in her place.  She estimates her coal consumption for the winter during the summer.  Some places have a single toilet on the floor and some don't have a bath, but her current flat has a bath.  After it got so cold we headed back up to the main house where we found more people still drinking.  We stayed up until about 4:00 telling jokes and stuff, it was great fun.  Noam was doing all sorts of magic tricks and I was trying to teach people how to whistle with their hands.  I discovered that night that if I cup my hands to make the whistle and let some one else blow through my hands, that works as well!  Anyway, Noam left the next morning, he was a really fun guy.

I hope to e-mail him within the next few days.  The group of us went out the next morning to Schaffausen where we walked across the Swiss border to the Rhine falls.  It was really beautiful there, but I neglected to bring my camera so hopefully I will get some pictures from someone else.  We spent most of the day walking around the falls and a little bit around town.  No one wanted to hang out much longer so we headed back to Mannenbach about 19:00 or so, maybe a little later.

The second week at the workcamp was supporting PBI's General Assembly.  Mostly we did the same stuff as the week before, except there were just more people.  We had about 60 or 70 delegates that week so we were really pretty busy with our jobs.  Monday afternoon Rich and I headed back to Konstanz to tear down the art project we had built for the conference.  It took a few hours, but it went very well.  Herby bought us a round of drinks afterwards, it was really nice.  After we parted ways with Herby and his buddy we headed to another bar and had a few drinks there.  We were getting smashed, it was great!  Somehow we made it back before dinner, feeling a little tipsy.  It was either that evening or the next we had a salsa party.  One of the Spanish ladies announced it, maybe it was later on in the week, hmmm.  One day we had one of our standard meetings and Kaori told us she had decided to leave the workcamp because she had preferred to travel.  Anyway Alessia and Rich began to laugh at something while Kaori was trying to explain what she liked about the camp.  Kaori had pretty much had enough.  She just got up and walked out of the room, slamming the door as she went.  Her face was so stoic as she walked out of the room.  We never saw her again unfortunately.  What was a real bummer was I wanted to say that I thought it sucked that she had announced she was going to leave before she stormed off like she did.  I'm not certain why she was so upset, but I hope she is happy now.

Anyway, I think Wednesday was salsa night and I was hoping that I would dance with Fiona but she had told me during the dinner she was pretty beat.  When I went down there they were playing salsa music but not really giving lessons.  Rachel was down there, this really cool lady who lives in Boston.  We danced together for a long time and sat down and talked for a while as well.  Eventually we got separated and she ended up dancing with Fetah for a while so I was SOL until I just decided to dance by myself again.  Alessia and Hae Young joined me after a while, as well as some of the PBI people, it was really cool.  After the music and the people thinned out most of us went outside and played this game with the Spanish people.  We were all in this big circle playing this silly game.  The Spanish lady would ask people who they "fancied" from the workcamp, it was kinda funny, especially when people didn't know how to answer.  I, of course, answered Fiona, though we were not in the circle at the time since for some reason it had broken up for a little bit.  There's a lot more to write and I'm getting tired so I will crash very soon.

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