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A Day at Kalikalos Kissos Centre

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The daily routine at Kalikalos Kissos Centre adopts some of the governing principles of the Findhorn Community in Scotland. The venue is a house in exquisite Kissos village, on the east side of the Pelion mountains, 8 kilometres above the Aegean sea.

Shifts for preparation and cleanup of meals, as well as garden and admin teams, are decided from day to day, with the breakfast team meeting at 7.45 a.m. The bell for breakfast is rung at 8.30 and is served buffet style on the patio.

Afterwards, using a talking stick, we have a sharing circle, where we can express any thoughts, feelings and opinions. Circles are opened and closed with sacred intentions set by the person who has elected to host the circle for that morning.

Why not visit us this summer. Click this link to read about the many wonderful workshops on offer this year 2016:

http://www.kalikalos.org/all-workshops/    

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Our 2016 season has started!

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Our 2016 season has started! Our three workshop centres are offering a packed summer program of holistic workshops, retreats, and alternative holidays along with a community-building experience in beautiful, warm and healing landscape in Pilion, Greece near crystal clear Aegean beaches! Check our programme from here for more information or contact us through our website.

Just click on the link below for more information. Early bird discount is still valid for selected programmes:

http://www.kalikalos.org/all-workshops/

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Greek Living – What Journalists Never Tell You

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Life in Greece is very different from what journalists like you to think.

Rose and Anya enjoy the Tuesday taverna night, because tavernas are definitely still in business - Photo credits to Rose Owen

I am writing from the Alexandros-Kalikalos centre in Pelion, Greece, and I can honestly say that life here is still as idyllic and calm as it has always been – and I have been visiting almost every year for the past seven years. When I ask the locals about their views on the current crisis, the general reaction is a shrug: “Well, as long as we can still grow tomatoes!” they say. Then they take a leisurely drag on their cigarette and ask if you would like some (local, white) wine with that.

 

Because that is the Truth here. People are living, and they are living quite well: yes, the cash limit in the ATMs make it difficult for the locals (but not the tourists), but that does not stop them from dancing, fishing, and growing tomatoes, olives, lettuce, cucumbers, and so much more! Everything that I have eaten thus far has been grown and bought locally,with only a few exceptions. Greece may be running out of cash, but is certainly not running out of food or sunshine.

There also seems to be this idea that all businesses inGreece are shutting down – which is simply not true. One of the largest industries in Greece is in tourism, and the Kalikalos community network certainly contributes to the area. Every Tuesday, we take turns at dining in different tavernas, and we buy all our vegetables, cheese

Photo credits to Rose Owenand olive oil from local farmers.  Snacks and souvenirs can be bought down at the seaside shops, and all at bargain prices – shopping is great here since the British Pound is especially strong against the euro. There are even Kayaking tours around the Pelion Coast, and Quadbikes for hire. ( I actually did take par in the Kayaking tours, which was very exciting. Pics to flow in separate blog.)

I have stayed here for nearly a month so far (one month to go…) and I have enjoyed exceptional beauty every single day. The smell of fresh coffee in the morning, the clear Aegean sea, the warm sunshine, the evening candles, the sea view, the delicious food, the lovely people…. all of these are treasures untouched by the Greek state. Here in

Evening lanterns - Photo credits to Rose Owen

Greece, we are living comfortably, and while the media portrayal of Greece does have truth to it, please know that there is more to discover behind the headlines. Therefore, I would like to invite every single one of you reading this to join me in this paradise. Let us eat dinner under the grapevines, and enjoy the beautiful Aegean waters, and the lovely local wine. You are all invited.

You might want to bring cash, though.

 

 

Written by Anya Owen, Scotland
All photo credits to Rose Owen

 

Sunshine, scenery & sociability – all in a day’s jaunt in the Pelion!

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In the knowledgeable hands of Adam ‘Gandalf’ Reising, five work campers had an amazing, all-day walk through three  of the four village Squares of the Pelion on a day off. Our induction into the beauty spots and points of interest was thorough and we are all able now to offer support to guests at the three centres this summer.

Our day began with the early morning bus, taking us on a half hour ride just beyond Tsagarada. Adam guided us down a steep track into a forested gully, to begin our walking tour at a high-arched, stone bridge. The bridge stands like a guardian to the ancient history of the area and marks the geographic entrance to the Pelion on the old network of paths or kalderimi.

The ancient gateway into the Pelion
The ancient gateway into the Pelion

The tour went onwards to the Serpentin Garden, where our luck was in as the owner, Doris, happened to be weeding near the entrance and heard our arrival. We were welcomed with open arms and shown around and also relaxed in the shady warmth with a welcome cup of tea and home-made cake.

Our next stop was a moderately-old plane tree in the square at Agii Taxiarches – around 1000 years plus! – then made our way to the enormous, breathtaking 1700 year old plane tree in Tsagarada Square. This too lent itself to an excuse for coffee and cake!

 

The enormous plane tree in Tsagarada Square
The enormous plane tree in Tsagarada Square

 

Finally, we began the descent by kalderimi from those lofty heights to the beach at Damouchari. The way was steep and required vigilance on the paths – but we constantly took time to stop to admire the scenery.

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For all of us it was a day to remember – and one which has already been repeated by a few more work campers since, who made it a priority for their days off! Whoever thought it might be hard work being here in the Pelion? Not at all!

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First mini-workshop of the season

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In the first few days of opening the new season’s workcamp, we had our first workshop at Kalikalos—a mini session on Non-Violent Communication (NVC). This arose from a need within the group to have a formula for dealing with conflict in a constructive way.

Joannie teaching NVC
Joannie teaching NVC

Ten of us gathered round a very welcome log fire in the only room in the house with a fireplace, much needed in the inclement weather that has been our lot since our arrival at Kissos on 2 May.

We were introduced briefly to the process by workcamper Joannie Minto. We then had a couple of rounds of practice. First, we worked through an issue without reflective listening then later with. The engagement was so intense that the bell had to be rung loudly several times to move it on!

It’s great that we now have a common reference point to come from and daily life here certainly provides lots of opportunities to use it.

The Magic of the Circle

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What is it that guests find unique about the holistic Centres in Pelion?

I believe it’s the circles.

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Small circles with a few staffers every morning, bigger circles at the Saturday morning community meeting, intimate circles where 3 or 4 people process conflicts and problems, Thursday night fireside sharing circles, and big circles with a few hundred people coming together for a common aim.

Circles have been part of humanity’s history for millenia. Circles represent equality, consensus, sharing, unity-in-diversity and when a talking stick is added, respect, listening and participation. Every indigenous culture incorporates them into its decision making, its cultural life and its history. We are only just learning how powerful they are.