European Workers’ Seminar (Party)

11 Apr

Dear Readers and Friends,

I’m trying a lighter tone with this post, and have included lots of pictures for your consumption…

In mid – March, Peaceworkers from London, Geneva and Brussels gathered in the Belgian Abbey at Kortenberg for a weekend seminar to reflect on this mid-point in the year.

Kortenberg Abbey

Kortenberg Abbey

For two days, we shared the highlights and challenges that we face in our work; explored the Quaker aspects of our work; and looked at what the next 6 months and beyond might bring. The workshop was a really useful platform to get together, and I think we all valued having the opportunity to spend  some time with others in the same position as us. It turns out that Kortenberg is a tiny town a bit in the middle of no-where, so we stayed mostly within the quiet grounds of the Abbey – a perfect space to reflect. Although the trip would have been a bit of a hoick for the Burundi workers, we did manage to Skype with Edith on Saturday, which was certainly a highlight. Edith, it was so great to see your glowing face and hear all about your adventures and joys you are finding in your work!

Skyping Edith

Skyping Edith

Thank you to Michael Eccles at Woodbrooke and Helen Bradford at Friends House for facilitating the weekend.

Waving Alissa goodbye on Sunday afternoon, Owen, Ellie, Haifa and myself continued the fun for two days afterwards as we all stayed on at ‘Maison Quaker’ in Brussels with the QCEA workers. We spent our time playing backgammon; learning lines; making a short film (the fruits of which will be showcased shortly!); writing letters; sharing lunches and seeing the sights:

Rhiannon, Owen and Haifa, Grand Place

Rhiannon, Owen and Haifa, Grand Place

It would be untrue of me not to mention the major activity that we took part in: tasting all the delights that Brussels has to offer; waffles, beer, frites, and mussels of course. They have a great rule in Brussels where you can buy frites from a friterie on the street, and take them into a local bar to eat them with your favourite pint:



We made a point of tasting as many different beers as possible in the evenings, and I personally fought to get as many toppings on my waffle as physically possible before the poor waffle collapsed:

Buying delicious waffles

Buying delicious waffles

Mussels are served in cauldron-like vats, and again served with frites. All in all, we had a lovely time together, and it was a welcome chance to have a little break, relax some, and catch up properly with eachother.

On behalf of the others, I’d like to extend a big thanks to Imogen, Chris and Beth for their warm hospitality!

All for now,



One Response to “European Workers’ Seminar (Party)”

  1. Edk 04/16/2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Guys, it was a pleasure being able to have a good old catch up. I sent you all post cards this week. Keeping fingers and toes crossed, they reach you sometime this year 🙂 Wish I could have been there with you at Kortenberg Abbey!

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