Hi Everyone,

We made it to Berlin! This particular travel day was really LONG: We left Gimmelwold. Switzerland at 8am and didn’ get to our destination until 12:30am! We again rode the gondola down the mountain, hopped on a bus to Lauderbrunnen, caught the local train to Interlachen, and got on the regular train to Basel, Switzerland. By then it was noon.

We had a nice layover of two hours there and found a wonderful grocery store in the train station that helped us stock up for our next and final leg of the journey. We stepped on board the train to Berlin at 14:11 and arrived in Berlin at 21:21. All was well until we got off and discovered our escort was nowhere to be found. This was a big disappointment. We were tired and didn’t want to go in to high gear to figure out how to get to the conference site.

Then this wonderful thing happened. This very gruff, very stern, very German frau who worked in the subway came to our rescue. We had been standing in front of the ticket machine trying to figure out how to make it spit out 12 tickets, to where we still were not sure, and were beginning to argue with eachother over why none of our effórts was fruitful. With limitted English and the use of my rather simplistic map, she figured out what was needed and walked us through the buying or tickets, mapping out our route (two subways and a train) and even accompanied on the first subway, ensuring that we got off at the right stop.

Then the next wonderful thing happened. On the last train, we discovered someone who had been sent out to accompany incoming IDEC participants. He was able to lead us from the train station to the tent site (a 30 min. walk through what looked like a maze of dark, narrow streets and walkways). We were all very greatful to put down our bags and fall in to bed.

Our accomodations are rather comical: Big 12×12 circus tents in a big circle, housing about 200 people. Toilets and sinks are a 2 1/2 minute walk from the tents in one direction (I timed it!) and the showers are a 5 minute walk in another direction – the portable type. All of this is set up in a park about the size of Como Park and in the midst of activity somewhat like Como park as well.


And then there is the conference. It is fantastic. All these people from all around the world, who love to think deeply about education and the politics of children. All these kids who love to learn in the most organic and concrete ways, by having fun and being themselves, by discovery and with delight. In this very makeshift setting, we are coming together to share thoughts, ideas, experiences, and hopes for a world that will include all of the problems and all of the solutions. This is a very exciting place to be.

There is a sign-up sheet for a visit to a concentration camp, and one for a visit to the Berlin wall. Peter and Tarin went on a group tour of the Berlin nightlife last night. Our new home has a small swimming lake and beautiful flower gardens.


We are being fed by a catering company, fabulous vegetarian meals and an afternoon snack of cake and coffee. We are sleeping well on our little camping cots. We arranged ourselves in two tents: 9 students wall to wall in one, 3 teachers spaciously placed in the other. We are all adjusted to this next new temporary home. It is our last European stopping place and we are making the most of every minute, as we have each day of our travels. We will be home soon, and we will be both sorry to leave and happy to resume our lives with you all.



Leave a Reply