Sunday, January 9, 2011


During my undergraduate degree I had the opportunity to work with an organization called 'Volunteers for Peace' where I participated in an amazing historic restoration project in Niederkaufungen, Germany that turned out to be something more than I had anticipated.  

At the time I didn't know much about where I was going or what kind of people I would be working with, but I knew I wanted to take the oppportunity to live in a small, rural community near Kassel, Germany for a few months restoring a 19th Century, Tudor Farm... so off I went via SFO to Frankfurt, then the long train ride to Kassel and finally a bus to Niederkaufungen. Lucky for me while I was waiting for the bus in Kassel I ran into another 'volunteer', who came along just in time as I was about to take the wrong bus to the wrong town.

The Tudor farm turned out to be owned by a group of utopian German families who's aim was to "build" on ecologically sustainable, non-hierarchical commune for up to 100 adults and children, which has since turned out to be the largest, secular, left-wing egalitarian community in the Germany. This all makes since now, since from the moment I arrived (being the only U.S. citizen) I was asked about George Bush and my politics. These people were serious and I was happy, though a bit stressed at first, to be a part of the renovations. 

Years later I have discovered that a short documentary film has been produced about this community

It's amazing to see how far they have come over the years and suprisingly to find out that my old boyfriend Jan is still living there, minus the suede-patch pants and long, blonde, beaded hair... here's to you Niederkaufungen, Germany for your forward thinking sustainable ways... maybe I'll come for a visit sometime in the near future. 

Enjoy the photos... 

 The Beginning...
 The 'right-wing' of the Tudor farmhouse that helped to restore.
 They have their own school on site
 They grow all their own produce and raise all their own animals...
 My favorite photo...

No comments: