Monday, 30. September 2013
This was Peacecamp 2013

This was Peacecamp 2013
As we were getting of the bus, that had taken us to Vienna, my thoughts were chasing each other in my head. What would peacecamp be like? Would they like me? Would I have friends? Was I going to spend the following 10 days almost alone? I knew that I should not have been worried for at least four reasons. 1.) I have several acquaintances who have already been to Peacecamp and all of them told me that it had been one of their best and greatest experiences in their life and I should definitely go. 2.) It was a great opportunity to meet people from such different cultures, an opportunity that I may never have again. 3.) I was interested in all the topics that were going to be discussed during the camp. 4.) I had read the introducing letters of the participants and also talked to some of them, so I knew perfectly well that they are really nice and friendly. Despite all of these “factors” I was still nervous.
However, at the very moment we entered the airport and found the Austrian delegation, I knew that my worries were pointless. They had been waiting for us with welcome signs, which had been written by themselves. When they saw us, they grinned and kissed us and introduced themselves, and the leaders of Peacecamp, Ronny and Evelyn did the same. Some minutes later, I found myself laughing and talking with each and every person. The Israeli and the Palestinian delegations joined us a little bit later, but the atmosphere just got even better with them.
After this, the whole Peacecamp seemed to have run away. I felt that I had been there for months due to our numerous experiences and that I have just arrived at the same time. We had so much fun, as we were together day and night, so I could get know well the participants who were all special and nice in their own way. I learnt a lot about their cultures on the culture evenings and I also enjoyed these occasions as well. In addition, I learnt a lot about people in general. No matter where they are from or what culture they live in, basically they are just like me or my friends. We are all teenagers with similar problems, similar sources of happiness. But I also learnt to respect and like them for who they are and for the differences we have, because that’s what makes a person special, unique and valuable. I learnt a lot about myself as well. During the large group sessions or other programs we were asked lots of thought-provoking questions, so I had to think about things that I never had before and that made me change. The other important thing I learnt from the others is never to be sorry for who you really are. I think it was an essential thing that everybody should learn all over the world.
All in all, I could not agree more with the former Peacecamp participants. This was a fantastic experience and one that I would never ever forget. I learnt so many things that may help me to be a better person who can help others, promote peace and pass this attitude on to our descendants.

Petra (Hung. delegation)