The famous SAIH Spring Gathering…I had heard so much about these gatherings, how fun they were, how inspiring they were, how you shouldn’t miss it for sure and now that we are back from the weekend I am really glad I didn’t miss it! People often exaggerate and make false images just to get you to come, but I must say I was not disappointed at all this weekend. If I could describe the weekend in one word it would be AWESOME (and I am not exaggerating!). Not only was the weekend fun, it was very informative and diverse.
After arriving at a beautiful location surrounded by a very nice lake we wasted no time. For the new people we got SAIH for noobies presentation while the rest played ice-breaker games. After a very pleasant dinner we got to hear more about the structure of the SAIH board and the election committee. This was off course very interesting but since some had had very long journeys to come to the gathering, didn’t apply for us, it was time to relax a little bit. The evening could not be complete without some marshmallows! After some serious listening we could reward ourselves with some nice marshmallows next to the fire place. This night everyone seemed to go to bed on time in order to be fresh for the next day, which was a good idea as it was a full day.
Saturday was filled with different talks; we learned more about the new campaign Open Access, our new partner country Colombia, Radi-Aid 2, we even got a small crash-course in political advocacy work and off course let’s not forget about empowering youth in Bolivia and Nicaragua, Tiril and Johanne ended a day filled with interesting seminars by talking about their experiences in beautiful Latin America. This day we sat a lot and listened to different people, but we were never bored since all the talks brought different issues to the table and fun ways were used to keep us engaged. One of the things I found rather inspiring this day and I thought was something worth sharing was what Erik Hagen shared with us: “It’s possible to change anything, as long as you think long term.” Keep this in mind and you will make big changes!
This day could not be completed without a party off course, and in the spirit of our new partner the theme was Latin-America! The night was filled with Latin music, nachos, limbo and not to forget the PIÑATA! The party was, what can I say, well awesome! One of SAIH’s current vice presidents, Mats, even called it the best party SAIH has had at a gathering. Well then you know how great it was.
The fun didn’t end there of course, the organization team had planned some more things for the Sunday. After a party we were off course a bit tired but what better way to wake up than to take a dip at the lake! Yes, half the lake was still covered in ice but we from Ås managed to find a spot at the lake that was not frozen. You might call us crazy (which we will only take as a compliment) but nothing gets you more awake than dipping in a cold lake! Let’s also not forget abotu the fact that you can brag about it later 😉 After this refreshing activity we heard about the new SAIH report and we were able to do a seminar of our choice. One of the main messages I got from the report is how creativity can take us a long way. Protesting in a non-violent manner and in a creative way brings attention to the public and is the best way to work. I’m sure all of you would remember a kissing protest if you saw one! So just remember to always be creative!
All fun must come to an end at some point, however the lessons we learned from this weekend we can always take with us. Here I was only able to give you a very short description of this great weekend. It’s hard to give the full image, but it is possible to get this full image simply by joining SAIH and coming to the gatherings, I promise you, you will not regret it!
Finally I must not forget that this weekend wouldn’t have been possible without the organization team, which is why I really want to thank them for putting all their time to make sure we learned a lot and had a great time this weekend. Thank you! Takk! Gracias!