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khinchey's picture

I feel that alot my reactions and feelings at Camphill were so intertwined with the events of last week that it is necessary to give a disclaimer that the emotional exhaustion defintely played a role in how I experienced the Village. I feel that the many surprises of last week were all a factor in how my observations of the facilities felt even more surprising. I already spoke in class about my struggles and surprises about Riva's visit and I felt almost even more out of my element at Camphill. 

I was really excited to get away from campus and start to get to know the Villagers we'll be working with. When we arrived and were served that delicious lunch I was really excited to hear more about their fabulous programming. When Mimi started talking about the composition of the camp I began to feel a little critical. The financial limitations and the emphasis on "creating a community we all want to live in" felt really restrictive to me. Medical care for the developmentally disabled is prohibitivly expense but for some reason I assumed that Camphill would have residents from different socioeconomic situations. Mimi seemed to be apathetic about the importance of financial aid and I felt that this was problematic. While the Villagers seem to function well in a situation were the other villagers have been carefully vetted it almost seemed like an unsisitanible utopia for priveleged families and their disabled family members. The general environment seemed that this issue was not taken into consideration in favor of a carefully vetted village of many wealthy inhabitants. The composition of the Village was also not very racially diverse. While I can't remember how many or if any residents of color we ran into, the Camphill Newsletter we were sent home with is entirely made up of pictures of white Villagers. I wonder how this lack of diversity affects the socialization of a population that already has social and intellectual limitations. 

I also feel more nervouse because of the lack of training we got about our interactions with the vistors. We did not interact much with them at all and Mimi only gave a few instructions about personal boundaries. I hope that when we return we will have more of an orientation in how best to serve and interact with the people we are shadowing. In combination with not knowing what our schedule for fall break is I am very nervous about diving into the project next month. As Hummingbird wrote, "and am feeling a little bit like I'm floating, since we don't know yet what the itinerary will be. How much time each day will be spent working on the portraits and how much will be spent doing other work? I'm feeling intimidated by the idea that we might have six hour days of working on these portraits. I have a feeling that won't be the case exactly, but the potential is somewhat fear-inducing." 

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