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We start the day with yoga. A sweaty, challenging and yet wonderful hour of yoga. Then delicious breakfast.
Some people are staying off-site, so as we gather around in a circle to start the day this is really the first time we’ve all seen each other. Clare Bowditch, the woman behind this whole thing, arrives, and as I’m sitting near the door she gives me a hug first. She says, “hi I’m Clare, it’s so good to see you!” I say “hi I’m Bec.” And she says, “I know!” This is the first of many signs that these people actually care about us, that they’ve read our applications carefully, and gotten to know us a bit through social media. They want to build a good community, and want to get to know us as much as we want to get to know them. It is a lovely feeling. 
The common areas are designated a no devices zone. So no cameras, no phones, no computers, just us and paper and pens and whatever else we need to make stuff. It’s actually quite refreshing, as we are all building relationships with each other, and not constantly looking at our phones or connecting with the outside world, we’re just being present. And there’s a lot to be said for that. We’re allowed to use whatever we want in our rooms (obviously, as I’m blogging now). We’re also going to have a photography session later in the week where we learn a bit more about how to take good photos, and there will be times when we are allowed to take photos of each other and the stuff we’re doing. But I love the principle that we need to actually get to know each other first before we’re allowed to start taking pictures of each other.
So much happens during the day. But it never feels rushed or pressured or over tiring. I mean, we’re all tired, but not in a completely overwhelmed way. we are able to go off on our own when we need to and lie down in our rooms if we need to do, which is wonderful for me. I get to have half an hour here and there lying under the mosquito nets on my princess bed. And that recharges me and enables me to interact with people for another couple of hours.
So we sing, we listen to Clare speak, we journal, we draw, we do craft with Pip, we swim, we laugh a lot, we watch the ducks running around in the rice paddies over the back wall. We eat more wonderful food. We start to get to know one another.
I am so grateful for being here, and grateful to have a whole week to luxuriate in this exploration, in playing, in feeding creativity, and getting to know new people. It is such a gift, this time.
As I don’t have any photos of the sessions or anything else here is my journaling from this afternoon, summing up the morning. 
And tomorrow, I get to have a massage!