Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey

The first thing the attendees of our Philly class asked was, what we’ve seen so far and what kind of experiences we made. We take this as a reason to write more about the things we hit on our tour besides the trainings we run. But also we want to tell about our class in Philly.

2 down, 5 to go :) Our amazing host for Philly was Amanda Lyons ( The room she organised for the training was next to China Town and was called “Asian Arts Initiative”. We liked the room because it is similar to our training spot in Cologne the “Tor28” – for all who know that place.

We arrived in Philly two days before the training to settle in and to try a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich and visit the many historic sites here. Early Tuesday morning we schlepped our gear to the venue and prepared everything. Amanda served an incredible choice of delicious food over the two days and it was difficult to stay focused on the training rather than eating the whole time – well, maybe that was just Frank :). When you are in Philly you have to stroll through the Terminal Market at least once (where Amanda grabed a lot of stuff for us) and you can find yourself in food paradise. For the first time some Amish people there, who have stalls there and sell foods. Later more about that…

Ten people joined the training and we even had a couple who drove all the way from Ottawa, Canada. Like in most of our trainings the participants valued the didactics and the rhythm of the training. We had a lot of fun and aha moments so we felt that the training was worth it for our participants. It was the first time we worked on the walls (rather than on pinboards) and that was a good experience. It taught us that it works what gives us a good feeling for the trainings to come.

After the training we had the chance to have dinner with Amanda, her parents, Greg Gersch and Terry LaBan what was very nice. Greg, who joined the training, and Terry, who lives in Philly, are Graphic Recorders and we shared experiences and stories about visualization and live. We went to a great malaysian restaurant in china town what was amazing. For me (Carola) that is a completely new experience because in the US you can have original asian food. In Germany most of the asian venues just offer a german version of asian food what is mostly flattend and that makes it kind of boring. So we had – amongst other dishes – these huge (I’ve never seen that before) jumbo shrimps with coconut crumble and garlic: fantastic… The credits for this dish go to Greg, as he spend at least 5 minutes talking to several waiters, which dish he was looking for, as he couldn’t remember the name.









On Thursday we headed off to New Jersey where we visited Phil Bakelaar. He is a pastor, professor, visual practitioner and board member of the IFVP. We found it very interesting what he does with his students but also his engagement for marginal groups of the society so we decided to make an interview with him which you will find also in our blog in a couple of days. Watch that space and check it out!









Our next stops were somewhere around Lancaster, Elizabethtown and Hanover. We wanted to meet some Amish people and learn about their culture. We thought that it would be interesting to speak in german with them because there exists a group of people who still speaks an old fashioned german from the 18th century. Unfortunaely it’s not that easy to have contact with them because they live rather secluded and it would take more time to meet someone from their community. Who we met were Mennonite people. They look like Amish but they use technical progress for example cars or electricity. Some of them sell their products on markets – for example homegrown groceries, selfmade jelly or handcrafts. What was very funny for us were their shop names because they refer to German, for example: “Kömm Essa” – come and eat. All in all it was a very unique experience to see a buggy and a horse “parking” in front of a supermarket with all the cars or to see these different clothed people who ride with their scooter through the fields. I would like to spend more time in this area but we have to move on… I recommend an interesting documentary on youtube: “Meet the Amish“.












Now we are staying in Hanover and visited Snyder’s. I know them from german supermarkets and I love their pretzels. And it’s funny because I’m originally from southern Germany (by the way: next to Heidelberg and Mannheim what we also crossed here when we drove to Hanover) where we eat Pretzels all the time – they are called “Brezeln” in german. They are soft and we use it as bread – which is pretty much at all eating occasions (we are bread lovers, you know ;). And the american way of “Brezel” I like very much because they combine it with crazy flavors: Today I tried pretzels with s’mores flavor – great! I’m convinced ;-)!








Our next stop will be in Shanondoah National Park and then we’re heading to Washington DC to run our next training hosted by Steph Brown.

See you…