Sunday Portrait: Katharina

Interview with Katharina

We caught up with the lovely Katharina recently on a beautiful sunny day at the Saltå Kvarn café where she works. Katharina has lived in these parts for a while and has a lot to tell, so we were pleased that we managed to sneak in a few questions while she tended to the herb garden in the outside seating area of the café.

Working with vegetables

Can you start by giving us a brief background on yourself, what you’re currently up to, and what your connection to YIP is? “Hey, yeah sure. Katharina is my name, and I was born and raised in Germany. When I was 17 I started travelling around the world. I lived in Cape Town for two and a half years, and then in Switzerland for five years. I ended up in Sweden because of YIP. I had some friends who attended the program and I would visit them all the time and I simply started falling in love with the place, so I thought why not just stay here? I managed to find a job and ended up moving here permenantly. I am now here working in a café as well as doing other things. I love gardening and have a gardening project where I learn about growing vegetables. I have a son who is nearly two and a beautiful boyfriend as well. The rest of my family is living in Germany still except one brother who is here in Sweden, which I am very grateful for. So yep, that’s me”.

What has your involvement with the Initiative Forum been in the past? “I have been there as a participant and have also helped make the food back when it was called 360. The amount I have been involved has changed from year to year. I love it, of course. When I was pregnant two years ago I just went along to catch up with all my old friends as I wasn’t feeling to great, and it was so lovely just to be there and to see all my friends again, coming in from all over the world. For me it’s kind of a like a big birthday party with all my best friends except I don’t have to arrange it myself, so it’s perfect. Content wise I’m not so involved, but I love the feeling and I love the energy around the place when the conference is happening, so that’s why I go there, I get to fill up my heart with positivity.

Katha Portrait by Vk

What do you think the Initiative Forum does for those who attend it? “For some of course, it changes their lives, because they meet YIPpies and start thinking about going to YIP themselves. For others; the ones who are already active in their way of changing the world, it’s a very important network meeting because I think when you are active in such things, you could be struggling with your project, you may be in you little bubble back home where you’re trying to do something important and it’s one of the most valuable things to reconnect with why it is that your doing that project. Also to realise that there are others in the world doing it too. That happens a lot at the forum. It’s a network meeting and an inspirational place. Others of course even fall in love with each other there and start relationships, and that’s very important actually for many, for their life story.

 I also want to congratulate you for putting the conference back into the summer, as I think it’s easier for everyone to enjoy themselves and be social when there’s warm air outside and when you don’t have to freeze and make sure you don’t get sick, you know? It’s a lot more spacious I think with this part of the season”.

Is there anything else that you feel like adding? “I also think it’s great for Ytterjarna that young people come in large numbers and fill the space with a little bit of young chaos. Ytterjärna tends to be quiet, beautiful, arranged and ordered and I think it’s good for the walls to get a little bit of shacking up”!

YOU are INVITED! Register HERE for Initiative Forum 2015!

Thanks to Katharina and Olly Macer