From the 12th to the 17th of February, two representatives of Groundwork Wales, Lee Turner, and the Creation Development Trust, Dawn Davies, payed Groundwork Fukuoka a visit to hold a seminar about the system of Time Banking, which took place on Sunday the 14th.
After arriving at Fukuoka Airport on Friday the 12th, Mr. Otani, Ms. Saito and our guests went to Joyo, where they stayed until the 15th of February. After arriving in Joyo and holding a brief meeting about the exchange, we had dinner in a small, traditional restaurant with very kind owners. We enjoyed the meal and got delighted by the interesting stories of the owner. Our accommodation was the by Groundwork Fukuoka newly renovated Kawaguchi Residence, where we all enjoyed the cozy atmosphere.
On Saturday morning, we all participated in the last of the 4 Urban Landscape Workshops at the Firefly and Stonebridges Center. This time the groups put their plans into action. A sign was painted, bamboo was cut and our Welsh guests actively contributed to the various actions. After the Workshop everybody had lunch together and we could taste homemade pizza of one of the participants of the Workshop. Having a short break in the evening, we recovered to go to the Hoshino Winter Festival in the evening, where 7000 bamboo lanterns were enlightened. This was an amazing view and let us forget about the cold weather. In the meantime Mr. Otani prepared at the Kawaguchi Residence a very delicious meal, which we could enjoy after our tour to Hoshino.
Finally on Sunday the 14th, the Time Banking Seminar took place. Local people, members of Groundwork and representatives of the local authorities gathered at the Kawaguchi Residence to get to know more about the system of Time Banking, which is really successful in Wales. After an introduction of Mr. Otani, our guests presented in an interesting lecture the system of Time Banking. Time Banking means that every hour spent for the community, is not a lost hour, but can be regained through various activities and events. This system helped to let the Welsh valley, our guests were from, prosper again, after a period of stagnation and aging of the population. This system would be also a good option for Joyo to regain its strength. After the lecture, the attendees showed their interest in asking a lot of questions. The attendant people were so absorbed by the theme, that the discussions about Time Banking were continued during the excellent dinner, women from Joyo had prepared.
written by Anja