Wintersport in Oostenrijk 2000

Nederlandse versie

Welcome to the site that gives you a feeling of happiness. This site shows you that the life you are living isn't that bad. When you read about others and the problems they have to deal with, you just think: "My live ain't that bad".

A group of young people selected from the suburbs of the big cities in the Netherlands  are working hard to retake their social position. Last year the boys and girls worked on this during a wintersport vacation in Uderns (Austria). Now they have to show the world they are still able to use the social skills that they learned the previous year.

Some members, who were present last year, won't show up this year. They have shown they were capable to live on their own in this hard world. One of them, Chantal, had to join some exams for her study and the other member, Floor, found a leading function in trade and industry. They proved to the organization of this project, that a second project wasn't desirable.

But the organization felt that they had to make it more difficult for the 7 remaining group members. The organization decided to enlarge the group with three new members called Jeanine, Anne and Daan. The new members were presented to us, because of the success last year, by the local mental health organizations of the cities Amsterdam, Nijmegen and The Hague. They had to benefit themselves, but this also meant a new challenge for the other 7 members. This because the three newcomers aren't equipped with the fundamental skills presented to the other 7 last year.

Mental coach Michelle offered her services to the organization again. In spite of her last year experiences and the mental problems she developed herself, she could find the courage to deal with this difficult task once again.

The organization decided to choose for a rustic environment to teach the basic skills to the young ones. Due to the number of incidents within the local borders of Uderns last year, the mayor of Uderns made us move to another city in the Zillertal. Luckily the mayor of Zell am Ziller hasn't lost confidence in our group and offered us a place to stay. The mayor reserved the right to banish us from his city, when the situation was deemed to be untenable.

The social skills the organization wants to teach us are combined like last year with the physical efforts of downhill skiing. This is done to relax ones mind and to ventilate possible pent up emotions. An extra difficult task for the group members was introduced by exposing the group members to the temptations of the bars and clubs in a town like Zell am Ziller. You see it is no easy job for the group members. How they dealt with the challenge you can read in the next report.

Last year the journey to Austria turned out to be a source of frustration among the social very sensible members. To prevent that from happening again, we decided unanimously to depart earlier from the Netherlands. This resulted in the fact that we didn't end up in the traffic stop near Kufstein, but we reached Zell am Ziller far to early this time. We had an appointment with our group psychiatrist, Frau Bichler, that we could move into our temporarily institution "Dorfblick" at 3 P.M.

We arrived far to early in Zell am Ziller (10.30 A.M.). Michelle tried to kill some time by planning joint lunch for the members. But this turned out to be insufficient to kill all the time. So we ended up on the streets again.

Rad started immediately to cool his anger and pent up emotions by throwing snowballs to other group members. It seems he hasn't learned anything in the last year. This was a signal for the others to join the fight. The fight took place in front of the automatic sliding-door of the local pharmacy. Group member Daan tried to irritate the pharmacist to position himself just in front of the door when a snowball was already launched in his direction. The interior of the pharmacy had to suffer for it. For most of the group members this was a mentally relieving fight. But Anne couldn't deal with the ventilated emotions. She made herself clear to Michelle that she didn't like the fact that she was restricted in her personal freedom due to the thrown snowballs. Michelle tried everything to calm down the group members.

The après-ski proved to be the medicine to introduce harmony among the group. So this year it was an important part of the course. The group members daily made profit of all the available accommodations in Zell am Ziller. Of course we had to be aware of the effects of using alcohol. Laura en Jürgen used their tae-bo skills to defend their position in the group. Group members Rad, Richard and Daan seemed to like the expressions of violence.

Michelle and Jeanine decided to try another approach to establish harmony within the group. Due to the effect of alcohol, this way was picked up by other group members rapidly. We noticed that our fellow-Europeans from Germany, who were sitting next to the bar, didn't think the Dutch way of treating the problems was the best way. They stayed with their approach. They could only draw some happiness from the large amount of glasses beer they swallowed.  Probably it's a good idea to start an equivalent project in Germany. Of course we will provide all the tips and knowledge to make it a successful project.

To prevent us from getting too dependent on the après-ski in Zell am Ziller, Michelle and the group psychiatrist, Frau Bichler, also tried to keep us busy at home. They tried out a special game to improve the harmony. They chose for an old Dutch game "Card Blowing".

The group is around a glass with a set of cards on top. The players are trying to blow one or more cards from the glass. The person who is left with the last card, has to drink a glass filled with an alcoholic drink, bottoms up! You see... a game in which a lot is expected from the group members. Because some group members were very anxious to loose each game, the bought bottle of Vodka was soon empty.To continue with the game bottles of Zillertal-beer, which we had in the freezer, were used to replace the Vodka.

Eventually our mental coach Michelle misjudged the impact of this game on her physical and mental health. Before the game she asked her pupils to be careful and reserved. But she failed on that herself. Fortunately she found a bucket nearby, so she could get rid of the alcohol she consumed.

The next day we had to go downhill again. A different set of slopes was chosen this time. We settled down in Mayrhofen. But it was the day after the notorious game at home. Nobody seemed to have the energy left to go downhill in a safe way. So we decided to get some rest this time. Even Michelle couldn't motivate herself and the group, due to her bad physical health. So she decided to join the rest of the group.

Last year, member Floor had bad luck with going downhill. But this year Raymond was the unlucky bird. The first day he was going downhill, he fall down on a steep hill. This resulted in a painful shoulder injury. But he is a man, so he continued going downhill and joining the other sessions. He even managed to join the game with the cards.

The result was that also Raymond had to give in to exhaustion. Without any shame he opened his mouth widely and tried to inhale as much fresh air from the Alps as possible. Probably hoping to take away his exhaustion.

During our stay in Austria the most important goal was to improve the harmony among the group. During the skiing-sessions Michelle tried to hang on to the goal to go downhill from the steep Alp mountains only in groups.

Unfortunately Anne wasn't able to join this group sessions. She didn't have the primary skiing-skills to join the sessions. She and Frau Bichler decided to give her fate to a handsome ski teacher from ski school Optimal. We all noticed that Anne showed up with a big smile after each ski-lesson. Up till now we don't know exactly if she really has had some ski-lessons or if the lessons concentrated on other skills which are useful in live.

Frans and Rad tried to escape from the group many times. They often tried to escape by changing their identity. They probably hoped to leave the group unnoticed this way. But before they could leave the shop they were recognized by the other members of the group. Failed attempt....

Of course we want to tell you this. Mental coach Michelle wanted to know if she had the same mouth size as Rad has. They both entered a challenge to eat a large Austrian glass of Pepsi. Even though the men tried to help Michelle out, she failed the Pepsi-test. After the test the men were a bit disappointed in the capacities of Michelle's mouth. Keep on trying Michelle....

After all the project was a success again this year. Of course it resulted in some hard times for the members. But we managed to reach our goal for this year. Everybody can look back on a successful week. The success could be seen on the faces of the dudes and dudettes in this project.

Only Frau Bichler proved to be a woman who couldn't deal with a group like ours. Besides that she had to make herself clear regularly by shouting, she also raised some mental problems. Raymond saw her in the waiting room of the doctor who was treating the injured shoulder. Raymond noticed that Frau Bichler was carrying a lot of boxes filled with Anti-Depression-pills. Until now we haven't heard of her anymore. We can only hope that the pills did their job.