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Keep In Touch Newsletter

Volume XXIII No 2 September 2011 The KIT Newsletter editorial staff welcomes all suggested contributions for publication in the Newsletter from subscribers and readers, but whether a given submission meets the criteria for publication is at the sole discretion of the editors. While priority will be given to original contributions by people with past Bruderhof connections, any letters, articles, or reports which the editors deem to be of historical or personal interest or to offer new perspectives on issues of particular relevance to the ex-Bruderhof Newsletter readership may be included as well. The editors may suggest to the authors changes to improve their presentation.

Have you made your KIT Newsletter subscription/donation payment this year? Please find details on last page.
Contents Letters to the Editor 1 Thanks for Keeping us in All in Touch 1 Stan and Hela Vowles Lived an Interesting Life 1 Some News from Australia 1 Cotswold Community Farm for Sale 2 Several Enthusiastic Reports about the KIT Gathering at FC 3 The Youth Hostel was Opened 64 Years Ago and Soon Welcomed Bruderhof Guests 3 This Was my First Official Attendance Together With Bettina 4 Reconnecting With my Extended KIT Family 5 Informal Meetings About a Representation at CSA, and About the KIT Newsletter 7 Communal Webs, Communal Threads, Communal Ripples 8 Peer Pressure on the Bruderhof 9 Eileen Robertshaw Remembers her Childhood 10 Changes: KIT Address List Sept 2010 13 KIT Friends Remember Josua Dreher 10-14 KIT Gathering in Blossoming Bulstrode Park 14 Autumn - Poem 15 Armadillos Harbor Mycobacterium Leprae 15 KIT-Staff - Contact Details 16 ___________________________________________________ and mother Stanley and Helen Vowles. They surely led a very interesting life. They did so well with so many obstacles in their way. I think here it would be very good to say: Veni, Vidi, Vici! I came, I saw, I conquered! I certainly take my hat off to them. Thanks again! Nadine and August Pleil, Washington, Pennsylvania

Some news from Australia

Dear Linda and the KIT production team, thank you once again for a great issue of the KIT Newsletter April 2011 it really does keep us in touch with old friends all over the world. I was particularly interested in the article about Stan and Helen Vowles because I knew them in Primavera and their daughter Brenda, now Vickery came with her husband to Australia as migrants from England some years ago. Brenda lives fairly isolated in Bundaberg on the north coast of Queensland. About six years ago she was diagnosed with a cancer behind one of her eyes. She came to Brisbane from time to time to see a specialist and was able to use accommodation we have at our Quaker Meeting House. A couple of years ago Brenda had surgery to remove the tumor behind her right eye. The Danthonia Bruderhof near Inverell in New South Wales (NSW) took Brenda in for a few weeks before the operation and sent someone to look after her while recovering from the operation. Francis and I met Bruderhofers when we went to visit Brenda in hospital and they invited us to come and visit Danthonia for Easter 2007. Brenda was there when we visited and looked like she was making a good recovery. The community was very good to her and helped her by having her stay in Danthonia for as long as she wanted to.
< Francis and Rhoda Dorrell with their great granddaughter Olivia just a day old in March 2011.

Letters to the Editor

Thanks for Keeping us All in Touch
May 11, 2011: Dear Tim, Dave and all: I want to thank you for your diligence and commitment to keeping us all in touch. As soon as I get the Newsletter I read it straight thru. Even though painful reading at times (deaths of so many people that I truly loved - including my parents Norma and Lowell LeBlanc), I have to accept that it is all part of our "history". I grew up in Forest River, Woodcrest, Macedonia, Evergreen and Oak Lake, (from the age of three until twelve years) and then returned with hubby Art and children (1975-1981). I remember Eileen Robertshaw as a very sweet, lively, funny person. She had such a sparkle about her. We will be so thankful to God forever for rescuing us from the old destructive life and for the new life in and with Him (over 25 years!). All our eight children are now grown adults. Each one is following their own unique calling. In our Lord's love and provision our family includes: a college math professor, a nurse anesthetist, two computer science professionals, a lawyer, two social workers, and a mechanical engineer; also six grandchildren who are our joy and delight! Life is never easy but we are assured that we are always carried in the Palm of His Hand. I greet you with tender thoughts. Deb Herman, Blairsville, Pennsylvania

Stan and Helen Vowles Lived an Interesting Life

Thank you, Erdmuthe, Linda, Charlie and Dave, for a very good KIT letter. Special thanks to you Raphael and your siblings for your contributions. We read with great interest about your father

When we visited the Danthonia Bruderhof in 2007 Randy and Linda Gauger were the Servant and Housemother there. They have been there since its beginnings about twelve years now. Most of the families have been brought in as immigrants from the USA communities, mostly young people who come in on student visas or have special skills Australia is looking for. Manuel and Meg Loewenthal looked after us that weekend. Some of you may remember the Loewenthals from Primavera; Meg is one of Dr. Milton Zimmermans daughters; she is a nurse, and nurses are in high demand here as immigrants. They left three or four sons behind in USA.

Keep In Touch Newsletter < Meg and Manuel Loewenthal came for a visit

Vol. XXIII No 2 September 2011

Meg and Manuel were very nice and we have had them over here for a visit with us recently. They came to show us and the Chattertons a video of a group of young people from the Bruderhof going to Paraguay to restore the Primavera burial ground. Apparently the Mennonites ploughed over the ground and destroyed the fences. The Bruderhof claimed it back and has built stronger fences and scientifically relocated and renamed every grave. The youth group held a special ceremony in the graveyard to rededicate the graves by lighting candles and reading out the names of the people buried there. It was quite a moving video. The Chattertons lost a little girl called Maria around eight years old, who is buried there. Apparently they have a new Bruderhof house in Asuncin called Primavera House. It is actually funny, just before Manuel and Meg visited us I was trying to get hold of Andrew Chatterton to see if we could arrange to get together with the Loewenthals; when I saw him working on a house near our Quaker Meeting House in Brisbane. I had not seen Andrew for a few years and there was this man with a shock of red hair and beard doing carpentry work. When I said hallo, he looked up. I said, I know you don't I?, and he said, Andrew Chatterton, arent you Rhoda? The Danthonia community also looked after Doris Chatterton in the nursing home not far from here, having a young girl by her side for many weeks in the last stages of her life. She died in October 2007. The Bruderhofers are really trying to right some of the wrongs they committed in the Heini era. When we were there that Easter 2007, we told them that we did not hold any grudges. Reg Chatterton had passed away suddenly thirty years earlier (in June 1978); I think of an aneurism in the brain. It was a great shock to Doris and the family. They had bought a large property near Maleny-Kennelworth north of here and were running it as a Caravan Park. Most of the boys were involved with that at the time, but only David lives there now. Part of the property was divided to give all of the children a block of land for a house, and the rest was sold. That is when Doris was able to make a trip back to England to visit friends and family. Over the years Doris

was very well looked after by her family as well; most of her children live close to or in Brisbane and we keep in touch. My husband Francis celebrated his 70th birthday on September 7th, 2011. Andrew and David Chatterton came to his birthday party. Below, in the first column is a picture of David and his wife Kay. Andrews wife Wendy is sitting behind David. I will try to write my familys Cocksedge history from Primavera to present time. In peace and love, Rhoda Dorrell Cocksedge, Redland Bay, Queensland

Cotswold Community Farm for Sale

By Erdmuthe Arnold On August 27th 2011 an auction took place at the former Cotswold Bruderhof, to sell off the furniture of the school there which has moved already to a new location in Oxfordshire. Since 1973 the property was owned by the Wiltshire County Council which made sure the Cotswold Community Farm remained a school and home for difficult boys, but with therapeutic rather than corrective institutional aims and methods.

Cotswold Community Farm photo submitted by John Holland.

David and Kay Chatterton came to Francis birthday party.

Until recently the settlement had been a village on its own, with its own playing field, swimming pool, school, meeting hall, postbox and farm buildings centered on the attractive old farmyard. Gardening was encouraged, and vegetables, nurtured with loving care, sometimes attained spectacular dimensions, as one can read in an interesting and informative article by John Whitwell online [http://www.johnwhitwell.co.uk/index.php/thecotswold-community-farm/]. Sadly fund-raising for this school had become more and more difficult since its draw had become nationwide with thirty nine of the forty children not local, but coming from every corner of the United Kingdom. Recently the Wiltshire County Council decided to sell 87 of the 350 acres for gravel extraction. John Holland, who lives nearby and was asked by the Ashton Keynes Community to remove a tennis enclosure, found out about the auction, which he attended on August 27 th and bought a bed, a side cabinet, lamp and other items for a family member paying only 20 Euros. He heard that the Darvell Bruderhof had been supporting the upkeep of the buildings of the Cotswold Community Farm practically and financially. Some of the buildings are listed this means that the future purchaser will have to maintain and incorporate them more or less as is in future developments. It will be interesting to hear more about what will become of the Cotswold Community Farm.

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Vol. XXIII No 2 September 2011

Several Enthusiastic Reports about the KIT Gathering at Friendly Crossways

The Youth Hostel was Opened 64 Years Ago and Soon Welcomed Bruderhof Guests
By George Maendel, Maine daughters were there and six of her nephews, so there was quite a gang of young people, most of whom are in college or working their first jobs since graduating from college. August 14, 2011: Traveling around the Norfolk, Connecticut area with Ben Cavanna in his rental car, a rear wheel drive Dodge Charger. We drove up Dennis Hill to a stone and wood, eight-sided pavilion. Dennis Hill was once a volcano, back in approximately that era when the Appalachian Mountains were extruded upwards by the collision of continents, about 300 million years ago. Brazil and Africa were connected back then and you could walk from the part we call New England to Ireland. I began to wonder why anyone would build such a complex structure in a small state park (300 acres) when Ben told me it was originally built by a famous New York City doctor, last name of Dennis, who was doctor and surgeon to several US presidents, 1900 to 1910. Another of his famous patients was the scientist and inventor Michael Pupin, an immigrant from Serbia and a fellow resident of New York City whom he introduced to the Norfolk area. Mr. Pupin bought land just outside the village of Norfolk and built a huge stone mansion and a stone carriage house

The Hostel was opened 1947.


(Photo: Virginia Cuanca)

August 13 2011:We are at the Blackberry Inn, a Bed and Breakfast open for overnight guests since 1763. Ben Cavanna and I got here yesterday about 8:30pm, coming from Littleton, Massachusetts where we attended the KIT Gathering at the oldest continuously operating Youth Hostel in the USA, Friendly Crossways, open since 1947 when a large dairy barn was converted to a guest house and Youth Hostel. The barn and the attached house are still the only buildings on the property. The barn has private and semi private rooms as well as two dormitories, located in the former hayloft. Ben and I shared a room on the second floor. When the Bruderhof sent representatives from Paraguay to the USA to find a property to buy in the early 1950s they stayed at Friendly Crossways, so it has long Bruderhof connections. KIT Gatherings have been held at Friendly Crossways since 1990, twenty one years ago! The gatherings are like a family reunion. Many of the people who attend have family in the Bruderhof, family they don't get to meet with or see except when it suits Broodie leaders. We had a late dinner last night at another gathering, the Sheble family reunion held at a camp near Norfolk, on Doolittle Lake, where Annies sister and her husband own a lakefront cabin. Well, I guess it can be called a cabin or a camp, as we say in Maine, but it is very spacious and elegant too. Annies two

People arrive. From left: Adolf Wegner, Vera DeBell (Stevenson), Margot Purcell (Wegner), Gerrit-Jan Stevenson, Ruth Lambach (Baer), Blair Purcell. (Two photos: Heidi Strickland [Kleiner])

Discussing an interesting Hutterite Photo Book which George brought with him: Erdmuthe Arnold, Hanna Homann (Patrick), Ben Cavanna, George Maendel, Virginia Cuenca (Loewenthal).

both of which still exist in excellent condition and which served for many years as the central buildings for the Bruderhofs Evergreen and then Deerspring Community. They are now owned by a Buddhist organization. The place is well guarded with a gate which always seems to be closed. They do not encourage visitors. From the road it seems that the extensive workshop and fabrication buildings left by the Bruderhof are not being used. But it is a sure bet that these Buddhists do not patronize any of those ubiquitous storage facilities that seem to sprout all over the countryside, in Maine anyway. Driving through the village we stopped at the Library, an elegant red stone building dedicated in 1889 and twice enlarged, both times using stone from the same quarry in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where the original stone came from. It is the most elegant library building you can ever hope to see and it was open Sunday afternoon when Ben and I stopped to look at the telephone directory to see if there were any Maendels listed. We found one Jake Maendel and a few minutes later we were on his

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doorstep, a mile or two from the library, just off the main highway. He invited us over even though he and his wife were preparing to leave for Torrington, her home town. Jake has worked at a factory in Torrington for the past twenty years. He also has a locksmith business on the side and a workshop located in what was built as a two car garage. They park their vehicles outside. Jake is our cousin, one of David and Anna's children, born February, 1952. He said his family had been at Woodcrest for more than a year when the carriage house burned, an event he remembers well since it occurred on his birthday, 1957. At the KIT Gathering there was a booklet on early Woodcrest from which I was trying to determine when Dave and Anna moved there. It listed two dates: January, 1956 and in another place it said January, 1957. Jake's memory cleared that up. I remembered only that my friends Nathan and Harold disappeared from Forest River not long after the first Bruderhof people arrived. Nathan, married to Ben Cavanna's sister, lives at Maple Ridge these days, Harold has not been heard from since attending a family wedding in 1977. Being in the Norfolk area feels like a visit to a foreign country, people say it reminds them of the Tyrol or of Switzerland. The area has been settled for hundreds of years, giving each property a human story. Local custom demands that the past be

taken into consideration before radical changes are made. Many places are listed on The National Register of Historic Places, which means they are somewhat protected from demolition or radical design change. The Blackberry Inn where we stayed two nights is a listed property. This summer several of their hired staff is from Austria. Featured on the breakfast menu were the light, light pancakes we sometimes had at Forest River, simply eggs and flour, according to Marlene, our Austrian waitress. Monday morning, August 15th, after a second delicious breakfast, we said farewell to Ben and left for Maine. We were quick about it since we were blessed with pouring rain which lasted for most of our drive to Boston. From Portland north the roads were dry, but it rained here last night, just over 1 and 1/2 inches, very welcome to our garden and to all growing things. Our squash is taking over the garden, as it does every year about this time. The rain has stopped and I need to get to work. A year ago I bought a truckload of wide pine boards which have been stick-piled (for drying) in our greenhouse. I need to load them on the pick-up truck and on a trailer for transport to a planning mill where they will be planed to an even thickness and cut to have a tongue on one side and a groove on the other. I like watching the boards go through the machine and enjoy the smell of fresh cut pine. The boards will be the floor in our new barn.

This Was my First Official Attendance Together With Bettina

By Hans Zimmermann, Colorado My wife Bettina and I arrived late Friday afternoon at Friendly Crossways. This was my first official attendance at a KIT gathering together with my wife who previously had many reservations about participating, not sure if she could stand days listening to people complain and expressing their grievances about the Bruderhof. However the combination of a visit to New York City and then visiting friends of many years at Hunter Mt. in the Catskills persuaded her to come along; but living in a youth hostel environment gave her some trepidation. All this was soon overcome when we received such a warm and joyous welcome from all of my friends most of whom I had not seen for fifty years, and others I just recognized through knowing their parents in Primavera. Tim, one of my earliest buddies in Primavera greeted us with a beer in hand, and then was accommodating enough to
< Hans Zimmermann (Photo: Heidi Strickland)

us so that my wife had better access to the main facilities. The Johnsons were well represented with Barnabas always ready to start playing the next song either on the piano or his recorder(s); otherwise acting as unofficial singing director. One always knew where Rosie was as she could not contain her infectious enthusiasm. It was great to see Erdmuthe Arnold again who has and is so instrumental in publishing the KIT letter, Miriam Arnold Holmes and Joy Johnson MacDonald did much of the organizing, with so many other willing helpers: Hanna Patrick, Eileen Goodwin, Maeve Whitty, and Margot Purcell to name a few. It was great to see again the Wegner boys Hans-Helmut and Adolf (now men), Gerrit-Jan Fros, and others whose names now escape me as they came dribbling in. I hope someone can provide us with a list of attendees as I cannot recall all of you, but was very interested in every ones past experiences. Friday nights dinner was chicken, a delicious salad,

Barnabas Johnson accompanied the weekend as well accepted music director and piano/recorder player (Photo: Virginia Cuanca)

wine, beer, etc. followed by a meet and greet in the conference room. The atmosphere was relaxed, and my wife soon adjusted. I enjoyed the singing, lively discussions, the camaraderie, good food and drink, the early morning walks with Rosie and Hanna as the mist was still stuck to the dew laden grass and bushes. We had to be careful not to step on the occasional green frogs who were trying to jump across our path. We were welcomed back with a healthy breakfast of eggs and other goodies. I was glad to see Justina Jaime in attendance who had just returned from visiting her sister Tina in Asuncin, Paraguay. Various people brought photo albums in addition to many of our Primavera song books, so in the sing along we had plenty to choose from. I was pleased that we were able to use the public swimming beach at the Harvard lake which provided a roped off area big enough for most people to swim. These activities helped me to build a good appetite for the evening meal of Pasta Primavera

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Miriam Holmes (Arnold) received much praise and acknowledgement for organizing the KIT Gathering once again; next to her Erdmuthe Arnold and Justina Nolden (Jaime).

The weather was just fine. Here enjoyed by: Al Hinkey, Christrose Sumner (Johnson) and Joy MacDonald (Johnson) for many years engaged as KIT treasurer. (Three photos: Heidi Strickland)

followed again by singing in the meeting room. Sunday morning I went for another walk concentrating on the grass and trees as there were few birds to be seen. On return I found Heidi Strickland and others, busy in the kitchen making pancakes the way we knew them on our trips to the river Tapiracuay in Primavera; they tasted just as good. We (I) enjoyed the fact that things were rather informal yet well organized. My special thanks to those who made this possible. I will fondly keep you in my mind and hope to see you again in the future. Yes a next meeting in the Midwest or nearer to Colorado would be welcomed, but has to have water and longer hiking trails. I will try to find you on the map on my next trip across the country and should you pass through Colorado, give me a shout, I may even find a horse for you to ride. Hasta la proxima!

Reconnecting With my Extended KIT Family

By Hanna Homann (Patrick), Iowa I flew into Newark on August 10th, Virginia Loewenthal. picked me up. She lives close to the airport and suggested that I spend the night and we could drive up to Friendly Crossways on Thursday. She had been having car problems, but after having

Johanna Homann and Virginia Cuenca travelled together for more than a weekend.

a new alternator installed, we had an uneventful four and a half hour drive up. I was the map reader and was glad that she was able to drive us safely through all of that heavy traffic! After settling into our rooms, we headed to Muschie's place. First we went with her to pick up some pizza, salad and wine and then back to her place to put together a grocery list for our food shopping trip Friday morning. Erdmuthe and Justina were arriving at FXways at 7:30pm and we joined them later for food, wine and good conversation. Friday, I was up early and headed across the road to enjoy the sunrise on my one hour hike in the Nature Preserve, through the White Pine woods, the prairie, and the many wild flowers. I enjoyed a few black raspberries in the woods and picked a bunch of wild flowers to place in the dining room for breakfast. Justina, Virginia and I had a relaxed breakfast and enjoyed chatting with some of the other hostel guests. Muschie, Virginia and I left later that morning to meet Heidi at the Market Basket Store where we spent close to $500 on food for the weekend. Upon our return we were greeted by familiar songs played on the piano by Barnabas. Others were arriving, Tim, Ben, George, later Hans and Bettina, Purcells and Rosie, John Holland, Maeve, Gillian Burleson and many others. The weather was just beautiful for our weekend and many of us spent the afternoon visiting out on the patio. We even had a BruderSchwester-Rat gathering out there, to peel the freshly picked sweet corn for the evening meal. Saturday, I awoke to the call of a Great Horned Owl and was later joined for a sunrise walk in the Nature Preserve by Rosie and Hans. We spent the morning visiting with old friends and greeting new arrivals. For lunch the men did a great job cooking the meat on the grill, while others helped set out the rest of the food. We had new volunteers who cooked a great evening meal of Pasta Primavera and then gathered for an evening of singing our favorite songs. It was amazing to realize how many songs we still remembered and to hear the blending of so many voices, soaring together in harmony. Later Hans kindly drew maps of Isla and Loma for me, from memory. Amazing, after fifty years! I hope to compare them to my large canvas map of Primavera that I put together in the 80ties. Sunday the weather changed. We had gentle showers for most of the day and Barnabas had to take down a wet tent. He did report that he had no nocturnal visits from Black Bears, and really enjoyed the night-time choruses of crickets, cicadas and tree frogs! So did I! It was wonderful to be able to leave the

Keep In Touch Newsletter

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Once again Al Hinkey was the barbecue cook, and he did a good job! (Photo: Virginia Cuenca) Ruth Lambach and Gillian Burleson cooking the Pasta Primavera (Photos above and below: Heidi Strickland)

Dan Thorn and his boys Ethan and Nick are enjoying a meal.

windows open and to be lulled to sleep by Nature's music! At Virginia's it was tree frogs, at Friendly Crossways: tree frogs, cicadas and owls, and at my last location, the Vermont Retreat, it was rain drops and rushing streams. Fantastic! Vermont was our next retreat Sunday is always harder, as people are leaving. We still had fun visiting and greeting some new arrivals. Some had to get to Boston airport, others started their long drives home. Virginia and I would leave in the evening for a Vermont Retreat belonging to Maeve's friend, Helen. Geryunant Retreat- What a wonderful place! It was pitch black when we arrived and, as this retreat is off the grid, Maeve had to scurry up to the dark house in the rain to find a Solar lantern to light our way. She turned on the solar lights inside and gave us a tour of the large house and surrounding cabins. The property is hilly and heavily wooded, with a rushing stream running right through it. The house and cabins have lots of large windows, some stained glass, tile floors, colorful rugs, beautiful wood paneling, quilts and artwork everywhere. There are wood burning fireplaces in all the buildings, and several composting toilets fantastic! They are clean and efficient and the bathrooms and outhouse always smell like fresh cedar wood. The outhouse had its own stained glass window and two walls made of colored bottles embedded into some medium just amazing! There was plenty of hot water for showers and we did have a gas stove for cooking.

We all chose where we wanted to sleep; I picked a newly constructed hexagon shaped cabin, almost completely surrounded by windows. It was decorated with stained glass, candles and artwork and I was lulled to sleep by the sound of falling rain and rushing water from the nearby stream. If it wasn't so late I would have lit a little fire, but even without a fire, it felt like I had found a little piece of heaven! It was still pouring when I awoke the next morning; the rain continued for the next twenty four hours. I went up to the main house the owner was gone until that evening, so I made myself at home. After a nice cup of Earl Grey tea I made a fire in the wood burning stove centered in the middle of Helens lovely living room. Maeve and Virginia had joined me by then and after breakfast we relaxed by the warm fire while Virginia read to us from May Davis's book about her Bruder'hof experiences. We decided to wait until John and Barnabas arrived before going into town, as we weren't sure if the wet, dirt roads would let us get back up the hills after all of that rain. Virginia and I played some board games until the guys arrived. They had a quick tour of the place and picked their cabins before it got dark and then Barnabas entertained us with piano music, while John and Maeve went into town for food. After enjoying a delicious meal and some great company we all turned in for the night. I found that my cabin had sprung a leak when I stepped on a wet rug in the dark, but my bed was dry and I was soon lulled asleep by the sounds of the rushing water.

Maeve Whitty had invited to another retreat after FC, and shows Barnabas how to get to Geryunant. (Photo: Heidi Strickland)

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Helen arrived late after I had turned in and it was such a pleasure to meet her the next morning! She and Maeve took a quick dip below the waterfall of the rushing stream before they joined us for breakfast. Virginia and I had to leave that afternoon to get back to New Jersey for my flight the next day, so we packed our things. John helped Helen brainstorm about correcting the problem of the leak in my cabin. The next day he helped her with lots of needed repairs. The skies were clearing when we left for the town of Brattleboro. We strolled around this quaint little town; full of little stores and eventually stopped in a small cafe for a hot drink and a pastry. What a nice way to end our short visit to this beautiful place and say good bye to our friends. Our drive to Virginia's house took only four hours and we enjoyed more wonderful conversations. We had another special Nature surprise right after we arrived, when Virginia beckoned me to her back garden to see a doe and her fawn just lingering outside her garden fence! What a treat!
Virginia took this photo of a doe and fawn in the backyard of her house. > Meeting time, from left: George Maendel, Judith Tsukroff, Eileen Goodwin and Gillian Burleson. (Photo: Heidi Strickland)

We enjoyed a nice meal and more conversation on the patio of a local restaurant and I headed for bed soon after that. We would have an early start in the morning, when Virginia would drop me off at the airport before heading off to work. John and Maeve would head up to Peaks Island Thursday, to visit with Barnabas and Lowrey, before heading back to Boston on Saturday. So, I'm back into a routine, while trying to come down from this tremendous high of reconnecting with my extended KIT Family! I want to thank Muschie, Joy, and all of those who made such a memorable experience possible!

Saturday morning, October 1st, 2011 at the annual meeting (in Kentucky) of the Communal Studies Association (CSA). A brief abstract we submitted some months back, relating loosely to the overall theme of the meetings, which is "Communities at the Margin" was accepted, and now we have to prepare the presentation! (We'd mentioned this on hummer, a week or so before the FC meeting). Our purpose in the FC meeting was to get interested participants to give us their perspectives on the phenomenon of "KIT". It will necessarily set the stage with a bit of history, and something about the KIT community participants' general characteristics, and will then go into issues of the functions KIT has served, and does now serve, for its participants. It will also go into some speculations on its future. Thats it in a nutshell, except to say that both Ruth and I are organizing our notes from that meeting, to see how they fit with, or modify our prior thinking. It was a lively session, and many participants offered their suggestions, for which we are grateful.
< Tim Johnson led the meetings. (Photo: Barnabas Johnson)

Informal Meetings About a Representation at CSA, and About the KIT Newsletter
By Tim Johnson, Georgia There were three informal meetings during the gathering at Friendly Crossways. In brief, the first evening (Friday) we had the traditional round of introductions, which included several new attendees. This session ended with the traditional and lusty Die Gedanken sind Frei. At that meeting there were also the usual housekeeping announcements to facilitate smooth operations for the next two days. This included scheduling two informal more business oriented meetings. It also included a heartfelt thank you especially to Muschi, but also to others who helped organize this year's KIT gathering. The first informal meeting, held Saturday morning, and attended by at least half of the assemblage, was called by Ruth Lambach and me, to invite discussion of issues people would like to have included in a talk that Ruth and I will be giving on

The second meeting, held Sunday morning, was also surprisingly well attended. This was our informal update on the KIT Newsletter, letting meeting attendees know informally the present status. Erdmuthe, Joy and I were the ones present who could best speak to this, as others with significant involvement (Charlie Lamar, Dave Ostrom, Linda Jackson, and Anthony Lord) were not there. The voluntary nature of KIT was emphasized, along with the need for more submissions of suitable contributions, and of course the need to get more readers involved as subscriber/donors, though it was noted that the percentage of contributing readers has risen since Joy's last report. Also noted was the desire to have some turnover

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VOLUNTEER needed to organize EuroKIT 2012

KIT. If there is to be a Euro KIT next year, someone will be needed to come forward and set the time and the place soon and be willing to organize the gathering. A short informational notification should be published in the December issue of KIT so that people can make arrangements. Some of our readers might think it is up to the KIT Staff to organize the gathering but frankly every one of us already invests enough private time for keeping in touch. On the other hand we know of several people who would be happy to meet for a weekend in Europe. Please positively think about this: Could YOU be the one to organize EuroKIT next year? You will always find KIT-Staff-addresses on the last page of a Newsletter. Please let one of us know what you can do.

Singing along from left: Barnabas Johnson, Hans-Helmut Wegner and his wife (hidden), Al Hinkey, Adolf Wegner, John Holland (behind:) Christrose Sumner, and Miriam Holmes.

of some of the above-named staff, who have been active for many years, and would be glad to share the management of KIT and its finances. However, none of the current staff have threatened imminent strike action! In addition to these semi-formal meetings, there were lots of informal group walks, and of course the frequent group singalongs. Though at least two of us brought ping-pong paddles, that particular activity never got organized (though I confirmed the ping-pong table was still in the basement). Thus, walking and swimming were the only "group" activities undertaken outside the building and its immediate porch/lawn areas. However, it did seem that pretty much every minute was filled, so no complaints!

Communal Webs, Communal Threads, Communal Ripples?

By Ruth Lambach, Chicago/Illinois Theres going to be a new regular column in KIT. Im editing it. It is going to explore positive aspects of communal outcasts from communal life today. While I have not attended all KIT gatherings, I understand that at one gathering everyone participated in an exercise expressing something positive they still valued from communal life. So far, there are already two volunteers who wish

Gerrit-Jan Stevenson, Ruth Lambach (the editor of the new KIT column) and John Holland. (Photos on pages 8/9: Heidi Strickland)

to write for this column. Above, are three possible titles that have come to me this week. When I asked Erdmuthe what we should name the column she, with a wry smile, advised waiting to see what emerges. My choice at this moment is ripples as I have swum in Lake Michigan every day since my return to Chicago. From the airport to my home on Monday, I listed 46 people (among them four children) being at Friendly Crossways. As I did this I thought how strange it was that I needed to do this. It reminded me of when I was first out on the streets of Pittsburgh in 1959 and felt overwhelmed with the masses of people I passed on the sidewalk thinking that I needed to get to know everyones name. Riding on the streetcars, I felt obliged to talk to anyone I sat next to. After three days of talking, I noticed that I was the only one talking. People were either reading or looking out the windows. I followed suit and looked through the books in the rack of a drug store and bought On The Beach by Nevil Shute, a post apocalyptic end of the world novel by a British/Australian published in 1957. The world I had entered felt like the end of my world. It was barren, devoid of the comforts and securities Id been accustomed to in communal life. Worst of all for me was eating by myself. The difference between the way of being in communal life and the world rushing about in unfettered capitalism was sharply focused when I returned my rental car, got lost, got a friendly young Haitian to guide me to the Thrifty car rental and then hopped into his cab to get to the airport. He got hung up where two roads diverged and he sat and blurted out Savages. Relentlessly the glaring lights sped past, each to their own destination in the predawn dark rain. Sitting beside this young man in his new white cab, stopped at a dangerous and illegal intersection to consider which road to take, I chuckled remembering how Id joked about Yogi Berra saying when you come to a fork in the road, take it. Now it was no joke. I had taken the wrong turn just an hour earlier at this very juncture. This experience was starkly different from my arrival in Boston, where within fifteen minutes after landing, I got a call from Gillian Burleson ready to help me take public transportation to Maeve Whittys place in a beautiful section of the city next to a lake and within half a block of a bike path on which one could get all the way to Concord and Walden Pond. I rented a car and got to Maeves house where she graciously served John Holland and me lunch. John and I then drove out to Littleton, taking a four hour meandering adventurous road to the hostel. We never did back-track but found at least two other Littleton Roads, besides other interesting winding roads in the area. Stopping by Walden Pond, taking pictures, getting tea at a Dunkin Donut taking a picture of a young womans cleavage marked with an

Keep In Touch Newsletter < Gretka Domer (Mommsen) and Jonathan Clement lived in Woodcrest and Oaklake.

Vol. XXIII No 2 September 2011

Please Submit your Personal Stories

KIT. We want to encourage our readers to submit personal accounts and stories on topics which are of interest for our group of ex Bruderhofers. Please send them electronically by email, as word.doc, or pdf-file attachments to make the work easier for those who edit and publish the Newsletter on a voluntary basis. Typed letters will also be accepted as they can be converted easily. Send your submissions to Erdmuthe Arnold or any of the other KIT Staff listed on last page.

implanted sparkling stone all of these were adventures to John who perhaps feigned naivet about things in America in order to heighten the sense of living every moment to its fullest. We discussed differences in language between British English and American English as when I referred to the beautiful horses ass, he was taking a picture of. Other reports fairly well covered the events at Friendly Crossways but I want to mention Maeve who did a yeomans job of transportation. In all, she and I missed no less than six hours of interchange at the gathering because we drove to Boston and brought Geert Burger out on Saturday and then returned him again that night. The next day we went to the airport. We missed out on about an hours worth of singing! But, all of it was worthwhile because I got to know Maeve, we talked about our lives and of course had the sense that we were making a contribution to the smooth functioning of the whole. Each of us signed three beautiful cards: one for August Pleil whose 85th birthday it was, one for Marlene Wegner and one for Balz Trmpi. Individuals are remembered. The cards were works of art designed by Heidi Strickland who also contributed fresh garlic and basil from her garden, thrown into the leftover stew cooked up by Gillian Burleson. Im not sure if anyone has mentioned the efforts of Joy, and of course Muschi who together managed to deal with the money and the logistics of sheets and towels and Hannah for the meal planning and shopping. Life in utopia would not be so rich if it werent for the beautiful sound of the recorder playing a beautiful, haunting Scottish Gaelic melody by Barnabas Johnson emerging from his tent between the cornfield and the edge of the woods: Morning has broken like the first morning Blackbird has spoken like the first bird Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning Born of the one light Eden saw play. If you cant sing or hear this song to remind you that every day is a new beginning maybe you can at least learn to purr. Imglad I had the opportunity to experience for a weekend, some elements of our communal past. This experience will help merge the sharp contrast and boundary between utopia and the rest of the world, complete with funky mugs and old floor rugs. P.S. I think Threads or Ripples are better than Vibes.
It was wonderful to meet again Vera DeBell (Stevenson) and Amanda Gurganus (Stngl) from old Primavera times. >

Peer Pressure on the Bruderhof

By Hanna Johnson I can remember a clearance meeting of all the high school students at New Meadow Run in the 60ties. We were scolded about not taking a stand against evil; the Brotherhood supported us going to public schools. We must know how important it was to be students even where we were exposed to lies and false ideas (same speech getting us ready to go to high school). Implying that wed failed, the speaker got louder and then there were names and incidents that were news to me, some private office conferences made examples of in our inner circle. Although my name was usually out there and I was wondering what my infractions were, the accusations took a spin, All you others are equally guilty.. Some of us were told how wrong we were to be involved in things we had not known about until the clearance we knew nothing. So now that wed been told who, what, when, and where it was evil to have such knowledge. The implications of peer pressure were so twisted they made me sick on adrenaline to flee: How to deal with such a lot of talk never to be mentioned again by any of us? I tried to forget about names named and find love for each one in the circle as equals (equally loved). When I was little child I had learned that it is my personal struggle against wrong to gain victory over sin, Resist the Devil and he will flee from thee, James 4:7. To go along with the others doing wrong is no excuse (Eve did it, Genesis 3:12). I developed a syndrome of testing limits, trying things in vague areas. Yet as a trouble maker I felt safe expecting others to keep me in line. Sure we are all sinners, but being told of things done by an acquaintance, accused as party to that and then told not to talk about it well, how can that be addressed? Dear cult leader I forgive you for the way you twisted my mind to be one mind with you. Where to draw the line intrigued me. Admonished to be more open but with discussions limited to me listening and then closed, causing trouble was the best way for me to test the safety net. There certainly was a feeling of safety when I was being corrected gently. On my way out of New Medow Run I developed unsocial pastimes and legal boundaries became observing other people's deviances. Many get away with finding ways to claim both ignorance and freedom. A statement I remember from childhood is, What if everyone did that? I observe many things done that only a few do personal ways that are odd to say the least. I find my own different ways. Peer pressure is usually spoken of negatively while most of it is necessary for growing up socially adjusted. Some talk sticks in my thoughts what I remember to the best of my ability. I did not like being told to go to my room and think about it Id think about what I was told by a crocus dressed in gold. I got

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sent to my room a lot but it was far from abusive. When I felt under pressure I found many escape routes. I don't think Eberhard Arnold set up the best place for Christians to grow. That may have been his vision but The First Law of Sannerz is the cult foundation of the hof. His son Heini could not have become a cult leader without that.

KIT Friends Remember Josua Dreher

Josua Lost a Long Battle with Cancer
By Hans Martin (son of Ruth and Arno Martin) Maybe I am not the first one to report the death of Josua Dreher. He is the fifth child of Leo and Trautel (Fischli) Dreher and on April 19th, 2011. Josua was born in England on January 20 th, 1938. According to a letter I received he died peacefully on the Woodcrest Bruderhof after a long battle with cancer. I visited Josua in 2003 on his little farm in Vaca H, Paraguay. In 2008 I visited him again with Lucrezia Meier when we spent a marvelous week together. He was the only one who could still find the old places we used to roam in as children. Shortly after my last visit he joined the Bruderhof, which had become quite active in Paraguay. I believe he did the right thing, since he was treated with great love and given excellent care. I visited him on the Bruderhof last May when he was already quite sick. Josua was a very quiet person. Because of the age difference I did not know Josua well during my years in Primavera. However, the times I visited with him in later years we talked a lot, mainly about our childhood there. Josua had joined the Bruderhof during his earlier years. He came to North America. However, he could not forget his early childhood and youth in Paraguay. He left, and returned to Paraguay, were he got married and lived most of his adult life. He had a wonderful family with three children. His wife preceded him in death many years ago. His children are married; all live in Paraguay. Josua also has several grandchildren. I got to know three of them.

Eileen Robertshaw Remembers her Childhood

By Hanna Johnson As reported in the KIT Newsletter of April 2011, page 10, my Aunt Eileen Robertshaw, nee Taylor, born in 1920 passed away on March 29th 2011 at the age of 90. She was the younger sister of my Mom, Margaret Goodwin, who was born in 1917. I have copied for KIT some of Aunt Eileens memories which she told at Moms memorial memories of their childhood in Merton, near London. I picked out bits and pieces I find to be interesting and different. Aunt Eileens Memories Our parents were both great lovers of nature", and would go for long walks. There was a hymn in our Sunday school hymn book which said, The rich man in his castle, the poor man at the gate, God made them high and lowly and ordered their estate. well father opposed that. He felt it was totally un-Christian." Mother was an ardent socialist, and between the two of them we had many lively discussions. It wasn't easy being in the church because our views were different... We were told that when the question of dismissing father (the organist), Freds father, Mr. Goodwin (also an organist), turned to those who wanted to keep our father as organist and said, All pull together boys! And they pulled together sufficiently... After father died in the spring of 1938, Margaret wanted to cheer me up and encourage me. She devoted most of her summer holidays to a two week youth-hostelling expedition with me. We hiked across North Somerset and Devon, then south across Exmoor and Dartmoor. It was glorious country and we found plenty of literary interest too. We walked through the Quantock Hills and thought of Hazlett, to Westward Ho and talked of Kingsley and Kipling. We visited Lorna Doone country and followed the descent of Badgworthy Water. We planned though not seriously to hike in Germany and write a book on the influences of Landscape on Folk Tales. We stopped briefly at Dartington Hall (reputedly very advanced in educational practices) and went by boat down the river Dart to join my mother in South Devon. After Fred and Margaret's wedding (1939) the young couple joined the Oaksey Bruderhof. In 1940 Eileen visited them at the Cotswold Bruderhof. She went to Wheathill and my Granny Vera Taylor joined in the work there. - End of Eileens memories.

My Brother was the Happiest Child

By Evi and Adolf Pleil

Evi wrote: A picture is worth a thousands words. - Josua Dreher with two of his grandchildren. (Photo submitted by John Holland)

Eileen went to Paraguay in 1947 I think. I did not meet my Aunt until DP camp Wheathill in 1961 or 1962. Robertshaws, the cousins of Goodwins came back to England from Uruguay. At New Medow Run we met again. I enjoyed singing out of the Oxford Book of Carols. After my Mom died 1992, my Aunt kept up correspondence with me. Her last letter tells what joy she had with great grand children.

Let me share in the KIT Newsletter some thoughts and memories of my brother Josua. As a child, he was the happiest one of all the nine children in our family. He was always in a good mood and never picked a fight with anyone. If something got lost he was the one to find it, thus the nickname Schnuff. He also loved animals and always fed and took special care of our family pets. When our mother died quite unexpectedly, he was eight years old. This was a hard time for our whole family, and our father never really recovered from her loss. Our family was incorporated into the big Meier family, and as teenagers, Josua and Dan-

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ny Meier decided to leave the Bruderhof to have their own adventure. We then met my brother again in the USA where he had to do his CO-Service in Evergreen. He lived with Adolf and me, and our two oldest sons. Our boys simply adored and loved him. Josua then moved to Woodcrest. From there he worked his way back to Paraguay, his Heimat home. Throughout the years he warmly welcomed and hosted the many visitors who came to see the place where they grew up and where he met and married his wife, Elvira, and settled down to have a family. They had two sons and two daughters. His wife, Elvira, and son, Antonio, sadly predeceased him. His daughters, Marisa and Gladiola, and son Buena Ventura live in Paraguay. In January 2011, Adolf and I visited my brother Josua in Woodcrest. We knew he was very sick. He seemed very, very quiet and thoughtful, but attentive to everything we said. In our hearts we knew we would not see him again. Our sister Maidi wrote to let us know about him, but we did not have the chance to talk with him again before he passed on. Rest in Peace, dear brother!

1987: Elvira Dreher chatting with Lucrezia Meier in her kitchen.

Fond Memories of an Old Friend

By Bill Bridgwater (alias Ingmar Wingrd) I was very sad when Paul Dyroff called to say that our good friend Josua had passed away in the Easter week. Although we were of the same age I cant remember having Josua as a class

called to come to Primavera prior to departing to Europe. It was a depressing experience, some people were apathetic, and others seemed scared stiff. Our next encounter was in 1987, when Hans Jrg, Lux, my wife Margareta and I went to visit Josua on his chacra (small holding) in what in our day had been known as the Tujango forest, a haunted place, according to the locals, who were scared to pass through by night. Josua had left the Bruderhof in the US in 1964 and returned to work on the De Stefano Estancia, adjacent to Primavera. There he met Elvira, the daughter of the capataz (foreman). They married and built themselves a rancho (primitive thatched structure) on the property they bought. They had four children, the oldest, Turi (Buena Ventura), a foster son followed by their son Antonio and two daughters Marisa and Gladiola. The boys attended school; they were smartly dressed but only had one pair of shoes and one bike which they used on alternate days. There was no electricity, a gas lamp provided light. Water had to be drawn from the well. Hans Jrg, my wife and I slept on the floor in what was going to be the new brick house. There was one room which was used for storing maize and had to be cleared We were woken at 4:00am the following morning by an angry cock-a-doodle-doo from a cock out looking for maize. We spent some nice days with Josua and his family looking at the remnants of Primavera, taking a dip in the Tapiracuay River, going to Friesland, Itacurubi, Puerto Rosario, etc. Josua was always willing to show visitors around the ruins of our childhood paradise. He also loved to wander off on his own

Josua on Rey, with Ingmar outside of the Isla kitchen.

mate. One of my first memories of Josua is when we as teenagers attended lectures on cattle breeding, given by Johnny Robinson. We took a team of horses and the Kutsche a two wheeled wagon with springs and drove from Isla Margarita to Loma Hoby in Ben Hur style; one spring broke to our wheelwright Heinz Bolks great dismay. The course ended in a memorable ride with Johnny to Estancia Santa Virginia where Danni Meier was working. On our way back we stopped for some terer (Yerbamate with cold water) at a small boliche (inn). There was a guy playing a mandolin, Johnny asked if he could have a look, he was given the instrument and started playing. Both we and the locals were amazed, we had never seen or heard anyone play the mandolin that well. In the years to come Josua and I worked in the cowshed, and participated in the work on the Estancia, Josua on his beloved mount Rey. We formed a good team and got on very well; the milk production soared. I left the Bruderhof before the final collapse, and met Josua again briefly in 1961 when, for some odd reason, we all were

Evening meal at gas lamp light. (Photos submitted by author)

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friends, among them Josuas daughters. During our discussions it became evident that Josua had made a pragmatic decision when returning to the community: He was dying of prostate cancer. Knowing what cancer treatment in Paraguay costs he had lost his son Antonio who died of leukaemia Josua opted for the Bruderhof. His strategy had always been to keep all avenues open just in case; dont burn any bridges. I suppose he got the best treatment possible, far better than what he had gotten in Friesland. He died among friends, and the community got another trophy. Fida Meier went to see Josuas daughters to show a video of Josua in the US. The older daughter accepted her visit; the other daughter declined.
Later on Josua moved into the house of his daughter Marisa here with her husband and son in 2009.

Gringo Aleman
By Hans Zimmermann After we lived in Loma Hoby for two years, Josua all of a sudden showed up. I cannot recall where he lived before, but I was familiar with Maidi and Evi. We immediately clicked and became good friends. He was one and a half years older than I and two classes ahead. We would go hunting wild pigeons together with sling shots, he always let me have the first shot saying: Hap (my nickname at the time) you are the better shot. It kind of embarrassed me a little because most older boys would not do that, luckily I could deliver, he was totally content to point at a dove and say, shoot that one, then that one. Josua felt totally at ease to let another person take the glory. He was barely out of school when he disappeared again for two or three years (I did not know where at the time) onto an Estancia in the Chaco. He totally adjusted to the Paraguayan culture, learning Guaran and all the native customs. He also acquired the art of working with leather, braiding lassos, halters, reigns, cinches etc. He was a good rider but not what we would call a Jinete or damador. I believe when he returned, the Ibat dairy was his new domain, or was it Isla Margarita? At that time each hof still had its separate dairy cows. That soon changed, as our dairy herd now was mostly Holsteins, which started to give more milk. So the dairy production was moved to Ibat for consolidation. Josua must have made the move to Ibat at that time because I saw little of him. He was always content to play the supporting role, giving advice, rarely taking the lead on his own initiative unless asked to. In that way he remained approachable and made friends easily. Josua was never argumentative and rarely pushed his point of view, in youth meetings however he would act as the arbiter when arguments did arise. We did not see each other again until my return early 1960 from my stints on various Paraguayan Estancias both in the

and spend days on end fishing in the river. He often went to the burial ground to sit at his mothers grave and meditate. When strapped for cash, he would work for the Mennonites. We helped Josua finishing the little brick house which the family subsequently moved into. When electricity came, Hans Jrg and I helped him with a pump, water tank, tubing etc. He built a primitive shower, but when asked, if he would put in a WC he replied I dont think my women can cope with so many novelties. In January of 2000 son Antonio died of leukaemia. He was soon followed by his mother. She could not get over the loss of her son. Eventually Josua sold his property and moved in with his oldest daughter Marisa, who is married and lives in Carolina where she runs a small shop. Gladiola is also married and lives in the vicinity of Friesland. Josua and his son in law, a butcher, bought a new property and had a nice little herd of cattle. I have visited Josua many times in the last twenty years. The last time I saw him was in 2009. We took a ride on the camp (savannah) and spent a couple of nights at the nice motel Tannenhof in Friesland. We sat talking about old times and he gave me a nice compliment by saying: You are my oldest friend, the only white guy I know who successfully broke in a mule. By this time Josua had reconciled with the Bruderhof. It happened during the baptism of Martin Dyroff which took place at the Isla Margarita burial ground. A crowd of bruderhofians had flown in from the US in a private jet to do the ritual. The arrival of this jet in Asuncin caused all kinds of speculation in the local media. Josua mockingly showed me a large bundle of letters of love hed received from the community which I did not bother to read. He was required to go to the local phone booth each Saturday afternoon to await a phone call from his mentor Jacob Gneiting. When I was due to leave for Asuncin, Marisa asked if I could take Josua along. He had an appointment with a lawyer provided by the Bruderhof, to arrange for his papers. Josua had lived all these years in Paraguay as indocumentado without documents. Quite a risky business and the reason why he stayed put and was unwilling to leave home. We spent a couple of days in Asuncin and I had the feeling that he, although he did not actually say so, was seriously contemplating going back to the Bruderhof. When the news came I was not surprised; especially after hearing that he was suffering from advanced prostate cancer and needed specialist treatment. I will always treasure the fond memories of one of my oldest friends may he rest in peace. * My most recent visit to Paraguay was at the end of August to early September, 2011. I did the normal rounds of visiting

Josua worked 1958 in Islas dairy. (Photo album Erdmuthe Arnold)

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Chaco and last in Caazapa in south eastern Paraguay. We had less contact as he was now in the brotherhood, and I decidedly undecided as what my future there would be. After the breakup we lost touch with each other even though both of us were in the USA but at different locations. We next saw each other forty-two years later in Tujango, Paraguay where he had his homestead. That was a joyful reunion and we spent three days together, visiting Primaveras various locations, Isla Margarita, the burial ground, orange wood spring, Ibat and the old corrals we personally had built with Irundamy trunks, Invernada, the Brennkorral in Riveros Cu, Loma Hoby, one full day at the Tapiracuay River, with Willy and Helly Braun being our hosts in Friesland. Kulla Fischer and Clementina Jaime were our companions. We had a wonderful time together. Two years later in 2004 I visited again and stayed three days with Josua at his son-in-laws home in Carolina where he was now living. We talked late into the nights about everything, revealing much more about our youth than we would have dared during our Bruderhof days, having matured and lost some of our false inhibitions. We walked from Carolina to Isla Margarita and then traced the old foot path to Loma Hoby. On another day we helped build a rancho for one of the cowboys who was watching his son-in-law's cattle. We had a great time together, but he confessed that as a Gringo he would never be fully accepted by the natives; he would always be an outsider. I found this hard to believe at the time, but there must be a lot of truth behind it; once his wife had died and his daughters married natives, he lost part of what tied him to that life. This may have made it easier for him to go back to the community. I want to give him the benefit of doubt that what drove him back was in his best personal interest. It saddens me immensely that he is gone and that I will not see him again on my next visit. It would have been great if the community had buried him at our place in Primavera Josua, where ever you are, you remain my friend.

Baum abstreifen. Da riet Josua Basti, gib ihm anstndig welche mit der guacha! Diese Besuche waren immer nett und voller Erinnerungen; wir sprten, dass sie Josua gut taten. Josua hat sich fr alle Ex-Primaveraner, die ihn besuchten, Zeit genommen, um ihnen unser einstiges zu Hause zu zeigen. Er erklrte immer wieder geduldig, wo sich ehedem beispielsweise die Kche, der Kuhstall und so weiter befanden. Denn: in Loma Hoby gab es kein einziges Haus mehr; in Isla Margarita stand nur noch das Babyhaus und in Ibat das Steinhaus, in dem wir die Friedemanns dereinst wohnten. Von der Bckerei war lediglich eine Ruine brig geblieben. 1998 oder 1999 hat ein Wirbelsturm das Babyhaus verwstet. Die Familie Braun zog daraufhin zurck nach Friesland. Ich begre es sehr, dass der Bruderhof Josua fr seine letzte Lebenszeit bei sich aufgenommen hat.

Visiting Josua
By Irene Pfeiffer-Fischer Every two years from 1993 to 2001 my late husband Ludwig Fischer and I flew out to Paraguay. It was a must that on every trip we called in on Josua and his wife Elvira. I have some lovely memories of these visits. Once when we spent a night with them, Elvira had prepared a room with two beds just for us. Hans Jrg Meier, Kuller Fischer as well as our son Sebastian, who was eight at the time, were all part of the group. In the evening when it got dark, we sat in front of the house by the light of a gas lantern, and sang German ballads. Elvira enjoyed this very much, even though she couldnt understand any of it. So I asked Josua to translate some of the words for her, which he did. The next song was Es zogen drei Snger (Three wandering minstrels). When it got to the verse: and he spread his cape on the ground and settled his sweetheart upon it, I recognised just two words

Changes: KIT Address List Sept 2010

Please copy these updated and new addresses and add them to your KIT Address List September 2010.
Cuenca, Virginia (Loewenthal) her current address: 805 Tabor Rd Morris Plains NJ 07950 Herman, Deb (LeBlanc) new email address: hermandebdana@gmail.com Jackson, Gordon & Linda (Lord) new email address: lljax@btinternet.com Johnson, Hannah (Goodwin) new address: 100-102 Elm Street, Apt. B-6 Edgewood, PA. 15218 USA Stevenson, Gerrit-Jan newly listed: 616 Celebation Dr Princeton/Illinois (IL) 61356 USA tel: +1 815 876 6002 Tsukroff, Judith address and phone number corrected: c/o Ray Tsukroff 35 Dally Farms Rd Windsor, CT 06095-4316 tel: + 1 860727-8090 Vickery, Brenda (Vowles) newly listed: 6 Mc Dougall Street, Kepnock Bundaberg Australia QLD 4670 tel: + 61 741 528 047

Zu Besuch bei Josua

Von Irene Pfeiffer-Fischer Von 1993 bis 2001 bin ich alle zwei Jahre mit meinem verstorbenen Mann Ludwig Fischer nach Paraguay geflogen. Auf jeder Reise war es ein Muss, bei Josua Dreher und seiner Frau Elvira vorbeizuschauen. Ich habe sehr nette Erinnerungen an diese Besuche. Einmal verbrachten wir eine Nacht bei ihnen. Elvira hatte uns ein Zimmer mit zwei Betten fertig gemacht. Hans Jrg Meier, Kuller Fischer sowie unser damals achtjhrige Sohn Sebastian waren mit von der Partie. Als es abends dunkel wurde, saen wir beim Schein einer Gaslaterne vor dem Haus und sangen deutsche Balladen. Elvira freute sich sehr darber, konnte allerdings nichts verstehen. So bat ich Josua ihr doch etwas zu bersetzen, was er auch tat. Als nchstes war das Lied Es zogen drei Snger an der Reihe. Bei der Strophe und er breitete seinen Mantel aus und setzte Feinsliebchen obendrauf, hrte ich aus der Guaran-bersetzung von Josua nur die Worte poncho und cuata heraus. Beiden war der Spa ins Gesicht geschrieben. Wenn wir die mennonitische Familie Braun im ehemaligen Isla Margarita besuchten, baten wir Josua mitzukommen. Wir nutzten diese Gelegenheiten auch, um schne Stunden am Tapiracuay-Fluss zu verbringen. Die Brauns luden Josua ein, bei ihnen zu bleiben, bis wir uns wieder verabschiedeten. Unser Sohn Sebastian absolvierte bei Josua seine erste Reitstunde. Das Pferd wollte den Jungen partout unter einem Espina de Corona

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in Josuas Guaran translation: poncho and cuata. Their sense of fun was clear to see on both their faces. We asked Josua to come with us when we visited the Brauns, a Menonite family, living in what used to be Isla Margarita. We also used this opportunity to spend many happy hours by the Tapiracuay river before we had to leave again. Our son Sebastian had his first riding lesson with Josua. The horse wanted to throw him by going under an Espina de Corona tree. Josua advised Basti to give him a few firmly with the guacha! These visits were always great, and full of memories, we felt they did Josua good. Josua always had time for all Ex-Primavera folk who visited him, to show them around what was once our homeland. He patiently explained over and over again, where for example the kitchen or the cow sheds and so on once used to be: As in Loma not one single house remained, in Isla just the baby house, and in Ibat the stone house in which we - the Friedemanns - once lived. The bakery was nothing but a ruin. In 1998 or 1999 a tornado destroyed the baby house, at which point the Braun family moved back to Friesland. I welcome the fact that the Bruderhof took Josua back into their care for the last years of his life. Translation by Linda Lord Jackson

And then we had the memorable river trip on the river steamer down the Paraguay River from Concepcin down to Asuncin. We paid the rent on the 18 third-class-hammocks so that the people on the boat could have a comfortable night. We really enjoyed the company of the fellow travelers. Josua just had a knack of making everybody relax and making it possible for us all to enjoy each other's company. As soon as we reached Asuncin, Josua could not wait to get back to his homestead. He did not like the city. I met him again in 2009 in Asuncin, when he was with a Bruderhof group and preparing for his move to Woodcrest. When I suggested to him that he should not spend too much time with me, because the bruderhofers might not like it, he said with his usual twinkle, Ach, what difference does it make what can they do? And we carried on, laughing about our stories. And then I met him at Woodcrest later that year. We had our usual hug and delight at meeting up with each other again. He was very happy and seemed to have a wonderful relationship with all his old friends there. When I asked him about his health he said: Ach, don't worry John. Adios amigo.
John Holland visited the grave of Josua in Woodcrest this year. >

Memories of a Dear Friend

By John Holland Over a forty-year-period Josua took anybody who came to visit the old Primavera down to the river Tapiracuay in his horse cart. He gave wonderful hospitality to a whole stream of visitors. He treated everybody with great respect as if it were their first visit or might be their last. I remember him in the cowshed, and when my brother Peter and I lived with the single men. I particularly remember his sparkle and love for animals. In 2002, the first time I saw him since we left Paraguay in 1961 he put his arms round me and hugged me as if we had never been apart.


KIT Gathering in Blossoming Bulstrode Park

By Raphael Vowles The annual gathering of KIT folk in the United Kingdom was held again at Bulstrode Park, on Saturday 7th May 2011. The event was well attended with many friends meeting to enjoy the occasion. A great range of food was provided by all. The park and lakes were exceptionally beautiful this year the timing was just perfect to catch the wide variety of exotic flowering shrubs. It is always a pleasure to see the whole place so well cared for. Many thanks again to the organizers and WEC for making the facilities available. It being the 50th anniversary of the abandoning of Primavera a picture CD was available for those that wanted to take home the memories from the Swiss photographers that visited Primavera in January 1961. A book celebrating Paraguays 200 years of independence was also available for those that were interested. Desecration at the grave yard Those gathering in Bulstrode were shocked to find that the grave of Don Alexanders father had been desecrated and that the site had been vandalized. WEC and Darvell were informed. This seems to have been a targeted action that left the other graves untouched. Some people felt they would no longer be happy to visit the graves of their loved ones alone; the graveyard atmosphere was no longer peaceful. The desecration of graveyards is a criminal offence. I have had much opposition in my attempts to publish this information. I feel it is important to bring this news to the wider KIT readership. I do hope the wind can help us come to terms with these tempestuous times.

Josua looking after his cows.

(Two Photos: John Holland)

In 2005, on my next visit, we travelled together through northern Paraguay and into the Chaco. It was like travelling with a Paraguayan encyclopedia. His knowledge of Paraguay and the people there made it a very special journey for me. We went together to Makxawaya (the Lengua Indian mission station that our family lived at for a year in 1961). Josua had a very realistic concept of what the Lengua Indians needs were.

Keep In Touch Newsletter


Vol. XXIII No 2 September 2011

Poem by Susanna Alves, November2001 He gets up from the chair, his body aches. He shuffles to the door. She plays the song again, Remember me my dear. Remember me. Remember. How can he forget. Standing in the door, he sees the light unfold. The saxophones calls, cries and sobs expand behind him. How can he bear it, this entreating sound. His eyes drift inward while gathring in his surroundings. He sees a most beautiful, mellow autumn day. The sky is clear of cloud yet early mist still hangs on the horizon and wont let the sky take blue. Not yet. It overcomes him how beautiful this day is, this autumn; how much he hungers to enjoy it. Enjoy his autumn in autumn. Share the beauty with her, she whom he remembers far too well. She sees this beauty too. But she is gone. He can only share autumn and beauty with his own self now. Yet when beauty is thus overwhelming, aloneness is not enough anymore. As beauty seeps into him it requires to be let out again into the chest and heart and mind and brain and bloodstream and bones and nerve centres of his beloved. The saxophone sails above orchestra and choir. It yearns, calls, woos. Now it recedes; returns, coaxing. Why is it sobbing? They hold hands as they walk, and she says, Oh, look, and he will look. He will know and see as her eyes and soul see. They will stand quietly, she will lean against him as she always does, their bodies touching, alongside each other. He places his arm around her warm waist. She turns her face, their eyes meet to find the beauty reflected there. They kiss gently. Old, tender lips, soft as silk.

Now nature breaks the spell a laughing blackbird flies low over the road; a Robin, unseen, offers a brief trill. But not anymore. Now, multiplied beauty seeps away unnoticed. He knows that it will revert to where it comes from, but this knowledge does not satisfy, is not enough. His torment is turned unbearable because beautys dance will begin ever again. Its perpetuity he cannot intercept and end. It is the pain that paralyses. He stands and remembers, and looks to his horizon, focussing his eyes: A hedge, shrubs, some roofs, a distant tree. Like gossamer shroud, the thin mist still floats, pinned to that horizon. The saxophone has ceased its lament. He hears a rustling in the room behind him. He turns and looks. Dont play it again, Samantha, my child, he says.

Armadillos Harbor Mycobacterium Leprae

By Erdmuthe Arnold A report in the Wall Street Journal of April 28th, 2011 says that the armadillo is the only non-human animal known to harbor Mycobacterium leprae, which causes leprosy. Remembering how eager the boys in Primavera were to hunt these animals to harvest a special treat of tasty roasted meat, I now think how fortunate they really were. In his article, Leprosy Linked to Armadillos, Ron Winslow cites several studies which have fingered the armadillo as the most likely source of leprosy (also called Hansens disease) among some Americans who contracted the rare disease in the USA. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, several small studies during the years 1980-2000 suggest that contact with the wild armadillos is a risk factor, but that this risk is low. Re< Horst Pfeiffer with a nine banded, young armadillo, in Isla Margarita about 1958. (Photo submitted by Andy Harries).

searchers of the National Hansens Disease Program found out that infected armadillos captured in five southern States had the same strain of Mycobacterium leprae as that found in some Hansen's patients from the area. The most likely way

Keep In Touch Newsletter


Vol. XXIII No 2 September 2011

people might acquire the infection would be through contact with the blood or uncooked flesh of an armadillo because of a cut or scratch in the skin. In the USA leprosy is rare; with fewer than 250 new cases reported yearly, most of them were acquired overseas. But in one-third of the cases the patients werent out of the country or

couldnt recall contact with another infected person, leaving researchers uncertain of the source of the bacterium, writes Ron Winslow. On the other side, leprosy was a terrifying, lifelong disease in Paraguay as long it couldnt be treated properly. And we do know from our time in Primavera that armadillos were a extra supply of food for the people living in the countryside.


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