Communal meals will be the community glue of the traveling village. It’s the only real fixed thing in the calendar of the village and where everyone in the community gets together.
We have looked to cohousing and intentional communities for inspiration, where we also found the term “community glue”. With 20 families and 3 locations in 4 months, there will be many shifts, new things, a lot of activities, and trips. Communal meals will be the fixed thing and largely the backbone of what makes this a real community.
Two weekly communal meals
One of the big questions was, how many times per week should we eat together?
In cohousing projects, they normally have 4 communal meals per week and many say the more, the better for the community. But we are not a cohousing project and the nature of our meals will be different. We started out with 4 times per week but ended up deciding on 2 times per week.
The reason is that we want to create enough space for all the member families to create things for the community themselves. Hikes, sports, trips, workgroups, and activities for the kids. At the same, most of us will be quite busy managing both experiences a new place, kids, and maybe even work.
Besides the above arguments, one of the biggest logistical challenges of the project is to find the right places. Communal meals should be something that the families look forward to and a big, positive event during the week. We need to find places where it’s comfortable for us to be, as a big group, with many kids. A place where you look forward to hanging out for a few hours.
This means the places will sometimes be a bit away from the community center and we have also set the price a bit higher. Not because the meals are going to be fancy, but because we need to be able to choose the absolute best locations.
An example of a potential place for communal meals
The images at the top of this article are from the place “Roving Chillhouse” in Hội An, that we have had some conversations with. It’s a great example of a potential place for communal meals, as it is open-air, has a lot of space, and has grass for the kids. It’s a little bit outside of our community center in Hội An, but it’s a place where you want to hang out and look forward to staying.
It’s a place where they can create buffets for us and where they really want to host us. In a town full of very small restaurants, this is one of the places we could all eat together.
How will communal meals be planned?
The day-to-day life and the initiatives during the trip will be created by different workgroups, and every member can opt-in to create a workgroup or join one.
We will have 3 workgroups for communal meals, one group for every location. The workgroup will be responsible for finding the places, negotiating, planning, and the on-the-ground stuff.
When our community starts forming when family sign-ups in February, we will start to create these workgroups, and all that will happen in Slack.