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In the dark, dark forest

In the dark, dark forest

Photographer:Fotograaf: Jesler van Houdt

Jesler in Freiburg

In the dark, dark South of Germany is a dark, dark forest. And in this dark, dark forest is a tiny dark town. And by this tiny dark town is a dark, dark path through the woods. And on this dark, dark path through the woods walk three girls, looking for adventure.

The beginning of a horror story? The story of a random Friday night’s event? Probably both. To be honest, all I could think about when starting this little adventure two Fridays ago was what people would say if they’d find our bodies in the woods. “They should have known - who enters a pitch-black forest in the middle of the night? You’re just bound to get murdered.” Statistically seen complete nonsense, of course, but I guess it’s human nature to be afraid of the shadow hiding behind the dark trees.

But let’s start at the beginning: What were my friends and I doing in the forest in the middle of the night in the first place? Well, the reason is as random as it gets: Friday the 10th of January was full moon. As a nice little festivity around this, Foodsharing Freiburg, which my friend is involved in, organised a campfire-in-the-woods event, including playing the card game Werewolf.

I decided to join because I absolutely love the game Werewolf and hadn’t played it in ages.

So, my two friends and I walked through the fog and darkness for 75 minutes to meet the rest of the group by the fireplace. Once the fear of the world fell off me, I could do nothing more than be amazed by the beautiful, mystical landscape I was surrounded with. A landscape that made me believe in fairies and gnomes again. A landscape simply too beautiful to be fully captured in photos (trust me, I tried).

I decided to stay because of the company, the campfire, over which we were grilling our own stick bread and vegan sausages (rescued - after all this was a food-sharing event), and the conversations about God and the world while feeling like you're sitting amid the universe.

In a way, it's really difficult for me to describe the events of Friday the 10th. That night was incredibly random. Probably it was foolish. Throughout, I felt like I was doing a test of courage - the kind you do with your friends as kids. I was doing something I would have never done if I had stayed in Maastricht - something you need to be pulled out of your comfort zone for. Somehow, I can't place that Friday night - it feels like everything happened in a dream. A dream full of adventure and laughter. A dream full of suspense. All I know is that it was worth it. And that I never want to stop going on random Friday-night adventures just because I want to play a game I played as a kid again.

Though we never actually played Werewolf.

Jesler van Houdt

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