It is a windy day and we are having a day off from our voluntary work, here at Haus-Bierenbach. I’m looking out of the window and realise that almost four weeks have past since we came here. In this time span we did a lot, and I would like to make a short overview of this period.
Our journey started mid February in our safe and cosy Groningen. In the first instance we wanted to leave on Friday February the 12th, but due to a bizarre cold blizzard we had to postpone our journey two days. The Sunday, on which we left, was an emotional day for me. This was the first time that I would leave my home for more than six weeks. Because of this Miriam and I asked a few close dear ones to wave goodbye. To me it was heart-breaking to say goodbye on one side, and on the other side beautiful to feel the gratefulness for the time I had with these wonderful people.
After we left we went to the place of Miriam’s parents and stayed there for three days. Here we had three nice, comfortable and relaxed days where we had fine chats and (as always) good food and whine. Also, these days helped me to get used to the German language.
When we arrived at Haus-Bierenbach (https://www.gemeinschaft-haus-bierenbach.de), which lies in Bierenbachtal near Nümbrecht, we had a warm welcome. We were introduced, amongst other things, to our room, where we could have warm showers and use the toilet. In the first instance we put Edu on a parking place, close to the main building. A week later, we moved Edu to another spot next to a site building, where we had a look at a beautiful piece of nature and more privacy for ourselves.
The second day we were welcomed by other community members (in total 16 adults and 6 children always living here) and talked about our volunteer work. That day we worked together with a gardener, removing (a whole lot of) blackberry bushes at the property. The weeks that followed we would do many different jobs, for instance: cooking, planting seeds, being introduced to “bukashi” (a composting method), sweeping leafs, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the roadsides, “Kinderzeit”(taking care of the children) etc.
One of the things that I really appreciate is that we have a lot of autonomy with our work. We can discuss what we want to do and which days we want off. This gives us room for a very relaxed morning routine: to wake up without an alarm, shower, have breakfast together with others, meditate, and then work. Every weekday we have lunch together with other people of the community. Then we often continue working in the afternoon hours.
To me it is very inspiring to be in such a warm community where I feel welcomed from the first moment. Everyday I have wonderful contacts with others, which make me happy, and also confront me with my own insecurities. I think I can go on for a long time about the last topic. So I will leave it for the following blog!