I remember my first day at Heartbeet, October 8, 2006. It was last day of the conference. I was welcomed with great love. Everyone in conference was interested in me, I saw many beautiful faces, and I had nice talks. I’d never had this kind of attention. I knew only little about Heartbeet, but I was really excited to be here, but on the other hand I was afraid. I was afraid having a different culture and I was afraid whether or not I would be able to survive in anthroposophical community, being Muslim.
The first couple month it was hard for me to settle down in Heartbeet. I was not used to eating vegetarian food and pork (meat that I was not asked to eat but it was hard because I love meat); it was one of the differences between our cultures. Life was different.
Things about Heartbeet that stood out immediately was the way in which other volunteers made room to incorporate me into their community. Heartbeet gave me a new, beautiful world, and people who dedicate their time and life here showed me a new way of life. It was the residents, however, who I feel I learned the most from. They showed me hope. It’s the simple pleasures of life that provide me with the most valuable lessons. The early morning conversation with Connor over breakfast, watching Eric show off his basketball moves and being surrounded by a warm environment that is always full of songs. This is not to say that community life is idyllic, it is a struggle to bring a household of more than 13 together to accomplish a day’s tasks. It is in these daily struggles that the most obvious benefits of community life come to light. The experience of the loving community that surrounds me each day at Heartbeet will surely color my future.
TAJIKISTAN, 2006- 2007