By Nyasha ………… – Volunteer Assistant

Picture this. I’ve begrudgingly been sent to the grinding mill by my grandfather because I’m the one available and my brother is nowhere to be found. I pick up the maize meal and trudge along to the nearest grinding mill which is at L’ARCHE to perform my errand. You probably have no trouble imagining that because it is a situation that most of us have gone through. What follows next however is where your imagination really has to kick in. I get to the grinding mill and as my mealie meal is being grinded, this young man comes over to engage me in a conversation. His name is Bobby. He greets me with such warmth which I can never imagine and shows a genuine interest in my well-being and situation. He is my introduction to L’Arche and the family that has welcomed me with open arms for the last couple of months. In Shona they say “hukama unozadzikiswa nekudya” “relations are cemented by food” and Bobby stayed true to this adage by offering me a bottle of water. No doubt having seen my parched lips and the blazing sun.

Bobby was just a piece of the cake, I am now experiencing a whole cake and icing on the top at the community. All I can say is that my big heart is full. In a short space of time I have learnt that you can love and be loved unconditionally. I have learnt that a smile is the best gift you can give anyone. I have also learnt that just one positive affirmation can change a whole mood. Above all, my biggest lesson being, “You don’t have to say anything to be heard”. All these lessons came from my encounter with core members. I really feel that L’Arche community is my calling and where I was meant to be. L’Arche has become not only a part of me but my second home. Pursuant to this realization, I would like to think happiness is where your heart is, and mine happens to be at L’Arche.