A letter from Baraka, Mar.2021
Friends and Family,
It is with amazement that we greet you from the seventh month of our time in Baraka. Needless to say, this has been a remarkable year that has challenged us in terms of patience, communication, and interdependence. Seven months of relying on one another in times of missing our families, uncertainty about future plans (i.e., university, graduation, maturita, work), and in the day to day hustle has brought this community close.
For the last two months in Baraka, we have worked through two topics for morning inspirations and evening discussions – family and context. In a more normal time, these would be essential things to think about, how our upbringings, neighborhoods, and languages shape us; but, in the time of COVID-19, it provided a chance to process lessons learned from our families and the things we currently miss.
Since we uphold a strict regiment for COVID-19 safety, most of us have not been able to visit our families’ homes (aside from an occasional walk outside).
In discussing the context we are in now, the natural question of how do we act as a baraka (blessing) to our school and city has arisen. Aside from helping with food collection for the charity Note Bene – which happens every weekday and volunteers are organized by Nika (one of the Baraka participants) – we occasionally prepare food for Sant Egido to distribute on the street. (See the picture to the right). We also had our first vaccinated guest from Sant Egido, Majka Kostyalova, who came to tell us more about her work with the homeless in Bratislava.
We are still looking for opportunities to serve, so reach out if you have some for us!
If you have some spare time, you might consider checking out the Bilgym.FM Podcast! Created and edited by Hanka (another Baraka member) The majority of the episodes are in Slovak. Still, you’ll find at least one with English (an interview with me, Randi) if you’re keen.
Baraka members have also taken to consuming large quantities of baked goods. These days, it not uncommon to smell fresh bread baking in the morning or a cake cooling on the counter. Pictured to the right is some homemade vianočka.
Lastly, I’ll mention the pastime of many Barakans. Since the lockdown has barred us from our friend’s and families’ homes, we spend quite a lot of time walking around outside. So if you happen to come through our neighborhood, you might have a chance to spot an elusive Baraka dweller in their natural habitat. We’ve even taken a whack at renting the electric motorbikes!
These are also the only permitted outings we have been able to have as a group. In February, we hiked through the night (See Paula and Patrik planning the route to the left), and this upcoming weekend, we will try to catch the sunrise at Slavin by waking early in the morning and walking.
Finally, it is beginning to be the time of year that we look to the future. We will begin our recruiting process for the fall of 2021 in the upcoming weeks. If you know of anyone that would be interested, let us know!
We are sending you our love!