14 February 2021
Hello dear future friends and visitors !
After years and years of hosting (and hundreds and hundreds of visitors) and a couple of very difficult months, I believe it is the right time to think of what works and what doesn’t for us as communication between strangers (or even people who know each other) might be difficult. So… let’s start 🙂
- Our main project, the Agape traveler’s hub is more than anything else, a human project. Here, you will meet people from all over the world who have often been traveling for a long time. You will also meet people who have left their home for the first time and want to discover the world. Or you could even meet people who just wanted to come to relax. Your “task”, as a volunteer, is first of all to be yourself. We would be more than happy if you want to share stories with my children, the other volunteers, the local team, we would also be more than happy if you prefer to listen to the stories other people tell you. Both are totally fine by us.
- Other than sharing your culture, our main need concern the children. One was born in 2009, the other in 2019 (and we often have traveling children too). As you can imagine, their needs are not the same 🙂 I try to have long term caregivers for Vassilis (the little one) as I had to go back to work but playing with him and discussing with Joyce (my daughter) might not feel like “work” to you but is a tremendous help for me.
- We have a dog and a cat, once we’ll be in the mountain, other will certainly come. Our dog is literally addicted to love 🙂
- At our place, you will meet neurodivergent people as well as people from different cultures and different habits. The only way to be sure communication happens without too many problems is to be very clear. Tell us (and the others) what you want, need or like and even more importantly what you don’t want/like. Don’t expect anyone to guess anything that wasn’t explicitly stated and, in the same way, don’t assume other imply things they don’t say. We use Agile tools and have regular circles to discuss about any issue that could appear but this “rule” has saved us in the past of a lot of misunderstandings.
- In the hub, everyone is equal. Age, gender or even seniority don’t play a role. Nobody will tell you “you have to” do something (only exception is if there is a need to take care of young children. Once you’ve said you’ll do it on that specific day, if you change your mind we’ll try to find a way to find a solution but if we don’t, please keep your word). The hub belongs to everyone, all its visitors. You are actively invited to find your personal mission, to find something to do. With the rest of the team or by yourself. Of course I have ideas and suggestions but as we are in the creating phase of our farm, you are more than welcome to add your own personal touch.
- Speaking of the farm, this is NOT a wwoofing place, nobody in the local team is a permaculture specialist. We all learn together. Some of my local friends can show you how to take care of the land, some can teach you about renewable energy but we are all avid learners and would be more than glad to learn with and from you too.
- If you feel you need to be guided at all time, this might not be the place for you. As I am very busy and, right now, don’t live with the volunteers (that will change again soon, I hope), I always have at least one volunteer (usually a long term one) who is in charge of our new guests, to explain how things work, what has been done, what works are in progress, etc but most of our volunteers have been working in a independent way, organising missions by teams or individuals. You don’t have to be active all the time, there will be days when you don’t know what to do. Play with the children, cook, clean, ask other volunteers if they need help, I am sure you’ll find something. And if you don’t, it’s ok. Rest under a tree, go for a hike, organise a board game evening and maybe the next amazing idea about our place will appear to you.
I believe that is about it… I hope I didn’t discourage you before you even thought of coming but I felt (and have been told) it would be good to clarify those things. It is very important for me that you have read this part of our website so, to show me you did, please tell me anything about a pink unicorn when sending me your request 🙂 Oh, something else ! I know you are traveling or preparing your trip and you don’t have time but some written communication before your arrival might help us get to know each other better than when you arrive, as oral casual (non-facilitated) group conversations are not my forte…
I’m still hoping to see you soon 😉