The first group of EVS volunteers has started their one year stay in Ängsbacka on February 1st. The group consists of 7 people from 6 European countries: UK, Norway, Estonia, The Netherlands, Germany, and Romania, with ages ranging from 19-29. It’s as diverse as it gets!
And I am one of them! I feel so much happiness and gratefulness to be here! I woke up this morning and I realised that I do live here now and this is my reality. For now, I will try to describe the project and what we have been up to until now and more information will be shared in following posts as we will make it a habit to post about our EVS experience in Ängsbacka. (click here for more information on what the EVS programme actually is)
I found Ängsbacka four years ago and it was such a surprise to be around people that believe that when you meet a person for the first time they can already be a friend, that you are not to expect and receive affection and support from one person only and only in a certain structure, that dancing with all your might in the morning or in the afternoon (in plain daylight!) while sober is easy and enjoyable, that having a deep spiritual talk over lunch is common, and that it is possible to serve others
The purpose of the EVS project that has just started is the development and building an ecovillage called Forest Dream in Ängsbacka and to organise and host this summer’s GEN Europe conference, where people from ecovillages around Europe come together to share their knowledge and experience, and support and inspire each other in their journeys. Our group will also be involved with the usual activities in Ängsbacka. We will be supporting the course and festival seasons in various ways, as we also want to learn how the magic that brings people here is created.
In our first three weeks we got introduced to the Ängsbacka life – the structure, the work groups, the grounds, the plans for our project, our roles, the morning meeting, the sharing, the daily silent sitting practice, and most of all the people and the togetherness. We are learning fast and we got already used to the rhythm of life here. We feel welcome and well taken care of, listened and nurtured.
We have been part of a Full Circle where almost every single person involved with Ängsbacka at the moment introduced themselves and said what it is about Ängsbacka that makes it worth for them to be here. The answers were varied but they all came from a space of honesty and openness and they had to do with Ängsbacka’s ability to make people feel welcome, seen, accepted for who they really are and enabling people to live consciously and purposefully. It touched me deeply to be part of this together with 30-40 people that allow themselves to speak so much from the heart and really allow themselves to meet each other.
We’ve also been part of a lot of practical meetings and trainings and got to do a small trip to Stockholm for the on-arrival training for our EVS Programme. We had three amazing trainers and been part of a nice group with other volunteers from other organizations around Sweden involved with permaculture farming, social support or implementing sustainable thinking in cities. We came back with a lot of practical knowledge and understanding of the programme, but also with a better perspective of what it can do for us individually. And we became a tighter group.
We are getting to know each other, finding what we have in common, where it is that our souls connect, learning things from each other. We definitely already feel close and know we will be here to support each other during a whole year of volunteering in Ängsbacka. We know we will go through plenty of things, we know it will be intense and demanding and we will all have our inner processes. Some of them have already started to happen. And it’s so good to know we are in this together and that this one year will have impact on one community’s dream and the dreams of seven people.